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>> Princess Grace: Another side of him I remember...
well he turned to me suddenly and asked: "Is that a Givenchy you're wearing?"
And I said, "Why how clever of you, Mr. President! However did you know?"
"Oh," he replied, "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.
>> [Music: France Gall "Pense a Moi"]
>> Paul Gallico: Was this the first time that you had met the President?
>> Princess Grace: Well actually, no. The first time was before he became President,
during that year that he was in the hospital in New York with his back.
I had been to a dinner party where I had met
Mrs. Kennedy and her sister [Lee Bouvier Kennedy] for the first time.
They asked me to go to the hospital with them
to pay a visit to help cheer him up.
They wanted me to go into his room and say I was the new night nurse.
>> Paul Gallico: Did you?
>> Princess Grace: Well I hesitated. I was terribly embarrassed.
Eventually I was sort of pushed into the room by the two girls.
I introduced myself, but he had recognized me at once
and couldn't have been sweeter or more quick to put me at ease.
>> Paul Gallico: When today you think of the late President Kennedy [John F. Kennedy],
what is it that comes to your mind most vividly—or, shall we say, to your heart?
>> Princess Grace: His youth. He was one of my own generation,
so that for the first time in my life I became deeply involved,
spiritually, and sympathetically, with the presidency—the office as well as the man.
I felt personally involved.
>> Paul Gallico: Speaking as an American?
>> Princess Grace: Oh, yes, as a born American
but also as the wife of the head of an independent European country.
We felt somehow that at last the United States had a leader who,
from the point of view of age, appearance, and dynamic personality,
genuinely reflected his era.
My husband often remarked what a pity
it was that a great country like America,
which in Europe is still regarded as such a young nation,
should be represented seemingly only by old or infirmed men.
>> [Music: Julius Hemphill Sextet "The Hard Blues"]
Princess Grace: From the moment he became President,
it seemed as though a wave of excitement ran through
all of the young painters, poets, writers and musicians of the United States.
Now that someone of their own age was in the White House,
there was somehow a better chance for them to be seen or heard.
>> [Music: "The Hard Blues" continues]
>> Princess Grace: I remember the luncheon
that we were privileged to have at the White House.
I kept the menu. I'm one of those people who keep everything.
We had soft-shelled crabs and spring lamb and strawberries Romanov.
Mrs. Kennedy and I fell into woman talk
with a discussion of our children of course—our two Carolines
[Caroline Bouvier Kennedy; Princess Caroline]—and our special problems
connected with bringing them up. I remember Jacqueline was very upset
about that time at the photographers who were hounding the children.
She was determined that Caroline and John [John F. Kennedy, Jr.]
should be able to get in and out of the White House
without being pestered by photographers
or being made constantly aware of their position.
>> [Music: -Advent Chamber Orchestra "Concerto for 2 Oboes in Fmajor Op9 no3 Allegro"]
>> Paul Gallico: Do you feel that his life—and death,
will have any lasting effect upon international relationships?
>> Princess Grace: Are you asking me whether
I think that President Kennedy died in vain?
>> Paul Gallico: In a sense, yes.
>> Princess Grace: Well, it might not seem so today, but I, for one,
cannot believe that a man of Mr. Kennedy's stature and achievements
was put upon this earth for no other purpose than to stop an assassin's bullet.
I believe that God allows these certain tragedies to happen
in order to emphasize the man and his achievements
and to inspire those who follow to have the strength
and the will to accomplish his unfulfilled dreams.
>> [MUSIC: XPURM "BRPLE"]