The plan to Rescue Monaco

It’s tough to imagine, looking at Monaco now, that this magnificent cliff-side city that opulent casinos and grand hotels was teetering ~ above the edge of financial damage in the 1950s, and also held precious tiny influence or renown on the human being stage. As one of the smallest countries in Europe, world War II little an ext than a te past, the nation had little land and only its famous casino in it’s one vivid city, Monte Carlo, to count on because that refilling its coffers.

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Grace Kelly in To catch a Thief, 1955, pointing at monaco, where she would certainly later become princess

Enter shipping magnate and also superyacht owner Aristotle Onassis, who bought up a most real heritage in Monaco and control that the failing Monegasque bank. He motivated Prince Rainier III to marry an American actress to carry star power to shine on the Principality. The an ext famous, the better. “The ideal bride can do because that Monaco’s tourism what the coronation of Queen Elizabeth walk for good Britain,” Rainier was told through Onassis, a partner in the syndicate the owned a casino in Monaco.

Had background gone a various way, Rainier could have romantically pursued one more famous Hollywood blonde: Marilyn Monroe.According toVogue, Rainier’s girlfriend (and future 2nd husband the Jacqueline Kennedy) Aristotle Onassis argued the playboy prince pursue Monroe. When Monroe reportedly had actually no attention in the prince romantically,Vogueimplies she can have still pursued the connection for the status it would have afforded her.

Grace Kelly: Her path to Princess
Grace Kelly (center), as a teens in Pennsylvania through her siblings

At that time, grace Kelly was already an symbol and global sensation. She to be an American girl whose father had actually been born come poor, Irish-Catholic, immigrant parents, their house a cramped tenement row house on the banks of the Schuylkill flow in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father, Jack Kelly, endured the vicissitudes the his childhood to come to be a affluent businessman and also three-time Olympic gold medalist in rowing. Her mommy was likewise the first coach of any type of female teams at the college of Pennsylvania, and also scheduled several of the very first collegiate athletic games for women. Their earliest son and also Kelly’s brother, Jack, also went top top to success multiple Olympic medals because that rowing.

One of grace Kelly’s first professional photos

Grace, being among the many beautiful ladies in the world, left early on for brand-new York and a modeling career. After ~ high school, elegant left residence for new York to to visit the American Academy the Dramatic Arts. If there, she began a partnership with one of her teachers. However, once she brought him residence to accomplish her parents, they were less than thrilled by the idea and forced she to finish the whole affair. Her family members saw acting together a job of low moral value. She father, in particular, had actually very an adverse opinions of Grace’s decision to seek an entertainment career full-time.

One of her father’s brothers, Walter Kelly, came to be a popular vaudeville star, earning a tidy fortune, yet he died penniless in a flophouse. One more of his brothers, George Kelly, to be a famous playwright who had won a Pulitzer for “Craig’s Wife” in 1926. Nonetheless, that was basically banished through his generation of the family because he to be gay. George was Grace’s favorite uncle, and also she would frequently stay through him when she first began she career in California.

Hollywood quickly took note and also she was on her method to a growing film career. In 1954 she won the Oscar for best Actress forThe nation Girl.She made simply 11 movies in her brief 5-year career together an actress, and was frequently romantically attached to her famed co-stars. “I had been through numerous unhappy romances,” she is report to have actually said. “Although i had become a star, ns was emotion lost and also confused. I didn’t desire to drift into my 30s without knowing where ns was going in my personal life.”

Grace Kelly in new York CityThe Train drive That readjusted Everything

In the spring of 1955, some of the greatest names in cinema history were boarding an overnight train from Paris come Cannes to attend the Cannes movie Festival, an yearly tradition since 1946. Two-time Oscar winner andGone v the WindactressOlivia de Havillandwas ~ above the luxury Le Train bleu from Gare du Lyon with her newlywed husband, Pierre Galante, one editor atParis Matchmagazine when they found out the Kelly was likewise on board.

During the journey, Nice-born Galante believed maybeParis Matchshould arrange a meeting between Kelly and the Prince. End dinner on the train, the posed the idea come his editor in chef Gaston Bonheur — and immediately everyone prospered enthusiastic about the possibility. “It to be an idea that struck for the an initial time while dining ~ above the train after that learned elegant Kelly was a fellow passenger,” OliviatoldPeople.

Olivia to be tasked v tracking Kelly down on the train drive — and finally discovered her “on the tiny platform between the dining car and the next carriage as soon as I overtook she to asking if she would agree come a meeting through Prince Rainier,” she toldPeople. “Grace win me top top the very first encounter together a rather reserved, self-possessed, well lugged up young woman.”

Olivia de Havilland and also Grace Kelly, on best Pierre Galante. Come at Cannes station 1955The Almost-Disasterous Photo-Op

And so it was that display screen goddessGrace Kellyagreed to a meeting with the Prince at the palace during the 1955Cannes movie Festival, wherein they posed for photos in a carefully contrived ‘meet-cute’ in former of a lion cage in the royal residence grounds (see all the photos here).

That day to be a comedy of errors, from a strength outage at her hotel that prevented her fromstyling her freshly-washed hair to a boy trafficaccident as soon as a car full the photographers fight the automobile she to be riding in, come Prince Rainier not even being there as soon as she arrived for your 3pm meeting. She conduct to tourism the palace and, as soon as he proved up and offered her a tour, told the she had actually alreadyhadthe tour, give thanks to you.

So Rainier request if she’d like to check out his exclusive zoo. A photographer from Paris Match trailed dutifully behind them as they to walk the grounds the the palace, i beg your pardon dates back to the 12th century and also was captured by the Grimaldis in 1297. ~ that, Grace to be driven ago to Cannes, and also that evening, as soon as she observed Rainier again at a cocktail reception,instead of offering her hand for a handshake, Graceextended she hand as if offering it to it is in kissed.

THE very first MEETING in between THE PRINCE RAINIER that MONACO and also GRACE KELLY in ~ THE PALAIS DE MONACO ON might 6, 1955.The Engagement

The starlet was not automatically love-struck. But the Prince began writing she letters and also it was v this correspondence, the gradually, she started to autumn for the Prince’s charms. Not long after, he went to Grace’s childhood home in Philadelphia over the Christmas holidays. Her sister, Lizanne Kelly DeVine, remembers the the couple spent their time “walking in the woods, driving through the mountains, and also talking around life and values – they fell in love”.

“Everything was perfect,” Grace said of your time in Philadelphia. “When ns was v him, i was happy wherever we were, and I was happy with every little thing we were doing.” before the finish of the trip, Rainier proposed and also Grace accepted. Their engagement was announced top top January 5th 1956.

Ranier III and Grace Kelly at her family’s home in pennsylvania

The newly-engaged couple held a press conference in she family’s home and the actress showed off she engagement ring because that the very first time—but that wasn’t the ring you most likely think it is. A lesser-known detail of their engagement is the Rainier gave her aneternity bandthat was collection with rubies and diamonds. The ring, designed by Cartier, was reportedly produced using stones from family heirlooms and also the colors were intended as an homage to Monaco’s flag (red and white).

According to Grace’s girlfriend Judith Balaban Quine, the actress remained in a state of charm after security time v Prince Ranier. “He was her prince on a white charger and he was going to rescue her from every this. He can not possibly have known that what that was acquisition her from to be what made she the very person the loved. She did not recognize it either.”

The Ex-Fiancée

Grace Kelly broke off her engagement come fashion designer Oleg Cassini since of Prince Rainier. “One that the factors I believe you’re marrying this guy is due to the fact that this is the finest script that you ever before received in your life. You will be a star for years to come,” the jilted Oleg Cassini famously called her. Yet Oleg would certainly never have been a perfect husband, as he to be a very jealous man, together is evident in this letter the Grace sent out to that in 1954, which mentions exactly how he felt threatened by her co-star and also friend, bing Crosby:


“You have upset me so the I could die,” she write dramatically. “I simply don’t know your attitude.” She compares his behaviour come a “schoolboy”, stating that a group dinner through friends is nothing come feel jealous about. “I have no attention in anyone yet you, yet this i shouldn’t need to explain,” she says adding that she has couple of friends in Hollywood therefore shouldn’t be expected to finish her friendship through Bing Crosby. Kelly does additionally admit the Bing was in love v her, “but there space many human being that that feels that method about”.

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After they had actually fallen in love, Oleg enlisted Joe Kennedy, that had come to be a friend, to aid persuade she to marry him. Instead of aiding his friend, however, Joe moved in himself and also told her, in front of Oleg, “I recognize this donkey. He’s a pretty an excellent boy, however you’d it is in making a disastrous mistake to marry him.” the story never failed to joy John F. Kennedy, who likewise became a an excellent friend.

Grace Kelly and also Oleg Cassini

“I created the elegant Kelly look,” he wrote in his biography. “She dressed like a schoolteacher. I put her in elegant, subdued dresses.” although he absolutely gave himself far too much credit, helping to produce Grace’s enduring format wasn’t enough to win over Grace’s parents. “Do you establish if my mother hadn’t been so an overwhelming about Oleg Cassini, I more than likely would have actually married him?”she later said. “How countless wonderful duties I could have played by now? How can my life had actually turned out? that one decision changed my entire future.”