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Love etc

The steamy side of Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly at the Oscars ceremony in 1954. Bettmann/Getty Images

Before she was Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly was a serial romantic. “She looked like a cold dish with a man until you got her pants down,” said Kelly’s co-star and former flame Gary Cooper. “Then she’d explode.” That’s an ungallant way of putting it, says Ed Potton in The Times, but Kelly was not nearly as demure as she seemed to be.

Throughout her Hollywood career, she had affairs with several of her co-stars – there was Cooper in High Noon, Ray Milland in Dial M for Murder, Clark Gable in Mogambo and Bing Crosby in The Country Girl. The night Kelly won an Oscar for The Country Girl, Crosby supposedly went to her hotel room, only to find her in bed with Marlon Brando. To make matters worse, Brando had just beaten Crosby for the best actor prize. “Fisticuffs” ensued.

“I think she just liked sex,” says the playwright Bonnie Greer in a new documentary, Grace Kelly: The Missing Millions. When asked about her relationship with Gable, Kelly quipped: “What else is there to do if you’re alone in a tent in Africa with Clark Gable?”

Unfortunately, she began to acquire “a reputation as a husband stealer”, says Potton, which “fuelled her desire to get married and wipe her reputation clean”. Thirty million people watched her tie the knot with Prince Rainier III, and their high-profile marriage revitalised Monaco. But the fairy tale “loses [its] twinkle” when you learn Kelly had to pay a $2m dowry. It nearly bankrupted her – when she died in a car crash in 1982, she only had $10,000 and a dilapidated cottage in Ireland to her name.

Turns out marrying a prince wasn’t very romantic, financial expert Gemma Godfrey explains in the documentary. As well as forking out for the dowry, Kelly was forced to give up her acting career. These days royals have more freedom. Take Meghan and Harry’s Netflix deal – “that would be something that Grace Kelly would have loved”.

Grace Kelly: The Missing Millions is on My5. Watch a clip here.

The eyes really do have it

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Now everyone wears face masks, eye contact is the only form of flirting left, says Iman Hariri-Kia in Bustle. It’s so rampant I have a name for it: “the eye f***”. Recently a man in a face mask and a beanie sat opposite me on the train, so all I could see was his “green eyes”. When our gazes locked, I experienced “an involuntary sensation so intense that the year-long unshaven hairs all over my body stood up straight in anticipation”. Such is “the immense power of the eye f***”.

There’s science behind it, too. Eye contact establishes social and sexual connections, which boost levels of oxytocin – “also known as the love hormone”. It’s so powerful, it even works on Zoom calls; no wonder eye contact has become the go-to Covid flirting tactic.

I won’t miss a lot about the pandemic, but “I will miss the simplicity and purity of a good, meaningless eye f***”. Of all the romantic encounters, it is the most fleeting and inconsequential – and that’s what makes it wonderful. “The risks are minimal, but the rewards are high.”