In 1957, Grace Kelly, a well-known Hollywood beauty, wed Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in a lavish ceremony.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding and the union of Prince William and Kate Middleton are two notable weddings that took place after Kelly’s, but none of them can compare to the sheer majesty of Kelly’s flawless nuptials.
Why it was dubbed “the wedding of the century” is easily seen in the breathtaking pictures. “.
However, it is incomprehensible how much of an impact this relationship has had on Monaco and on people all over the world.
On April 18, 1956, Grace, then only 26 years old, wed Prince Rainier in a civil ceremony. A religious gathering took place on April 19, 1956.
With her extraordinary performances in movies like “Dial M for Murder” and “Rear Window,” Grace Kelly had already held audiences’ attention for five years before she entered the world of royalty. She was born in Philadelphia and was selected to represent the American delegation at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955.
She was given the opportunity to visit the close-by microstate of Monaco, which borders France, while she was there and take pictures with the prince in his renowned home. This encounter served as the beginning of their covert correspondence, which ultimately resulted in their engagement later that year, starting the planning for their grand wedding.
Both civil and religious ceremonies had to be performed in accordance with the Napoleonic Code of Monaco and the Roman Catholic Church. The Palace of Monaco was completely redecorated to accommodate the civil ceremony and banquet that followed.
Bishop Gilles Barthe of Monaco presided over the sacred ceremony, which was broadcast worldwide to an estimated 30 million viewers. A stunning bridal gown that took an incredible three weeks to make was one of the two that Grace Kelly wore.
These magnificent designs were given to Grace by Academy Award-winning designer Helen Rose. MGM, the studio that helped Grace during her illustrious career as a Hollywood star, painstakingly built them.
Along with other notable entertainers like David Niven, Cary Grant, Gloria Swanson, and Ava Gardner, Aristotle Onassis (also known as Mr. Jackie Kennedy) was also present. Unexpectedly, the bride decided to stay in America for the wedding preparations.
In order to attend various engagements, Grace Kelly and her entourage embarked on an amazing voyage aboard the ocean liner SS Constitution. The bride, her family, six bridesmaids, 80 pieces of luggage, a poodle, and a crowd of eager reporters and photographers boarded the ship in New York.
Only a small number of the over 400 journalists who applied for the chance to join this expedition were selected. Those who were unable to board the ship were still treated to a breathtaking sight as Aristotle Onassis’ plane hovered overhead, dousing the crowd below in red and white flowers.
As he thought back on the incident, Prince Albert recalled how frequently his mother would talk about the entire voyage on the Constitution. She would discuss how much fun the wedding celebration was and how it bonded her Philadelphian friends and family. “.
He added that she spoke affectionately of Oliver, a French poodle that Cary Grant, her co-star in Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief,” had given to her. “.
The spectacle of Grace Kelly’s arrival in Monaco outdid that of her departure, drawing 1,800 photographers to record the momentous event. The activities that took place before the ceremony were equally demanding.
The planning, pageantry, and arrangements were quite exhausting, according to my father, Albert recalled. “.
However, the careful planning led to one of the most magnificent celebrity events of the twentieth century, with Monaco starting an eight-day celebration series.
The recently reconstructed palace hosted a lavish event with outdoor entertainment and a stunning fireworks display for forty foreign delegations on this historic day.
The civil ceremony took place in the palace’s Throne Room the following day. Grace Kelly wore the first outfit made by MGM, a lovely two-piece set of light pink taffeta laced with champagne-colored French Alençon lace.
The ceremony only lasted 16 minutes, and then Grace received her 140 new titles as Princess of Monaco for another 25 minutes.
For the benefit of the news crews, the newlyweds were made to reenact their wedding ceremonies.
The following day, the second ceremony took place at the stunning Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Grace appeared in an exquisite gown made of 150 yards of silk, taffeta, and tulle, complimented by 300 yards of old Belgian lace, capturing the attention of 30 million people.
The future princess opted for a Juliet Cap to hold her veil in place rather than the more conventional tiara. The 90 yards of tulle, her shoes, and Juliet Cap were all subtly pearl-decorated in order to keep her face visible to the cameras.
Due to the fact that Grace and Rainier were of similar heights, she chose a 2 15 inch stiletto. According to Tatler, Grace’s name was engraved on the left shoe and Prince Rainier’s on the right of her David Evins-made shoes.
Seed pearls, lace, and a copper penny were added to the shoe heels as a good luck charm and well-wisher gesture.
A team of 36 skilled seamstresses labored diligently for three weeks to produce the magnificent bridal ensemble. The seamstresses were proud of themselves as Grace Kelly entered the church, embodying every quality of a real princess.
Modern princesses are still motivated by Kelly’s enthralling wedding dress decades later. There is a striking resemblance between this dress and Kate Middleton’s gorgeous lace wedding dress, which was created by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
The prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art is currently featuring Grace Kelly’s stunning wedding dress on display, allowing visitors to admire the attire supporting young girls’ aspirations to become princesses.
In 1956, during wedding ceremonies, it was common to see brides carrying the Bible rather than floral bouquets down the aisle. In accordance with this tradition, Grace had a Bible adorned with silk, pearls, and lace. She carried lilies of the valley with the holy book, showing her unwavering adherence to custom.
Lilies of the valley are still a favorite flower for royal brides today because they are timeless and magnificent.
Grace helped Prince Rainier put the ring on her finger during the wedding ceremony.
Prince Rainier was apprehensive.
Millions of onlookers were enchanted by her as she kept a calm demeanor throughout.
An ancient offering to St. Mary marked the end of the wedding. 600 people attended a grand feast in honor of Saint Dévote, the patron saint of Monaco.
Champagne, caviar, and lobster were among the fine foods on the buffet, to everyone’s delight.’
Two genuine turtle doves were a unique addition to the elaborate wedding cake, which is said to have cost more than £10,000 to make. As the groom ceremoniously carved the cake with his sword, the endearing turtle doves were released, signifying loyalty, trust, and enduring love. Additionally, the cake was given life by a musical box.
Following the festivities, the prince and princess sailed on Prince Rainier’s stunning yacht, the Deo Juvante II, for a seven-week honeymoon. After the chaos of the events, they took a well-earned break by laying their anchor close to Monaco’s stunning coastline.
The honeymoon officially began the following day, and they left behind a wealth of memories and pictures that would endure far beyond their own lifetimes.
Their daydream continued until tragedy struck on September 14, 1982, when Grace Kelly, 52, died in a car accident. Prince Rainier devoted himself to his work and remained single after she passed away. It was 2005 when he passed away.