Princess Grace and Prince Rainier arrive at The White House, 1961.
On May 24, 1961, Prince Rainer III de Grimaldi and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco were welcomed at a luncheon held in their honor by President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy at The White House. This was slightly unusual, for normally protocol dictated that visiting dignitaries were given a dinner in their honor, as opposed to the much less formal luncheon. However, it was rumored that Jackie worried Grace would pull out the crown jewels and out-show her if such a dinner was given. Nevertheless, the event was still highly regarded.
Prince Rainier and Princess Grace with President and First Lady Kennedy.
In addition to the Prince and Princess, and the President and First Lady, also in attendance were Mr. and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. and U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, Claiborne de Borda Pell and his wife, Nuala O'Donnell Pell (who recently passed away a few weeks ago). The Pells summered with Kennedys in Newport, Rhode Island, where, coincidentally, Grace Kelly had lived when she starred in the movie "High Society", which was filmed there. The menu of the luncheon was as thus:
White House Luncheon for Price Rainier and Princess Grace
May 24, 1961
Soft Shell Crab Amandine
Spring Lamb a la Broche aux Primeurs
Chateau Corton Grancey 1955
Dom Perignon 1952
Petite Four Secs
The seating chart of the White House luncheon.
The menu of the White House luncheon.
In a latter interview she gave about the President after his death, Grace mentions she kept the menu to the luncheon, as she said she never gets rid of anything. The luncheon was the first official visit to the White House from Monaco.
To see additional photographs taken of the event, please click HERE.
To see more about Grace Kelly's JFK interview, please click HERE.