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Tea Time With Grace Kelly

By Corinne Lawton Klemmer Allaire

Throughout their 90-year history, the world-famous Rockettes have shared the stage—and unforgettable adventures—with many other world-famous personalities. They have appeared at such iconic events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Super Bowl and on TV shows like America’s Got Talent and Night of 100 Stars. The Rockettes are now taking a moment to reflect on their favorite stardust memories.

Corinne Lawton Klemmer Allaire as a Rockette

During rehearsals for Night of 100 Stars (1982), the Rockettes had the opportunity to sit in the audience as the other performers prepared for the show. There was a gorgeous blonde sitting behind me who looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. We wore name tags, but that wasn’t too helpful, because hers was flipped around.

While in the middle of watching people rehearse, the mysterious blonde tapped me on the shoulder and asked me questions about Radio City Music Hall. A woman who was with her came by and asked—in French—if she would like a cup of tea. She politely declined, but later got up and helped herself where refreshments were being served.

Princess Grace of Monaco
In the 1950s, Princess Grace of Monaco starred in movies such as Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief (Photo Credit: George Rose | Getty Images)

After some time had passed, I chatted with her again and noticed her nametag had flipped around, and that’s when I realized whom I had been talking with: Princess Grace!

I couldn’t believe it! I had been sitting there striking up conversation with an actual princess.

Princess Grace, aka Grace Kelly, was an American actress who, after marrying Prince Rainier III, became the Princess of Monaco. And what a nice person she was! I was very impressed that she was sitting there talking to me while most of the “stars” there were being waited on by their assistants. But she wasn’t like that.

Princess Grace was a down-to-earth, very beautiful woman and I was so happy to have the opportunity to meet her.

Corinne Lawton Klemmer Allaire was a Rockette from 1976 to 1983. She currently resides in Stratford, New Hampshire.