“He turned to me suddenly and asked ‘Is that a Givenchy you’re wearing?’ explained Grace Kelly in her divine mid-Atlantic English accent. “And I said, ‘why how clever of you, Mr. President. However did you know?”
Of course, said president was John F. Kennedy — because when Jackie O is your better half, an astute understanding of fashion comes with the territory.
“Oh, I’m getting pretty good at it now that fashion is becoming more important than politics and the press is paying more attention to Jackie’s clothes than to my speeches,” added Kennedy (we’re sure President Obama would share this sentiment).
Kelly revealed her witty repartee with Kennedy during an interview with Paul Gallico recorded on June 19, 1965, over a year after the president had been assassinated. The discussion has been resurrected by the “Blank on Blank” series, created by David Gerlach, which brings previously unheard tape recorder interviews to life with charming illustration by Patrick Smith.
In the five-minute short, the Princess of Monaco waxes poetic about Kennedy as a youthful, dynamic reflection of his era and shares her favorite encounters with the Kennedys. Among the tales is the time Jackie and her sister convinced Kelly to dress up as the new night nurse to surprise JFK in the hospital — this, before she had even met him. Of course, he recognized her instantly.
The video also has us wishing we were a fly on the wall for White House luncheon given by the Kennedys for Kelly and her husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Kelly explains that she and Jackie got close when talking about the struggles of raising a family in the spotlight over soft shell crab, spring lamb, and Strawberries Romanoffs.
In addition to intimate anecdotes about Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy, the excerpt proves that while Kelly was a timeless beauty, she was also a forward-thinking royal.
Watch Grace Kelly on JFK, below: