actress, Albert, April 1956, Cannes Film Festival, car accident, Caroline, Celebrity, first modern event to generate media overkill, Grace Kelly, live television, Palace Throne Room, photo session, Prince Rainier III, Princess Grace of Monaco, Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Stephanie, stroke
Grace Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982)(
Grace Patricia Kelly was a successful American actress that retired at the age of 26 after her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco in April 1956. The pair met while Kelly was to appear at the Cannes Film Festival in April 1955. Kelly was invited to participate in a photo session with the Prince at the Prince’s Palace, about 55 kilometers away from Cannes. After a bunch of delays and compilations, she was finally able to meet up with him there on May 6, 1955. Though Kelly was dating a French actor (Jean-Pierre Aumont) at the time of the meeting, Kelly and Prince Rainier III hit it off and dated for about a year before their lavish wedding was considered the wedding of the century. The couple actually had two ceremonies according to the Napoleaonic Code of Monaco and the laws of the Roman Catholic Church. Their civil service ceremony took place in the Palace Throne Room on April 18, 1956. The reception was attended by 3,000 Monegasque citizens. The following day the church ceremony was held at Monaco’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral and was watched by over 30 million viewers on live television and described as “the first modern event to generate media overkill.” Kelly gave birth to three children — Caroline, Albert (who is the current Prince of Monaco) and Stephanie. On September 14, 1982, Kelly and her daughter Stephanie were driving in a car when Kelly suffered a stroke causing her to lose control of her car and the pair went tumbling down a mountainside. Kelly died a few days later never regaining consciousness. Stephanie survived the accident. Kelly was only 52 years old. The hospital (Monaco Hospital) where Kelly and Stephanie were taken to was later renamed Princess Grace Hospital Centre. Prince Rainier refused to remarry and died on April 6, 2005 at the age of 81 due to lung, heart and kidney problems from his love of smoking cigarettes.