On November 12, 1969, Princess Grace of Monaco celebrated her 40th birthday. And for the occasion she had organized a most original evening.
On the invitation card, under “SAS la Princesse Grace de Monaco”, she had written “Grande Scorpionne”. On November 12, 1969, it was in reference to her zodiac sign that the wife of Prince Rainier III received at the Hôtel Hermitage in Monaco for a most original evening. On this day when she celebrated her 40e birthday, the former Hollywood actress had indeed chosen to organize a “Ball of the Scorpions”.
A read : Royal Readings – Unforgettable Grace of Monaco from the pen of Jean des Cars
Reporter on this event in his biography “Unforgettable Grace of Monaco” – published in 1999 and republished in this summer of 2022, for the 40th anniversary of his death, by the Editions du Rocher -, Jean des Cars says that scorpions like her were invited, but that their spouses, other signs, were “tolerated”. And to quote, among the personalities “Scorpions” presents that evening the Swedish actress Hjördis Genberg -wife of David Niven-, the actor and singer François Jean-Claude Pascal, the American producer of “Lawrence of Arabia” Sam Speigel, or the British actor Richard Burton came with his wife Elizabeth Taylor who wore, for the first time in public, the sumptuous 70-carat diamond he had just given her.
The Monegasque palace had been specially redecorated for the occasion by the decorator and theater costume designer André Levasseur, at the request of the wife of the sovereign of the Rock. Portraits of famous Scorpions had been brought back, as well as mirrors where the invited scorpions could “see each other and compare their aspect with that of the illustrious disappeared”, explains the author.
Grace wore a black Balenciaga dress adorned with scorpion brooches
The journalist and historian of crowned heads also indicates that Princess Grace had fun imagining a horoscope of the year for scorpions on the invitation card. With a lot of humor and reference to this ball. Jean des Cars adds that he followed this practical advice in particular: ““nests for a scorpion occupation” are planned at the Hôtel de Paris where, moreover, brunch will take place by the swimming pool “, the next day. The dress code for the “Scorpion ladies” was also stipulated. They were asked to wear exclusively their zodiacal colors which are red, black or white. The mother of Princesses Caroline and Stephanie and Prince Albert appeared for her part in a black Balenciaga dress, adorned on the shoulders with a black rose and brooches depicting scorpions.