The details of Prince Rainier’s last will and testament are leaking out in the tiny principality even as the Monegasques are in the midst of mourning their beloved ruler, now lying in state in the chapel of the Pink Palace in Monte Carlo. Two of his three children, Prince Albert and Princess Caroline, will receive $1.8 billion apiece while Princess Stephanie, the youngest, gets a comparatively paltry $32 million. Some say the reason Stephanie’s bequest does not match the others is because of her propensity for multiple — and extremely inappropriate — marriages. Whether this reason for the slight is true or not, it is also said that Prince Rainier, while he was in the hospital, asked Prince Albert to look out for Stephanie and her children.
While the Grimaldi family is busy preparing for the state funeral on Friday, it is facing another crisis. Princess Caroline’s third husband, Prince Ernst of Hanover, went into a coma from an acute pancreatic infection last week on the day before Prince Rainier’s death. He is in intensive care at Monaco’s Princess Grace hospital, where he regained consciousness Tuesday and, although his condition is still grave, his doctors say it is improving. This, plus the official three-month mourning period for Prince Rainier, throws into question whether Caroline, whose other title is the Royal Highness the Princess of Hanover, will be able to fulfill her role as the honorary chairman of the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute Gala on May 2, which is on her official schedule. She was asked to be honorary chairman over a year ago by Karl Lagerfeld, one of the gala’s co-chairmen along with Nicole Kidman and Anna Wintour. Lagerfeld, a great friend of Caroline’s and the Grimaldi family, is still expected at the gala, but current events may alter the timing of his arrival here.
The exhibit, “Chanel,” will examine the history of the famous house with period examples juxtaposed with the works of Lagerfeld, who revitalized the house in 1983. The gala will feature designs and accessories not only from the museum’s collection, but from the Chanel archives and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The evening is made possible by Chanel with additional support provided by Condé Nast.
This story first appeared in the April 13, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Designer David Monn will set the mood for the French-themed gala, which will be attended by 500 guests at dinner and 400 additional fashionistas at the dance afterward.
When he lived in a big town house in the East Seventies, that perfect example of a Southern gentleman, Lawrence Lovett (known to his friends as Larry), was one of the great hosts and philanthropists of New York City. He was somebody who gave legendary musicales in his salon with all the stars of the Metropolitan Opera trilling away. Twenty-five years ago, his main interest became preserving the crumbling monuments and art of Venice. He moved to an even grander palace on the Grand Canal and became a leading host of that city, particularly for every American celebrity who passed through. Rumor has it that he fed so many people that his exhausted cook had a breakdown and fled back to Abyssinia.
This June, the Venetians are celebrating Larry with a gala week to benefit Venetian Heritage, of which he is the chairman. The plan is for everybody to meet in Genoa, where the once-fabulously rich aristocracy built great palazzi overlooking the Mediterranean. You can take it from me that lots of Venetian palaces are bungalows compared to what this group will see, plus dozens of masterpieces by Van Dyck, Rubens and Rembrandt, commissioned by patrician families such as the Dorias and Cattaneos. Members of this family are all set to wine and dine Larry and his many friends. While the Venetians were bringing back silks and spices from the Orient, these Genoese were discovering the New World.
The group will then drive up to Venice, visiting dozens of other palaces along the way, where they will dance the night away in the glorious Renaissance rooms of the Cini Foundations on the Isola San Giorgio; listen to lectures by Prince Michael of Greece and Norman Rosenthal, the director of London’s Royal Academy; enjoy a private visit to Venice’s Bienale; go to a magnificent, specially organized concert at the just rebuilt Venice Theatre, and more and more and more.
Larry simply adores royals and they adore him back. They have all read Henry James, too, and recognize a grandee when they see one, even if he comes from the New World. So those who pay $5,000 for being in this terribly “in” group will share spaghetti with Prince and Princess Pierre d’Arenberg, the Infanta Elena of Spain and her husband, the Duke of Lugo, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, a gaggle of Rothschilds, a couple of dukes, and lots of American tycoons who cough up dollars, devalued or otherwise, to restore the city.
Elizabeth Jagger is talking with Playboy about doing a photo spread for $400,000, if you please. Although it supposedly is a tasteful set of nude photos, daddy Mick Jagger is not amused. You will remember that Mick didn’t want his daughter to quit school for the catwalk in the first place, let alone to pose with not a thing on.
Brooke Shields is going to London’s West End where she will be playing Roxie Hart in “Chicago.” There she will do eight shows a week and “basically eat one meal a day. You dance for three and a half hours and you go to bed hungry.” But in spite of the grueling schedule and the fact that she is approaching 40, Brooke is happy. She thinks aging brings security and self-confidence and believes completely that her best work is yet to come. Can you imagine Pretty Baby ready to turn 40? Where in the whole wide world does the time go?
Have you heard that CeCe Cord the luxury accessories designer held a hoedown at Bergdorf Goodman last week? You probably have because everyone was asked to come in jeans for the launch of her new collection of crocodile, ostrich, leather and linen handbags. CeCe poured her endless legs into her horse-riding jeans worn with a black Lanvin top and a fitted jacket by Chloe. Jamee Gregory wore her red, white and blue tweed jacket and Cari Modine wore a straw cowboy hat. Also popping by were Libet Johnson, Cynthia Phipps, Lauren Veronis, Patty Raynes, Annie Churchill and CeCe’s daughter Elisabeth Kieselstein-Cord in a pink and white flowered spring dress. CeCe’s yorkie, Tiger, arrived in a celadon green crocodile carrying bag and a matching harness accompanied by her hairdresser and nanny. Catch me, I’m falling. The party benefited the Animal Medical Center, which saved Tiger’s life after she took a dramatic fall while CeCe was out selling her wares.