Princess Grace: from Hollywood to Monaco throne

Grace Kelly Family

On 12th November 1929, John and Margaret Kelly had their third child – Grace Patricia. At that time, John’s business was on the up.

Grace spent her childhood surrounded by her siblings. The family had four children. Peggy, the eldest, was father’s favourite. John Jr., the only son, was supposed to take over his father’s business.

Elizabeth (nicknamed Lizanne) received all the parental love, as she was the youngest child. Grace had always stayed in the background and seemed to be a shy girl.

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts

Little Grace did not share her parents’ passion for sports. She preferred playing dolls.

But who could have guessed that this fragile, clumsy girl would go on to become a Hollywood icon and decide the fate of the tiny European Principality along with her husband Prince Rainier III.

When it turned out that the camera loved her, Grace started to appear in every commercial: from soap to vacuum cleaners. Soon she had signed her first big contract with the tobacco brand “Old Gold”. Every advertising block brought her about 2,000 dollars (40,000 dollars today).

First meeting with Prince Rainier III

During her trip, she was supposed to meet Prince Rainier III. On the appointed day, the unexpected strike of electrical workers spoilt all her plans.

In 1952 Kelly received a co-starring role with Gary Cooper in “High Noon”. The film was a success in the United States and won four Academy awards. After “High Noon” Kelly starred in “Mogambo” (1953), “Dial M for Murder” (1954), “Rear Window” (1954), “Green Fire” (1954) and “The Country Girl” (1954). The latter brought Kelly her first Academy Award win. And there she was, heading to the Cannes Film Festival with the American delegation.

Wedding & a new role of Grace

19th April 1956. Monaco. The St Nicholas Cathedral was packed with high-ranking guests and celebrities.

Despite the fears of the skeptics, the marriage of Prince Rainier III and the former Hollywood star enhanced the economic position of Monaco. Tourists from all over the world were flocking to the European micro-state.

Moreover, attracted by favourable taxation, businessmen from different countries moved their companies to Monaco. The economy of the Principality was flourishing as never before.

Grace took her new role very seriously,

carrying out her obligations and making a positive public image for Monaco.

Now she had to look after her three wonderful children and the small state hidden between France and Italy. She dedicated herself to charity work and the Monaco Red Cross Foundation activity and left her acting career for good.

The final curtain

13th September 1982. On her way back home from Mont Agel, Princess Grace had a stroke. Her Rolls-Royce drove off the road and fell down a cliff.

The Princess was taken to hospital with multiple fractures. As her condition worsened overnight, the Princely family took the difficult decision to turn off her life-support system.

Watch Next