The principality of Monaco was awash with fanfare Tuesday as his Serene Highness Prince Albert 2nd was formally invested as Monaco’s new sovereign with his sisters, Princess Stephanie and Princess Caroline, and her husband, Prince Ernst of Hanover, and their respective children as witnesses.
The events of the day in Monte Carlo, which also marked the end of the mourning period for Prince Rainier, who died in April, began with a mass in the morning at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. This is where Rainier famously married the dazzling movie star Grace Kelly in 1956 while the Aga Khan, Cary Grant, Ava Gardner, David Niven and Aristotle Onassis looked on.
A formal investiture ceremony in the Pink Palace and a garden party in the courtyard for all the Monégasques, those actually born in the principality, followed on Tuesday. In the evening, there was a concert by the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, incredible fireworks and a party along the waterfront to which everyone in town was invited. Albert, 47, often called the Playboy Prince, has declared he wants to focus his reign on ethics and honesty. “Starting with myself,” he said as he spoke on TV on the eve of his coronation. He also warned that his recent admission about fathering an out-of-wedlock son named Alexandre with former flight attendant Nicole Coste might not be the last, saying, “I know there are other people who have nearly the same cases.” Could he please clarify that? Does he mean that he himself has fathered more illegitimate children other than Alexandre? Or is he implying he knows there are other daddies of illegitimate children like him out there? In that case, don’t we all?
Social — and Maybe a Tiny Bit Commercial — Notes From All Over: Cornelia Guest, of the navy blue-blooded Guest and Phipps families, will launch her first travel candle collection tonight at Saks Fifth Avenue for Slatkin & Co. Her line is named after her favorite places where she has lived the luxe life during all her days — “Old Westbury” which smells of black plum and was inspired by the orchids her mother, C.Z. Guest, planted at Templeton, the Guests’ Long Island estate; “Palm Beach,” redolent of nectarine and coconut, and “Beverly Hills,” which send off wafts of hibiscus and lily of the valley.
This story first appeared in the July 13, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Cornelia’s collection continues the legacy of C.Z., who also created candles with Harry Slatkin, the new president of home design for Limited Brands. You can still buy C.Z.’s candles at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus stores across the country.
The candleholders were inspired by a gold compact that was given to C.Z. by her grandmother Vivian Wessel, an actress. Is Cornelia following in granny’s footsteps? Next week, she’ll be at the Long Island International Film Expo with Tamela D’Amico, who directed Cornelia in the film “Volare,” which will receive an award at the festival. Then it’s off to Los Angeles to make an as-yet-untitled movie. “It’s a comedy and I play a sexpot,” she says, laughing like anything.
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck were honored when Jennifer’s hometown of Charleston, W. Va., threw a baby shower for the newlyweds over the weekend. Four thousand Charlestonians celebrated the absent couple at a minor league baseball game, hundreds of them bearing gifts for the town’s favorite daughter and baby-to-be, whom some are saying will be a girl and others are saying will be a boy. Why can’t Charlestonians make up their minds and just keep it simple by saying it will be one or the other?
The couple won’t be sending out personal thank-you notes because they are donating all the gifts to Starting Points, which benefits children under the age of eight. Very nice.
Flavio Briatore learned to love and buy clothes from and for his ex-girlfriends, who included a couple of top-gun models like Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell, among dozens of others. Flav, a tycoon who made his money in cars, is opening a men’s clothing store in London called Billionaire Couture, named after his notorious Sardinian nightclub, the Billionaire Club. Already in production are such items as a $21,000 pony skin coat, a ruby-studded key chain and a watch named the Power Breaker that comes with shirts sporting a special cuff through which the watch is visible. “It’s a luxury store — you can have your shirts stitched with gold thread if you wish,” says Flavio, who absolutely loves publicity.
From the London tabs comes the earth-shattering news — true or false — that Kate Moss is planning a bohemian-style “commitment ceremony” to rocker beau Pete Doherty at her country house in Gloucestershire and to hell with what the rest of the world thinks. She would like to hire fashion photographer Mario Testino to take the wedding pictures on her big day, but no word yet on what she will wear or who she has anointed to do her dress. She’s looking at sketches and ideas from all the top designers she’s worked with over the years, several of whom have already sent her dresses to choose from. The two crazy kids were seen squabbling on the Eurostar train from Paris to London last week, but they made up by the time they got to the station. Still, Pete never made his scheduled concert date that night, which leaves one wondering whether either of them will make it to the wedding.
Tom Cruise flew the chefs from his favorite restaurant in Rome to the yacht he chartered in the Dutch Antilles islands to celebrate his 43rd birthday last week. The trio prepared tagliatelle ragu and veal Milanese for him, Katie Holmes and a few family and friends. Nicole Kidman keeps saying she’s happy for Tom and his new love, voicing her views to one and all. “My nature as a person is to wish happiness for everybody. I’m in a very different place right now. When you love someone very deeply, you always wish them happiness.” Not really, hon. Not really. Rumor has it Nicole is also preparing to enter the lecture circuit and it’s said she is being paid $400,000 to speak about following her dreams and aspirations as an actress and a mother at a business conference in Australia. I guess that’s what you call a Renaissance woman. I guess.
Martha Stewart and I are both in the August issue of Vanity Fair, except Martha is on the cover and I’m on the back page answering the magazine’s famous Proust Questionnaire. You would think Martha would quibble and complain over our positioning, but so far I hear she’s taking it OK. You can’t win them all.