10 Fascinating and interesting facts about Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly was the American actress and Princess of Monaco who was famous for her film, TV and stage appearances in the 1950’s. She appeared in eleven Hollywood blockbusters including High Noon, Dial M for Murder and High society, alongside many of the great male stars of the time. Despite her success and critical acclaim, she retired from acting at the age of just twenty six to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco and take up her duties as a princess. Her fairy tale life ended tragically when she suffered a stroke, while driving with her daughter and crashed down a mountainside in 1982. Her own life itself was akin to something of a movie script and here are ten facts about the Princess from Philadelphia:
1. It was not all a fairy-tale
Despite all the luxury and the lavish lifestyle, the life of the Princess of Monaco was not all plain sailing. It has been well documented that, away from the glitz, the glamour and the photographers, Grace Kelly longed to return to her own life and suffered from depression.
2. She was the first actress to appear on a US postage stamp
Grace Kelley was the first ever actress to have her name on a US postage stamp, which appeared in 1993.
3. Her parents weren’t pleased that she wanted to be an actress
When she enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts at the beginning of her career, her father was not too keen on the prospect of having an actress daughter. It has been reported that Jack Kelly once said that acting was ‘a slim cut above streetwalker’.
3. She began as a model
While she was studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she also worked as a model and appeared in advertisements for cigarettes and she appeared on the covers of magazines, like Redbook and Cosmopolitan.
4. She was born into an affluent family
Both Grace Kelly’s parents were athletes and her father was also a self-made millionaire. Her father was an accomplished rower who won three Olympic gold medals and her mother was the first coach of women’s athletic teams at the University of Pennsylvania.
5. She was engaged to someone else, before she married the Prince of Monaco
Before her marriage to Prince Rainier, Grace Kelly was engaged to be married to fashion designer Oleg Cassini, who was famous for being the man behind the ‘Jackie Look’ of First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.
6. She stayed at the Barbizon Hotel for Women
Along with other famous tenants, such as Liza Minnelli and Ali MacGraw, Grace Kelly stayed at the now famous Barbizon Hotel for Women, when she lived in New York as a young actress. The hotel is an exclusive residence for women, with no men allowed above the ground floor.
7. A dowry was paid for the wedding to Prince Rainier
Before the wedding of the century between Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier could go ahead, the Kelly family had to stump up a $2 million dowry to be paid to the prince.
8. The wedding was an elaborate affair
The wedding of Kelly and the Prince of Monaco was huge. Thousands of people lined the streets of Monaco to welcome their new princess consort and the entire Palace of Monaco was re-decorated for the event. Alfred Hitchcock, who had directed Kelly in three different films, said of the news of her wedding that he was ‘very happy that Grace has found herself such a good part’.
9. Her films were banned in Monaco
Following the wedding, the screening of any Grace Kelly movies was banned in Monaco by Prince Rainier and, when she was offered a part in Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘Marnie’ in 1962, she relented to public pressure from the people of Monaco and turned the part down.
10. She is buried with Prince Rainier
Grace Kelly was buried on September 18, 1982, in the Grimaldi family vault and her husband, Prince Rainer, was buried alongside her following his death in 2005. At Grace Kelly’s funeral, a touching eulogy was read by actor James Stewart, who said ‘You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met’.
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