Born in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania in 1929 Grace Patricia Kelly went from a career in Hollywood to becoming a Royal Princess in five short years. She made 11 feature films in her short career. One of these, ‘To Catch a Thief’ (1955) co-starring Cary Grant, was filmed in the Riviera and includes some memorable scenes with Grace driving at high speed along mountain roads and through La Turbie above the Mediterranean.
In May of the same year she headed the US delegation at the Cannes Film Festival. Whilst staying in Cannes she accepted an invitation to meet Prince Rainier in his Palace at Monaco . The couple married on April 18 1956 and guests included near neighbour David Niven and numerous other celebrities. The royal couple had three children: Caroline, Albert and Stéphanie which secured the permanence of the Principality. It could have reverted to France had there been no heir to the throne.
No doubt much to the regret of her many fans, Grace gave up her acting career after her marriage. Moreover, she devoted herself to her children and her charities although she did occasional poetry readings and narrations.
Ironically, Grace Kelly’s death in 1982, when her car left the mountain road near La Turbie above Monaco, echoed the drive she took all those years before in ‘To catch a Thief’. However, this time there was no happy ending. Princess Stéphanie, who accompanied her, survived the crash.
Prince Rainier died in 2005 and his son Albert succeeded him.
Above all, you can admire a fine bronze statue of Grace in the Princess Grace Rose Garden at Fontvieille Park in Monaco.