Fresh turn off her ideal actress Oscar success in 1955, the movie star hopped on a train in France, which caused a meeting v the imperial that veered her life in a new direction.

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Long prior to Prince take care of wed Meghan Markle, there was another lavish fairy tales wedding between a european royal and an American actress… once Prince Rainier III of Monaco married grace Kelly in 1956.

Both to be seemingly at the top of their worlds before they met: He had stepped as much as assume the throne on might 9, 1949, at the age of 26, after his grand died and also she had actually just snagged the best actress Academy Award for the 1954 music drama The country Girl. Yet then a opportunity encounter ~ above a French train spiraled into an introduction between the unlikely pair — and also eventually led to one that the highest-profile romances that a generation.

Olivia de Havilland's husband had the idea to arrange a meeting in between Kelly and Rainier

In the feather of 1955, few of the best names in cinema history were boarding one overnight train indigenous Paris come Cannes to to visit the Cannes film Festival, an annual tradition since 1946. Two-time Oscar winner and also Gone v the Wind actress Olivia de Havilland to be on the deluxe Le Train smoke from Gare du Lyon with her newlywed husband, Pierre Galante, one editor at Paris Match magazine once they uncovered out that Kelly was also on board.

During the journey, Nice-born Galante thought possibly Paris Match have to arrange a meeting in between Kelly and the prince. End dinner, that posed the idea to his editor in chief Gaston Bonheur — and immediately everyone prospered enthusiastic about the possibility. “It was an idea that struck because that the first time when dining ~ above the train after the learned elegant Kelly was a other passenger,” de Havilland said People.

De Havilland to be tasked v tracking Kelly down on the train ride — and also finally uncovered her "on the small platform in between the dining car and the following carriage as soon as I overtook she to ask if she would certainly agree to a meeting with Prince Rainier,” she said People. “Grace to win me on the an initial encounter as a quite reserved, self-possessed, well carried up young woman.”

The two actresses’ conversation must have actually gone well because Kelly was game — but additionally gave it s her a potential out. “She automatically agreed however made the highly skilled proviso that such a meeting must first be authorized of by the studio sponsoring she visit come Cannes: MGM,” de Havilland said.

That stipulation could have to be a hurdle since at the time Kelly’s relationship with she studio was tense due to the fact that she had actually refused to make a film v Robert Taylor. Yet de Havilland was just glad her other actress didn’t shut down the idea immediately.


Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III at the Monte Carlo Ball

Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

A series of regrettably events practically derailed Kelly and also the prince's an initial meeting

When the train arrived in Cannes ~ above Thursday, Galante started making the suitable arrangements and set up a 4 p.m. Conference at Rainier’s royal residence the really next day. Once the info was passed follow me to Kelly, she declined the invite. ~ all, this was a job-related trip because that her and she had actually an duty to show up at a cocktail occasion for she film The nation Girl at 5:30 p.m., according to People.

But Galante wasn’t giving up so quickly and also managed to relocate the meeting up to 3 p.m. — an hour’s difference that made all the difference in the world. Kelly agreed come the meeting.

As shortly as Kelly stepped out of the shower head the morning of your meeting, things went wrong. She found that the city had actually no electricity since of a job strike — and also her hair was dripping wet and also she didn’t have actually her clothing ironed, according to People.

But she acquired creative: She tied her hair back, dressed the up v flowers and also put on an “Easy come Sew” silk floral taffeta that she had actually worn formerly for McCall’s Pattern, but didn’t require ironing. Through the elevators out, she ran under the stairs and met Galante. The course, photographers followed.

But much more bad luck followed, together well. They got into a minor vehicle accident, supposedly with photographers who were adhering to them. The delay caused castle to miss out on the prince, therefore instead, Kelly was provided a tour of the 225-room palace without him.

Thankfully, Rainier arrived before Kelly had actually to leave and decided to provide her a tourism of his very own private zoo. The two walked front of your entourages, chatting through one one more in his garden when Paris Match documented the meeting in photographs.

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Kelly had actually to rush back to Cannes because that the occasion that de Havilland was additionally at. “I guessed things had actually gone wonderfully well by Grace’s manner upon returning from her presentation come Rainier,” she called People. “She was in a state the enchantment.”

Rumors circulated that despite being involved to one more man, Kelly was pressure to get married the royal

At the time Kelly to be reportedly involved to fashion designer Oleg Cassini, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While both Rainier and Kelly were already under such a microscope due to the fact that of your public personalities, small is recognized of what happened straight after that meeting, though countless theories filled gossip columns.

But actions started to speak louder than words, as the New York Times noted: “He saw Philadelphia to spend a Christmas holiday v her family. She visited Monte Carlo to visit that in his 200-room pink palazzo.”

While some have reported the Kelly’s heart was still v Cassini and that familial press made her choose royalty, Kelly it s her stepped the end for a push conference in she hometown that Philadelphia prior to flying come Monaco for her wedding.

“I think just taking the action of marital relationship is enough to give a girl a little of a twinge and also certainly leaving residence to carry out it, well, it’s a really moving thing,” she said reporters. “I don’t know how to define it.” as soon as asked exactly how her French language an abilities were (the language spoken in Monaco), she replied, “Comme ci, comme ça,” meaning “so so.”

Kelly and Rainier had an epic two-day wedding

The wedding of Hollywood’s darling and also the prince the Europe’s longest-ruling family took ar over two days: a 15-minute civil ceremony in the palace Throne Room ~ above April 18, 1956 (followed through a 25-minute recitation the 140 new titles the Kelly currently held) and a religious ceremony the following day, in i beg your pardon she wore two custom gowns gifted to her by MGM by designer Helen Rose, according to People.