Monday, November 18, 2013

World Tour Revisited: Chaplin attends the Ice Carnival benefit at the Grosvenor House in London, November 18th, 1931

The benefit was arranged by the Duchess of Sutherland to aid the Royal Northern Hospital.



L-R: Lady Milbanke, CC, the Prince of Wales, & the Duchess of Sutherland. Some say this photo shows that the Prince was not happy about being seated next to a screen comedian, but in reality, the two had already met (their initial meeting taking place in Biarritz a couple of months before). The Prince took "a great fancy" to Charlie & even invited him to Fort Belvedere, his country home.


The Grosvenor House had an ice rink and Chaplin took a spin on it, but not on skates: "He noticed a small boy dressed to imitate his screen make-up and proceeded to chase him. Eventually they met, and the comedian carefully rearranged the famous bowler hat at the correct angle and then altered the position of the moustache, to the delight of his small imitator." 1 (The Duchess of Sutherland is on the right)



Chaplin poses with his imitator and another young performer.

One final thought: there's still no sign of May Reeves, whom Charlie has not seen since he left Paris for London in the middle of September. Instead of accompanying him to England, she thought their relationship could use a "breather" and chose to visit her parents in Austria (according to Gerith Von Ulm's book, and supposedly as per Kono, Chaplin had become annoyed by May's presence and wanted Kono to make sure she stayed behind in Paris). Although we know that she eventually rejoins him since she mentions Chaplin showing her around London in her memoir and she accompanies him to Switzerland in December.
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1 Daily Mail, November 20th, 1931

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