$1.25 shipping. The religious ceremony took place the following day. Among the more practical was a Rolls-Royce, among the less useful a gold and bone hatchet. Tragically, Princess Grace died on September 14, 1982, from injuries received in an automobile accident. Grace’s father, known as Jack, had won three gold medals in rowing in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. The back of the gown was a marvel, the silk skirt dividing in such a way that the antique lace and tulle seemed to flow from the waist into a long, graceful train. 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. The exclusive store made suits, several gowns, numerous street dresses, and an entire wardrobe of sports clothes especially for her. 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. Rainier, Grace and their three children; Photo source: The Telegraph, All content copyright Unofficial Royalty 2018. During the two-day celebration held across the 18th and 19th April 1956, the couple were to begin a marriage heralded by many Americans as a fairy tale. 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. Monaco’s Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly at time of the announcement of their engagement, January 1956. He was the only son of Monegasque Princess Charlotte and her husband Prince Pierre, Count de Polignac. Grace’s friends and family were fond of word games, cards, and charades and all these were played with great gusto. In addition to their son Rainier, the couple had a daughter Antoinette Louise Alberte Suzanne who was born December 28, 1920. Monseigneur Paul Marella, the Apostolic Nuncio of Paris, represented Pope Pius XII and carried blessings from the Pontiff. Bush. On Saturday, the religious wedding at Monaco Cathedral was attended by more than 200 guests. The civil ceremony took place on April 18, 1956, in the Throne Room of the palace. She accessorized the dress with matching Cuban heeled shoes, a pleated chiffon turban adorned with flowers, and white gloves. $8,000 in gems lifted from the hotel room of one of the bridesmaids. Throughout the palpitant anxieties which are the lot of every bride, Miss Kelly was everything the enthusiastic Monegasques could have wished. For the first reception, following the civil ceremony, the courtyard of Monaco’s pink palace was opened and approximately 3,000 Monegasques sipped champagne and ate cake along with the members of the wedding party and other family members. 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. 1956: Prince Rainier marries Grace Kelly Prince Rainier III of Monaco has married the American film actress Grace Kelly. Constitution with her family, her bridal party, their families, and assorted friends for the voyage. by Susan Flantzer Prince Rainier III of Monaco married Grace Kelly on April 18, 1956, in a civil ceremony in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace in Monaco-Ville, Monaco and in a religious ceremony on April 19, 1956, at St. Nicholas' Cathedral in Monaco-Ville, Monaco. 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. Given the diverse backgrounds of the bride and groom, the guest list for their wedding ceremonies was equally unusual. Unfortunately, the media was overly anxious to get a few words and a few photos. Because seating space was limited, attendees had to juggle not only their plates and glasses, but also gloves, programs, hats, handbags, or anything else they had been carrying. . “Princess Grace” by Sarah Bradford For the civil ceremony, Grace wore a two-piece dress of light pink taffeta overlaid with champagne lace. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. At 10:30 a.m., Grace and her attendants arrived at the church which was filled with white lilacs and lilies of the valley. Seamstresses work on Grace Kelly’s wedding dress and veil, conceived by MGM’s wardrobe designer, Helen Rose, Hollywood, Calif., 1956. “Grace: The Secret Lives of a Princess” by James Spada. The marriage was met with mass attention from the public, described as the "wedding of the century" and the In the film, Grace plays a young woman engaged to be married. CREATIVE. On the de Polignac side of his family, Pierre was a descendant of Yolande de Polastron, Duchesse de Polignac, a favorite of Queen Marie Antoinette of France, and Gabrielle de Rochechouart de Mortemart, older sister of Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, better known as Madame de Montespan, the most celebrated mistress of King Louis XIV of France. Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco during their wedding, 20th century. Charlotte and Pierre’s marriage was an unhappy one. YouTube: Wedding of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly Prince… Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier show her engagement ring to her mother and father at the Kelly home in Philadelphia, 1956. The wedding presents ranged from the fabulous to the foolish. Ralph Morse The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. Grace Kelly (left) and one of her two sisters (either Peggy or Lizanne), New York City, 1956. LIFE With Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier: Photos From the ‘Wedding of the Century’. Travel back in time with treasured photos and stories, sent right to your inbox, The Family Life of a Young George H.W. After meeting the Prince in Monaco during the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1955, Grace corresponded quietly with Rainier until he made a trip to the United States in December of that year. Find the perfect Prince Rainier Iii Of Monaco stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. Monaco 1950 3 Prince Rainier III Stamps Royalty Cover KKM82803. One of the most famous royal love stories is that of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III. Pierre had been made a citizen of Monaco the month before the wedding. 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. Once the yacht had left the Bay of Hercules, Rainier and the crew gave in to Grace’s obvious illness and anchored the ship for the night to allow her a chance to adjust. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco, April 1956. Ex-King Farouk of Egypt and Randolph Churchill, personal friends of the Prince’s, were present. Howard Sochurek The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. Grace Kelly leaves a Hollywood studio lot for last time before her marriage, 1956. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier arrive at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, the day after announcing their engagement, January 1956. Grace Kelly with her mother, Margaret Majer Kelly, before leaving New York for Monaco in March 1956. The ceremonies in Monaco were on 18 April 1956 (civil) and 19 April 1956 (religious). Home » Wedding to Prince Rainier III. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier in Monaco, the day before their wedding, April 1956. Gilles Barthe, administers the nuptial benediction at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, April 1956. At the age of 26, the Oscar winning actress Grace Kelly became Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III. He also told her he was having a ring created especially for her. 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. Free shipping for many products! In an issue published a few weeks after the wedding, LIFE framed the singular phenomenon for the magazine’s millions of readers: Largely ignored throughout its long history, the pint-sized principality of Monaco last week enjoyed a beautiful modern recognition. Kelly’s dress required 25 yards of silk taffeta, 100 yards of silk net, 125-year-old rose-point lace bought from a museum, and thousands of tiny pearls. They did not get very far at first. Allan Grant The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. 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. Five years later, upon the death of his grandfather, Prince Louis II on May 9, 1949, Rainier became Rainier III, Sovereign Prince of Monaco. The whole country of Monaco held its breath… and was terribly disappointed when they actually saw Grace. Lisa Larsen The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. Wedding ceremony of Prince Rainier III of Monaco to Grace Kelly, April 1956. Conversely, Hollywood columnist Dorothy Kilgallen was a reporter first and a guest second. The second wedding reception, following the religious ceremony, was much more elaborate and limited to the 600 guests who attended the service. Prince Rainier III of Monaco and US actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly are seen during their wedding lunch in Monaco on April 19, 1956. Scion of one of Europe's oldest extant monarchies, Prince Rainier III (born 1923) became the thirty-first ruler of Monaco in 1949. The first level was decorated with three-dimensional replicas of Monaco’s pink palace carved from sugar. As Grace’s party waited on deck, they could hear bands on the shore and on nearby boats playing American tunes and every window in Monte Carlo appeared to be open and filled with people. shipping: + $0.55 shipping . The days were spent visiting with friends and family and making last-minute preparations. His parents were Count Pierre de Polignac and Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Duchess of Valentinois. Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly ascend the steps of Monaco Palace. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier kneel during Mass at their religious wedding, April 1956. 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. Before filming ended in February, Rainier returned to Monaco, and Grace began throwing herself actively into wedding plans and closing her New York apartment. 0 bids. Charlotte was, in effect, her father’s heiress presumptive. 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. Their children are: The top held two cherubs standing upon clouds of filigreed icing, with a replica of the crown of Monaco suspended above their heads. Actress Gloria Swanson also attended along with MGM publicist Morgan Hudgins and Mr. and Mrs. David Niven. Each was decorated with tiny blue bows, “something blue”. At approximately 9:45, the Constitution dropped anchor in the Bay, and the Prince’s yacht moved forward to meet it. After that, the couple spent several weeks cruising the Riviera, the coast of Spain where they met and spent time with friends, and Corsica, where days were spent lounging on sun-drenched beaches. They separated on March 20, 1930, and were divorced by the ordinance of Prince Louis II on February 18, 1933. 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. Their daughter, Judy Kanter, was one of Grace’s bridesmaids. 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! Because air travel was not, in 1956, what it is today, Grace Kelly traveled to her wedding in Monaco by ship. Other items such as stockings were purchased in New York, in addition to a number of everyday dresses and shoes. The future ruler of Monaco attended the School of Political Sciences in Paris. 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. The three petticoats beneath were so well made that the designer admitted they could have been worn separately as evening dresses. 3777 Getty Images This marks the second time this year … As with so many royals, the Prince and Princess used Rainier’s ceremonial sword to cut the cake which was then packaged in white faille boxes decorated with white and gold rope and the intertwined initials “R” and “G”, tied with a golden cord, and distributed amongst the guests. Unfortunately, it proved to be a bit more than seasickness, and Grace spent the first week of her honeymoon with the flu. Grace began shopping for her trousseau at Neiman Marcus in Dallas. In addition to these men, he had four spiritual advisors. When she went to California, Rainier went with her for a short time. Storyline. April 19, 1956, 63 years ago, the legendary wedding of Prince Monaco Rainier III and the 27-year-old American actress Grace Kelly took place. 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. Prince Rainier III in the childhood. Fireworks light up the sky above Monaco in celebration of the wedding of Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly, April 1956. Prince Rainier III and Her Serene Highness, Princess Gracia Patricia of Monaco, April 19, 1956. Wedding of Rainier III Prince of Monaco to Princess Grace on April 19 1956 in Monaco. $1.00. Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After a year-long courtship described as containing "a good deal of rational appraisal on both sides" (The Times, 7 April 2005, page 59), Prince Rainier married Oscar-winning American actress Grace Kelly (1929–1982) in 1956. Grace Kelly prays before her wedding to Prince Rainier III, April 1956. Select from premium Prince Rainier Iii Of Monaco of the highest quality. Scion of one of Europe's oldest extant monarchies, Prince Rainier III (born 1923) became the thirty-first ruler of Monaco in 1949. Thomas D. McAvoy The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. The Prince, however, seemed overwhelmed by her appearance. Each evening there was a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a party. 0 bids. Prince Rainier III of Monaco. One of them, Father Tucker, a priest from the United States, acted as “stage director” for Grace’s non-Catholic attendants. After their wedding, Monaco’s newlyweds wasted no time starting a family: Nine months and four days later, Grace gave birth to Princess Caroline, their first of three children. She had selected a large, emerald cut, paste diamond engagement ring from MGM’s prop department to wear for the film, and when asked about her engagement ring, Grace would often flaunt the paste ring, claiming it was hers. 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. The tale of the American movie star and Philadelphia native marrying the prince of a small, sensationally wealthy city … 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. 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. For the religious ceremony on April 19, 1956, Grace asked six American friends and one of her sisters to attend her. The bridesmaids wore pale yellow organdy dresses which had been custom-made at Neiman Marcus, with yellow organdy hats and wrist-length white gloves. 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. Ending Nov 21 at 8:48AM PST 6d 15h. The Aga Khan, in his wheelchair, made the trip to Monaco, accompanied by his wife and guards who protected them 24 hours a day. Grace had intended to have a small press conference to announce her departure. Later, legislation made Charlotte legitimate, allowed her father to adopt her, and gave her the surname Grimaldi, and the title Duchess of Valentinois for life. Grace Kelly and her poodle, Oliver, 1956. 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. Rainier’s father, Count Pierre de Polignac, was the son of Count Maxence de Polignac, a French aristocrat, and Susana María de la Torre y Mier, whose family were descendants of Mexican nobility. 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. 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. 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 … $2.62 shipping. The Prince wore a morning coat, gray trousers, white waistcoat, and gray silk tie. 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. After clasping her hand warmly and taking a moment to wave at the people both on boats and ashore, the Deo Juvante turned toward Monaco. The wedding had … “The Bridesmaids: Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, and Six Intimate Friends” by Judith Balaban Quine Nonetheless, Kelly gave up her film career at the age of 26 to become Princess of Monaco and wife to Prince Rainier III, 32 years old. Smiling in a brisk March wind and surrounded by photographers and fans, Grace Kelly poses just off of Fifth Avenue in New York, 1956. Rainier was born on 21st May 1923. Since Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly had two wedding ceremonies, they also had two receptions. 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. 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. Related The gentlemen witnesses wore dark suits, and the ladies wore tea-length dresses and hats. Grace’s wedding gown for the religious ceremony was a gift from MGM. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Interestingly, Grace’s son Albert participated in bobsledding in the Winter Olympics of 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998 and 2002 and has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1985. Also included were Grace’s showbiz friends. MGM, in exchange for releasing Grace from her contract, was permitted to film both events for broadcast on television and the silver screen. At that moment, a seaplane belonging to Aristotle Onassis flew over the harbor, dropping thousands of red and white carnations, the colors of Monaco, on the ships and crowds below. The bodice and Grace’s lace Juliet cap were re-embroidered with seed pearls, as were her shoes. 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. In 1954, Kelly won an Oscar for her role in The Country Girl and was the top-billed star in 1955's The Swan, but when she married Prince Rainier III the following year, she had to leave acting behind for good, revealed Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier. And so an old-style fairy tale came to its appropriately romantic conclusion, but only after a number of modern day variations and additions had come to pass. Grace’s sister Peggy and Rainier’s sister, Princess Antoinette, acted as her witnesses, and Rainier had his cousin Count Charles de Polignac, his good friend Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Marie Ardant, and Grace’s brother Kell. The bride, Grace Kelly, was a American actress. 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. Princess Grace and Prince Rainier before Pope John XXIII at … . The former was a famous American actress while the latter was the Prince of Monaco. Somerset Maugham, along with other luminaries, boarded small buses for the trip to the church since parking was unavailable. | Source: Getty Images Several instances nearly derailed the couple’s first meeting, including a city blackout and car accident, but eventually, the two met. He asked Grace to marry him over the Christmas holiday, and on January 5, 1956, their engagement was announced in a press conference held at her family’s home in Philadelphia. By the time of the wedding, Grace Kelly’s fame was enshrined with pieces such as Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon and Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and … ... Grace Kelly Prince Rainier 1956 100f Monaco Wedding Stamp Block S# C46 MNH. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier join hands as the Bishop of Monaco, Mgr. [During the second] she became a wife indeed when she helped the nervous Prince Rainier settle the ring on her finger. $50,000 worth of jewels swiped from the wife of a pal of Grace’s father . When Rainier arrived a few minutes later, the ceremony began. This weekend marked the 64th wedding anniversary of Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly, one of America’s leading actresses of the 1950s. The bridesmaids included Bettina Thompson Gray and Sally Parrish Richardson, with whom Grace had attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts; Maree Frisby Pamp, who had known Grace since high school; Carolyn Scott Reybold, who had lived in the same residence hotel with Grace as they began their acting careers in New York; Rita Gam Lumet, another young actress from New York; and Judith Balaban Kanter who was, at that time, married to Grace’s agent, Jay. There were 66 members of the party, plus the Weimaraner puppy Grace received as a wedding gift and her pampered poodle, Oliver. YouTube: Wedding of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly, Unofficial Royalty; Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Unofficial Royalty: Princess Grace of Monaco, Wedding of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, Unofficial Royalty Current Monarchies Websites, Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick, Mistress of King Edward VII of The United Kingdom. Monaco 1885 Prince Charles III, MH, VF (Scott #8) $58.50. When Rainier proposed to Grace during the Christmas holiday of 1955, he gave her a “friendship” ring: a band set with diamonds and rubies. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier wed, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco, April 19, 1956. The princess-to-be had barley set foot in Monaco when the principality and much of the rest of Europe were there bearing gifts. 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. One page dropped Rainier’s ring, and the Prince struggled to put Grace’s ring on her finger. In addition, Ms. Rose used 25 yards of silk peau de soie, 25 yards of silk taffeta, and approximately 100 yards of silk tulle. Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III, newlyweds, April 1956. For the civil ceremony that took place on April 18, 1956, Grace and Rainier had five official witnesses. It was he who told them when to stand, to sit, and to kneel during the course of the ceremony and wedding Mass.