The tale of the American movie star and Philadelphia native marrying the prince of a small, sensationally wealthy city-state was simply too perfect to ignore and for months leading up to the event, from the time of the couple’s engagement until the two ceremonies (civil and religious) that formalized their union, the Hollywood princess and the real-life prince were hardly ever out of the news. Getty Images On April 19, 1956, American actress Grace Kelly walked down the aisle to marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco in what was dubbed "the … In addition to these men, he had four spiritual advisors. Charlotte and Pierre’s marriage was an unhappy one. Grace Kelly packing for her trip to Monaco, March 1956. “Princess Grace” by Sarah Bradford She was becoming a princess officially by her marriage to Monaco’s Prince Rainier, who holds 139 other titles and is absolute ruler of a 370-acre realm with 20,000 subjects. MGM, in exchange for releasing Grace from her contract, was permitted to film both events for broadcast on television and the silver screen. He was the only son of Monegasque Princess Charlotte and her husband Prince Pierre, Count de Polignac. Monaco 1885 Prince Charles III, MH, VF (Scott #8) $58.50. The nuptials were held in two parts: a civil ceremony followed by an intimate religious ceremony. On the day before Prince Rainier’s twenty-first birthday, Princess Charlotte renounced her claim to the throne of Monaco in favor of her son. At eleven o’clock, Monsieur Marcel Portanier, President of the State Council of Monaco began the ceremony by asking Prince Rainier if he had permission to proceed. The days were spent visiting with friends and family and making last-minute preparations. Monseigneur Paul Marella, the Apostolic Nuncio of Paris, represented Pope Pius XII and carried blessings from the Pontiff. . She was bestowed with the royal title on her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco at the age of 26; the prince was 32 at the time. For the religious ceremony on April 19, 1956, Grace asked six American friends and one of her sisters to attend her. Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco during their wedding, 20th century. Grace Kelly leaves a Hollywood studio lot for last time before her marriage, 1956. Sources: For the civil ceremony that took place on April 18, 1956, Grace and Rainier had five official witnesses. When Grace Kelly left America for Monaco, she had four enormous steamer trunks and fifty-six other pieces of luggage holding not only her beautiful new clothes but a few well-worn sweatshirts and pairs of jeans, too. The Prince had also asked his cousin, Count Charles de Polignac, Lieutenant Colonel Ardant, and John (Kell) Kelly to stand for him at the religious ceremony. Representatives of dozens of nations and royal families were in attendance, including Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones representing the British royal family, Conrad Hilton who represented President Eisenhower, and Francois Mitterrand, then Minister of Justice, representing France. Home » Wedding to Prince Rainier III. She accessorized the dress with matching Cuban heeled shoes, a pleated chiffon turban adorned with flowers, and white gloves. Ralph Morse The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. The three petticoats beneath were so well made that the designer admitted they could have been worn separately as evening dresses. shipping: + $0.55 shipping . For her arrival, she had chosen a navy blue coatdress and a broad-brimmed white hat. Related The groom, Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, was the sovereign Prince of the Principality of Monaco. Bush. Grace Kelly and her poodle, Oliver, 1956. Each of the other layers held scenes from Monaco’s history crafted gently into the sides, and between the fourth and fifth layers, the Monegasque crest was duplicated in red and white spun sugar. Grace’s father, known as Jack, had won three gold medals in rowing in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. Scion of one of Europe's oldest extant monarchies, Prince Rainier III (born 1923) became the thirty-first ruler of Monaco in 1949. Prince Rainier III of Monaco He was born Prince Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi on May 31, 1923, at the Prince’s Palace in Monaco. Louis Ducruet, grandson of the late Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III of Monaco, and his bride Marie Chevallier studied business administration at WCU from 2013-15, … The boy first studied in England and Switzerland, then moved to Montpellier. Ending Nov 21 at 8:48AM PST 6d 15h. Since much of both Grace and Rainier’s lives were in the public eye, a private courtship was something of a task, especially considering the distance between the United States and Monaco. $2.62 shipping. Prince Rainier III in the childhood. Last on the list were sable, mink and leopard skin coats. ... Grace Kelly Prince Rainier 1956 100f Monaco Wedding Stamp Block S# C46 MNH. Wedding ceremony of Prince Rainier III of Monaco to Grace Kelly, April 1956. “The Bridesmaids: Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, and Six Intimate Friends” by Judith Balaban Quine Prince Rainier III and Her Serene Highness, Princess Gracia Patricia of Monaco, April 19, 1956. $50,000 worth of jewels swiped from the wife of a pal of Grace’s father . Their children are: The Prince, however, seemed overwhelmed by her appearance. 1956: Prince Rainier marries Grace Kelly Prince Rainier III of Monaco has married the American film actress Grace Kelly. Grace Kelly was a well-known film actress before her marriage. Princess Grace and Prince Rainier wedding photo (Getty) The 26-year-old also said he felt a duty to his country and to marry in Monaco, instead of the bride's hometown of Nice, France. Besides Grace, the Kellys had three other children: Margaret Katherine, known as Peggy, born on June 13, 1925; John Brendan, Jr., known as Kell, born on May 24, 1927, and Elizabeth Anne, known as Lizanne, born June 25, 1933. He was the second child, and only son, of Princess Charlotte of Monaco , illegitimate and adopted daughter of Prince Louis II of Monaco , and Count Pierre de Polignac . Grace’s friends and family were fond of word games, cards, and charades and all these were played with great gusto. The Choir School of the Cathedral sang Bach’s “Uxor Tua” and Purcell’s “Alleluia”. When she went to California, Rainier went with her for a short time. Princess Grace and Prince Rainier before Pope John XXIII at … In the film, Grace plays a young woman engaged to be married. . Churchill and the Duchess of Westminster were invited guests who also provided insights on the pageantry to the British press. There were 66 members of the party, plus the Weimaraner puppy Grace received as a wedding gift and her pampered poodle, Oliver. Ex-King Farouk of Egypt and Randolph Churchill, personal friends of the Prince’s, were present. The wedding was watched by over 30 million viewers on live television, broadcast by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. The Prince wore a morning coat, gray trousers, white waistcoat, and gray silk tie. The top held two cherubs standing upon clouds of filigreed icing, with a replica of the crown of Monaco suspended above their heads. With her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco, Grace Kelly will not only become the Princess of Monaco, but will also acquire a multitude of other royal titles matching those of her husband. You can search for royalty-related items - or anything else - by using this link. The exclusive store made suits, several gowns, numerous street dresses, and an entire wardrobe of sports clothes especially for her. The civil ceremony took place on April 18, 1956, in the Throne Room of the palace. Smiling in a brisk March wind and surrounded by photographers and fans, Grace Kelly poses just off of Fifth Avenue in New York, 1956. The wedding presents ranged from the fabulous to the foolish. The wedding of Prince Rainier, Prince of Monaco, and Grace Kelly took place on 18 and 19 April 1956 at the Prince's Palace of Monaco. The day before the wedding an ordinance changed Pierre’s surname to Grimaldi and his coat of arms to those of the princely house. Free shipping for many products! Prince Louis had no legitimate children and to prevent a cousin from succeeding to the Monegasque throne, in 1911 a law was passed recognizing Charlotte as his daughter and as a member of the princely family. Grace Kelly takes a momentary breather while packing her things before the wedding, 1956. Wedding of Rainier III Prince of Monaco to Princess Grace on April 19 1956 in Monaco. Howard Sochurek The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. More than 3,000 guests attended the first reception. Rainier wore a dress uniform he had designed himself, which included a black tunic with gold leaves on the cuffs, sky blue trousers with a gold stripe down the side, and a dark blue tricorn hat with a white ostrich plume. Grace began shopping for her trousseau at Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Tragically, Princess Grace died on September 14, 1982, from injuries received in an automobile accident. Scion of one of Europe's oldest extant monarchies, Prince Rainier III (born 1923) became the thirty-first ruler of Monaco in 1949. She boarded the U.S.S. For the civil ceremony, Grace wore a two-piece dress of light pink taffeta overlaid with champagne lace. The Principality of Monaco, probably the smallest sovereign state in all the world, is home to 4,000 Monegasques and 16,000 other foreign nationals. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier arrive at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, the day after announcing their engagement, January 1956. The voyage lasted eight days. Before Harry and Meghan, before William and Kate, before Charles and Di, before Liz and Dick (I and II), before any of the “storybook” weddings of the past several decades, there was the fairytale wedding of the last century: the April 1956 nuptials of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Their daughter, Judy Kanter, was one of Grace’s bridesmaids. In the years since he has maintained the tiny Mediterranean principality as a prosperous slice of a bygone era, attractive to the rich and idle for its sunshine, lavish casino, and absence of income tax. Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace on their wedding day on April 19, 1956 in Monaco. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier in Monaco, the day before their wedding, April 1956. In addition, Ms. Rose used 25 yards of silk peau de soie, 25 yards of silk taffeta, and approximately 100 yards of silk tulle. The gentlemen witnesses wore dark suits, and the ladies wore tea-length dresses and hats. Throughout the palpitant anxieties which are the lot of every bride, Miss Kelly was everything the enthusiastic Monegasques could have wished. Grace’s close friend from Hollywood, Rupert Allen, sat with Ava Gardner, whom Grace had befriended when they worked on “Mogambo”. As with many weddings, there were a few small glitches. The luncheon buffet included caviar, smoked salmon, shrimp, ham, salami, soup, cheese, jellied eggs, salmon with cucumber salad, cold lobster, and chicken, accompanied by champagne. Here, LIFE.com presents photos many of which never ran in LIFE magazine from the moment the couple announced their engagement in January 1956 until they were married three and a half months later in Monaco. The former was a famous American actress while the latter was the Prince of Monaco. One of the most famous royal love stories is that of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III. The ceremonies in Monaco were on 18 April 1956 (civil) and 19 April 1956 (religious). Allan Grant The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. Following the religious ceremony on April 19, 1956, Grace and Rainier sailed into the sunset aboard the royal yacht, Deo Juvante. Gilles Barthe, administers the nuptial benediction at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, April 1956. [After the first she assumed the title] Her Serene Highness, Princess Gracia Patricia of Monaco. The wedding had … Conversely, Hollywood columnist Dorothy Kilgallen was a reporter first and a guest second. Grace’s wedding gown for the religious ceremony was a gift from MGM. Early on the morning of April 12, Prince Rainier boarded his yacht, the Deo Juvante, and set out into the Bay of Hercules. Grace and her party boarded the ship at New York’s Pier 84 on April 4, 1956. The Monaco wedding on April 18, 1956, was one of the most visually beautiful weddings the world had seen. Among her films are: High Noon with Gary Cooper, Mogambo with Clark Gable, three Alfred Hitchcock films: Dial M for Murder with Ray Milland, Rear Window with James Stewart, and To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant, The Country Girl with Bing Crosby and William Holden for which Grace won an Academy Award for Best Actress, and her last film High Society with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier wed, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco, April 19, 1956. After both Grace and Rainier had quietly answered “Yes” to the vows posed to them, Monseigneur Paul Marella, representative of Pope Pius XII, gave a blessing from the Pope and the ceremony was complete. Barney Balaban, a founder of Paramount Pictures, and his wife made the trip from America. Grace’s mother Margaret, a former fashion model, had studied physical education at Temple University in Philadelphia and was the first woman to be head of the Physical Education Department at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The nearly 320 yards of lace used for the bodice and train was antique and had been purchased from a museum for an estimated $2,500. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for 1956 Wedding of Prince Rainier III & Grace Kelly at the best online prices at eBay! LIFE With Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier: Photos From the ‘Wedding of the Century’. Prince Rainier III of Monaco. After Rainier answered, “Oui,” Monsieur Portanier read the Articles of the Civil Code detailing the rights and obligations of the pair, followed by the vows, and a list of the Prince’s 142 official titles. Actress Gloria Swanson also attended along with MGM publicist Morgan Hudgins and Mr. and Mrs. David Niven. Aristotle Onassis, who had showered Monaco with flowers when Grace arrived, was also there for the religious ceremony accompanied by his wife, Tina. They did not get very far at first. During filming, the ring from Prince Rainier arrived, and Grace was astounded to find it remarkably similar to the paste ring she’d been wearing. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier show her engagement ring to her mother and father at the Kelly home in Philadelphia, 1956. Fireworks light up the sky above Monaco in celebration of the wedding of Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly, April 1956. They separated on March 20, 1930, and were divorced by the ordinance of Prince Louis II on February 18, 1933. Travel back in time with treasured photos and stories, sent right to your inbox, The Family Life of a Young George H.W. Seamstresses work on Grace Kelly’s wedding dress and veil, conceived by MGM’s wardrobe designer, Helen Rose, Hollywood, Calif., 1956. He won a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics. The tunic was graced with medals representing the Prince’s links with Italian and French military history, and across his chest hung the red and white sash representing the Order of St. Charles.
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