Princess Grace Kelly (1929-1982)
Hollywood actress and Princess of Monaco ~
In April 1956, American actress Grace Kelly married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and became known as Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco.
Grace Kelly filmed To Catch a Thief in 1955, set in the countryside above Monaco. In May of that year, she returned to France as a US delegate at the Cannes Film Festival, and was invited to participate in a photo session at the Palace of Monaco with Prince Rainier III.
Upon returning to the United States, the following year she began working on The Swan, in which she coincidentally portrayed a princess. Meanwhile, she was privately beginning correspondence with Rainier. At years' end, Rainier came to America on a trip officially designated as a tour, although it was speculated that he was actively seeking a wife. A 1918 treaty with France stated that if Rainier did not produce an heir, Monaco would revert to France. At a press conference in the US, Rainier was asked if he was pursuing a wife, to which he answered, No. A second question was posed, asking, If you were pursuing a wife, what kind would you like? Rainier smiled and answered, I don't know the best. Rainier met Kelly and her family, and after three days, the prince proposed. Grace accepted, her family agreed to provide a $2MM dowry to the prince and preparations for what the press called "The Wedding of the Century" began.
The marriage took place at the Monaco Cathedral, where she and the Prince are now buried together. Grace eventually gave up her film career, due in part to disapproval from the citizens of Monaco. The couple had three children: Princess Caroline, Prince Albert II, and Princess Stephanie. Grace retained her roots, and duel US and Monegasque citizenships. She died in 1982, at the age of 52, in an automobile accident along the Moyenne Corniche; her daughter Stephanie, who was in the car with her, survived the accident.
To Catch a Thief (1955) ~ her third and last film with Alfred Hitchcock ~ with co-star Cary Grant, and the Principality of Monaco in the background
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