My Days with Princess Grace of Monaco

Grace Kelly, as a child born in the late 80s, is just a vague celebrity. Everyone knows who she is–that gorgeous blonde actress who really did meet and marry her Prince Charming. I know she was tragically killed before her time. Really though…that’s about it.

My Days with Princess Grace of Monaco is a very sweet and sentimental description of the “Happily Ever After” days of Princess Grace’s life. In other words, what came after the wedding. Joan Dale’s memoir is filled with letters and tales of parties, clothes, and child-rearing. There are no scandals here, although there is some heartbreak. Dale desperately wants you to know the good woman Grace Kelly was, the hidden side, that the cameras did not see.

One thing that struck me about this book is the modesty that Joan Dale had. In every letter back to her parents, even after years of friendship and familiarity, she just keeps saying, “Well, they sure must like us if they keep having us around!” This is so different from what would be expected now. She was always grateful for the royal attention and friendship, and never took it for granted.

I did get a little bored halfway through…but I am not a mother, so the childrearing phase of life did nothing for me. Also, the organization of the book frustrated me some. Joan and Martin’s letters were published as a whole, but “G&R’s” letters were just bits and pieces thrown in a paragraph. I would think it would be the other way around–that Joan would have actually had their letters kept? Maybe she wasn’t allowed to publish them. It just bothered my organizational sense. If you’re going to print a whole letter, don’t skimp on the reply!

It was interesting to read about Princess Grace’s life from a dear friend of hers. I would have liked to read more about the romance…but Joan had not known her then. Maybe I’ll have to look that up!

 

Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from NetGalley in return for review.

Huntsman, What Quarry?

I was raised on Disney princesses in the 90s. The ballgowns, princes, and you better believe I have every single song memorized. (Of course the villains were always my favorite…but I was a rebel. I mean, come on, can you get a better song than Be Prepared?)

There’s been a movement in the more recent years not to raise girls on princesses. And I get it–we don’t want our little girls to be reliant on a man, to believe in being whisked off our feet and that’s all it takes to be Happy Ever After. Because that’s not real life. That’s why Frozen is so popular, because the men aren’t the reason for strength. Sure there is a handsome prince, but he’s the villain in the end (spoiler alert…but come on…who HASN’T seen Frozen BY NOW), and even Kristoff doesn’t get true love’s kiss. Ugh. My love for Disney hurt after that one.

I got a kick out of this poem because Millay just GOT IT. She spat all over Happily Ever After. Men are just way too distracted creatures for all that.

Huntsman, What Quarry?

“Huntsman, what quarry
On the dry hill
Do your hounds harry?
When the red oak is bare
And the white oak still
Rattles its leaves
In the cold air:
What fox runs there?”
“Girl, gathering acorns
In the cold autumn,
I hunt the hot pads
That ever run before,
I hunt the pointed mask
That makes no reply,
I hunt the red brush
Of remembered joy.”
“To tame or to destroy?”
“To destroy.”
“Huntsman, hard by
In a wood of grey beeches
Whose leave are on the ground,
Is a house with a fire;
You can see the smoke from here.
There’s supper and a soft bed
And not a soul around.
Come with me there;
Bide there with me;
And let the fox run free.”
The horse that he rode on
Reached down its neck,
Blew upon the acorns,
Nuzzled them aside;
The sun was near setting;
He thought, “Shall I heed her?”
He thought, “Shall I take her
For a one-night’s bride?”
He smelled the sweet smoke,
He looked the lady over;
Her hand was on his knee;
But like a flame from cover
The red fox broke–
And “Hoick! Hoick!”cried he.
–Edna St. Vincent Millay