In 1955 Grace Kelly joined the United States Delegation Committee at the Cannes Film Festival in France. On May 6th during her stay there, she was invited to a photoshoot with Prince Rainier III of Monaco. He arrived late for their rendezvous but once he was there, he took Grace on a tour in the gardens of his Palace. She was in a hurry as she had a cocktail party to attend and so their “date” didn’t seem to last too long. However, when she returned back to America, Grace and Rainier kept in touch and in December he visited her in the at her family’s hose. After spending only 3 days together, he made a marriage proposal.
Marrying into the royal family was anything, but easy. Her family had to pay Prince Rainier III a dowry of $2 million and in addition to this, she was obligated to undergo a fertility test, proving that she could supply him with an heir. Giving up her American citizenship was one of the requirements, too.
Less than a year later, in 1956 the couple got married, causing the attention of international media from all over the world. Over 30 million people watched the royal wedding. Her wedding dress was designed by Helene Rose and it took 6 weeks to make. She and Prince Rainier III were chased by thousands of photographers on that day. It was her daughter, Princess Caroline, who would later share in an interview that both her parents hated the wedding and never again wanted to see photos from the event. Grace herself stated:
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“It was kind of nightmarish.”
Once married to the Prince of Monaco, Grace had to cancel her acting career. The last movie that she appeared in was High Society (1956). It was filmed shortly before her actual marriage and so in it she wore her 10.5 carat diamond ring. Grace’s movies were banned in Monaco. Her husband believed that they would hurt the image of the country.
Grace took over her new role as the Princess of Monaco and actively participated in charitable organizations. She founded two of her own, AMADE Mondiale and Princess Grace Foundation. Her main aim was to support art and culture. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco shared three children together: Caroline von Hannover, Albert II, Prince of Monaco and Stéphanie von Monaco.
In 1962 Alfred Hitchcock asked Grace to take the lead role in his upcoming movie, Marnie. According to those close to her, she considered a return to acting but was influenced by the public opinion in Monaco so eventually Grace declined the offer.
On 13 September 1982 Grace Kelly and her daughter, Princess Stephanie, were involved in a car accident in the Côte d’Azur region of southern France. It was later reported that Grace must have suffered a stroke which resulted in her losing control of the vehicle. Her daughter was injured but recovered. Grace was rushed to a hospital and spent 24 hours in coma, the following day her life support was taken off. Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco died at 52 years old.
Grace Kelly was a movie icon, an Academy Award winner and Princess of Monaco. In 1993 she was the first American actress to be included on a postage stamp and in 2007 Monaco celebrated the 25th year of her death by minting a coin featuring her.
A&E Biography – Grace Kelly: Hollywood Princess (2002)
The incredible story behind the first meeting of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier. HelloMonaco.Com. Published on 13 February, 2020.
Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Grace Kelly”, Oxford, UK – http://www.biographyonline.net. Published 15 August 2014. Last updated 1 February 2018.
Biography.com Editors. Grace Kelly Biography – The Biography.com website. Publisher:A&E Television Networks. Published April 2, 2014. Last updated March 2, 2020.
Kelly, Alyssa. Grace Kelly’s Secret Moments – CR Fashion Book website.
Published November 12, 2019.
Donald Spoto. High Society: Grace Kelly and Hollywood. Publisher: Arrow.