Prince de Galles – Paris, France (bilingual English / French)
Paris - Prince de Galles — The Art in Parisian Art Deco.
What a night.
Think Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’.
See Paris, 1929.
2 August, to be precise.
Hear cheers, laughter, Champagne corks popping.
The orchestra played. Charleston. Jazz. Swing.
Citroën and Peugeots pulled up at the front door, one Cadillac V16 and two Rolls Royces. A flapper parked her yellow little Renault right in front of the entrance. The door swung open. A young lady in a straight-cut and loose-fitting dress, dropping the waistline to the hips, arms bare, metres of pearls swung around her neck, got out, leaving the car-door open and walking inside. Skirts just below the knee. Heels, a scandalous 8cm high. T-straps shoes, bobbed hair, excessive make-up. Lighting a cigarette at the doorstep.
The crowd at the bar enjoyed every minute, the party was ‘so jake‘. Paris welcomed its latest hotel baby.
‘Did you see? They have more bathrooms than bedrooms!’
‘And there are fish in the pond, in the courtyard!’
‘It’s called Patio, Darling! That’s Spanish.’
‘Spanish for fish?’
‘You know, there is that rumour that the Prince of Wales personally asked Millon, the owner, to build him a modern elegant hotel.’
‘Is he here, tonight?’
‘His coat of arms is all over the place.’
Prince de Galles
A Hotel in Paris
Un hôtel à Paris
Essay by Andreas Augustin
Including over 200 pictures of an extraordinary exhibition at the Hotel Prince de Galles Paris
Ce livre ressemble au catalogue d’une extraordinaire exposition imaginaire
Paris, Gare Saint-Lazare, November 1926. The 35mm Zeiss Ikon film camera of ‘Pathé News’ whirred on its tripod. Rigid and immobile, it recorded emotionlessly as the train pulled in. The locomotive came to a halt, puffing and steaming, three meters before the buffer. Windows were lowered, suitcases and bags handed out. The people on the platform pushed towards the train as the doors opened.
The Prince of Wales appeared in the doorframe. Waving at the crowd, he clutched the brass rail and stepped out of the carriage. A young woman had slipped past the officials who had gathered to welcome him. As the Prince started to greet them, she strutted forward and – what can we say – hugged him and boldly planted a kiss on his cheek. The Prince took it sportingly. He smiled. The young lady was escorted away. The Prince started walking towards the exit of the station. Now, a representative of the British embassy, escorted by a plain-clothes policeman, stopped him.
There is a little disturbance in front of the station,’ he explained. ‘Let us take the side exit.’
In front of the station, indeed, a welcome delegation of a different kind had gathered. Fists and feet flew among the cursing and spitting. Flics tried to separate a crowd of reporters in front of the station. A photographer swung his Agfa on its strap over his head and slammed it down on another. Another representative of the press used his wooden tripod as a shield. Cameras tumbled cracking on the street. Civilian hats and police uniform caps were scattered indiscriminately all over the trottoir. Two men were taken to the hospital with lacerations. It was a bitter fight – a Battle Royale, as a journalist later described it.
All this just to get a photograph of the Prince of Wales.
Prince de Galles general manager Gerald Krischek shows Andreas Augustin the art deco patio mosaics.
Among the many helpful people who assisted in compiling this book were, in alphabetical order:
Emilie Aubin — Marine Bacchetta — Bruno Borrione — Nicolas Delahaye — Brice Delclos — Sylvie Ducloux — Peter Greenberg — Eric Guérin — Patrick Hellmann — Fanny Katsouki — Yves de Kerihuel — Gerald R. Krischek-Cruypelans — Eric Laignel — Paulo Lastra — Cédric Maupoint — Jan K. Nielsen — Sarah Norodom — Nicolas Paccielo — Sophie Pouilly — Stéphanie le Quellec — Leon Reinartz — Marc Siraga — Laurence Songvilay — Marie-Liesse Thery — Florian Thireau — Felix Tioman — Jaqueline Tourcelier — Isabelle Vigneron
Production Assistant | Social Media Fairy: Lisa Augustin
Translation Le Prince de Galles Un hôtel à Paris: Cecile Balbous
Editors: Tom O’Brien — Ralf Bernhart — Carola Augustin
Any form of storage using electronic media or distribution via a network is prohibited. Any reproduction of excerpts from this work without the explicit written consent of The Most Famous Hotels in the World™ will be prosecuted.
© 2019 Andreas Augustin / The Most Famous Hotels in the World™
e-mail: [email protected] — www.famoushotels.org