Byline: Aileen Mehle

The big news today, just one day late for Valentine’s Day, is the engagement of Alexandra Miller, the youngest of three stunning daughters of billionaire duty-free shops tycoon Robert Miller and his chic wife, Chantal, to Alexander von Furstenberg, the son of Prince Egon von Furstenberg of the Agnelli clan and Diane Von Furstenberg, the fashion designer. Alex and Alex — that’s what their friends call them — have been sweethearts for several years, but the engagement is brand new. He proposed over the weekend at his mother’s country house in Connecticut, and lovely Alexandra sweetly said yes. Both families are very happy indeed, and why not?
The wedding will probably take place in Venice, but not all that soon. First comes the big wedding in London on July 1 of Alexandra’s sister, Marie Chantal, to Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece. Sister Pia is already married to Christopher Getty. Three out of three ain’t bad.

The fine British actor John Hurt has two films coming up, “Wild Bill” with Jeff Bridges and Ellen Barkin and “Rob Roy” with Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange. His career may be blooming, but not his private life. Hurt’s more than hurt now that his wife Jo has admitted having an affair with the gardener. Oy, when you think of what goes on in those hedge rows.
As for Liam Neeson, he will next co-star with Meryl Streep in “Before and After,” but before that, his wife, Natasha Richardson, will present him with a bouncing baby…And after that, they’ll be working together again on an adaptation of Emile Zola’s “Thérèse Raquin,” very meaty fare.

Gianni Versace is coming to our town to live — at least some of the time. He just bought a townhouse on East 64th Street and will move in around Christmas. And, no, he’s not hiring a decorator, but is doing it himself. For him, it’s the only way, really. Meanwhile, Roman Polanski took his beautiful young wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, to Versace’s Paris show and picked up a whole bunch of outfits. Maybe not enough for a down payment on 5 East 64th, but every little bit helps.

It’s reported that the new buttons for staffers at Prince Rainier’s palace in Monaco bear the letter “A” as in Albert rather than “R” as in Rainier. Naturally, this fuels the rumor that R will abdicate in favor of A. But, unless you’re a masochist, don’t hold your breath.

Maybe the fact that he’s regarded as a super sex symbol after his success in “Queen Margot” will console Vincent Perez over his split from older, but beautiful, actress Jacqueline Bisset. As for Jackie, her new beau is Turkish-born martial arts master Emin Boztepe, who’s considerably more Generation X, since he’s 16 years younger than she is. Which, if you ask a lot of women, is just about right.

All those rumors flying about Princess Di’s becoming a New Yorker are so much piffle, of course. But in June, the Princess of Wales will probably be in Washington. Not to live, but to attend the big wedding of Beatriz de Lima and banker Mounzer Nasr. Beatriz is the youngest daughter of Diana’s chum, Lucia Flecha de Lima, the wife of the Brazilian ambassador in D.C. — but you knew that. (Hello? Hello?)

The premiere of “The Quick and the Dead,” Sharon Stone’s gunfighter flick, brought out your usual Hollywood audience, half of them duded up in western gear — cowboy jeans, dirtkicker boots, 10 gallon hats and rawhide jackets and, yuck, chewing tobacco. And those were just the girls. Here in New York, designer Dimitri is already on top of the game. His new line, Revival, is based on the strong sensual influence conveyed by Stone in the movie. Forget the long johns she’s pictured wearing on the cover of the current Esquire. It’s hard for even Sharon to make long johns sexy. Even with a trap door.

Canyon Ranch, fat farm to the rich and famous, is known for playing host to Hollywood types. Among those seen slimming down this week were pals Mike Myers and Christian Slater. Mike was his usual jovial self running around with his wife having fun in the sun. Slater, on the other hand, was seen wearing his sunglasses everywhere, even indoors. Maybe that Arizona sun gets really, really bright at 8 p.m.

Yes, Al Pacino and Lyndall Hobbs have called an end to their long, tumultuous love affair, and he has made her a settlement, but the two of them are having a little trouble actually breaking the tie that binds. They were at a Los Angeles theater together last week. This happened after Annie Praeger, who has stuck with Al through thick and thin, left him in L.A. and returned to New York. It could happen to you.

Over 400 guests gathered at the Plaza for the Red Ball honoring Diandra and Michael Douglas and Sale and Robert Wood Johnson. The chairman of the evening was Marty Richards, and the party benefited the Mary Lea Johnson Richards Institute at New York University, named for his late wife. Many dressed in red and gold in keeping with the evening’s theme, “Romance,” and there were red roses and Cupid pedestals on every table. The Glenn Miller orchestra played, and Leslie Gore performed admirably. Princess Yasmin Aga Khan was one of the best-looking women in the room — so what else is new?

The CFDA Awards must have made an impact on Randolph Hearst’s daughters (there are five, incidentally: three in New York, two in the West), as three of them now have modeling plans set for the spring. Patricia Hearst Shaw is off to Paris later this month for a fitting at Thierry Mugler’s. When that gent asked her to be in his show, she said oui. Sister Anne Hearst took her daughter Amanda to a recent Yves Saint Laurent show (where sales raised a tidy bundle for the Henry Street Settlement House). It was Amanda’s 11th birthday, and she was busy checking out the superstars on the catwalk for clues on how to strut her stuff for Zang Toi’s upcoming spring show of his fall wares. Anne and sister Victoria Hearst have also agreed to appear in Zang’s luncheon show to be held at Gauguin in the Plaza.

Is Ethel Kennedy considering putting her McLean, Va., estate on the market? That’s the word from Palm Beach, where Ethel and her daughter Courtney (accompanied by her Irish husband, Paul Hill) were the only Kennedys attending the memorial service for Rose Kennedy. Ethel has always liked Palm Beach, and her friends are urging her to buy a smallish house there if ever Hickory Hill is sold. Courtney and Paul, whose experience as one of a group accused in an IRA bombing was the basis for the film “In the Name of the Father,” are now apartment hunting in New York.

At the Water Club, some friends of Ted Danson were saying that President Clinton, Hillary and Chelsea will be visiting Martha’s Vineyard this summer as guests of Ted and his sweetie, Mary Steenburgen. Ted and Mary have acquired a modest $1 million cottage in Chilmark and are having the premises prettified. It’s already a given Ted and Mary will invite the First Family, longtime friends, to be their First Guests.