The story of former Hollywood star Grace Kelly’s crisis of marriage and identity, during a political dispute between Monaco’s Prince Rainier III and France’s Charles De Gaulle, and a looming French invasion of Monaco in the early 1960s.
Princess Grace (Kelly) died on Sep 14, 1982 after a tragic car crash on the windy roads as she was driving from her country home to the Palace of Monaco. Even in an age before Twitter, social media and even the Internet, news of Princess Grace’s death spread around the word as people everywhere felt shock and disbelief. Unlike the portrayal in the 2014 Nicole Kidman movie “Grace of Monaco”, Princess Grace was not a reckless driver … even in the early years. Cary Grant recalls her driving very tamely – only making him nervous because she was not wearing her glasses when they filmed Grace Kelly driving in the hills above Monaco during Alfred Hitchock’s “To Catch a Thief”.
Ultimately it was determined that Princess Grace died of a brain hemorrhage – a stroke that impeded her ability to maneuver the car.
To Catch a Thief – Grace Kelly – Grace of Monaco
Car Crash of Grace Kelly: Death & Funeral
The Car Accident
It was shortly after 10 am Monday morning of September 13 when the car Princess Grace was driving missed a curve and catapulted down a cliff. It is a road that Princess Grace often travelled yet not often drove herself, but that morning she dismissed her chauffeur as there were dresses and boxes in the back seat. With her daughter Princess Stephanie as her passenger (as witnessed by a police officer as they drove by), Princess Grace set out on what should have been a relatively short drive in her beloved 11-year-old metallic green Rover 3500.
The Car Crash
Photos of the car crash show the severe state of the accident after dropping more than 100 feet over the retaining wall. These car crash pictures make one wonder how anyone could have survived this horrific accident. In all the confusion, initial rumors spread that Princess Stephanie was at the wheel despite numerous eyewitness accounts that did not see her driving.
These rumors were fueled by the fact that Princess Stephanie had to escape from the car through the driver side window because the passenger door was impassable. Princess Stephanie miraculously survived the accident with a fractured vertebra in her neck.
Although there were initial reports Princess Grace was out of danger, suffering a broken thigh bone, collar bone and rib injuries, her head injuries were quite severe and ultimately she died from a second brain hemorrhage.
This is a map image of the Princess Grace crash car site from above showing the road itself. (and this was not the same road that was filmed during To Catch a Thief).
Princess Grace Funeral
On Saturday Sep. 18, 1982 heads of state, celebrities, royals and close to 100 million television viewers said good-bye to Grace Kelly the Hollywood icon, and the legendary Princess Grace. The final resting place of Her Serene Highness is the same cathedral in which she had her fairy-tale wedding to Prince Rainier in 1956.
Remembering Grace Kelly
Grace Patricia Kelly
Born: November 12, 1929, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In her last interview two months before Princess Grace died, she was asked how she would like to be remembered. She answered, “I would like to be remembered as a decent human being, and a caring one”.
Those that want to get to know the real Grace, can now read the personal account shared in “My Days with Princess Grace of Monaco” through candid photos, letters and diaries that reveal her true character. You will experience what her life, family and relationship with Prince Rainier were really like, at home at the Palace of Monaco, at their private retreat at Rocagel, and on family vacations. The last chapter is a rare glimpse into what her final days were like, on the last family vacation just one month before she died.
This archival report brings you back to one of the saddest days in the Principality of Monaco – and around the world. September 18, 1982 brought to Monaco representatives of many governments and royal families, including Princess Diana, U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan, and Danielle Mitterrand (wife of the French President) – all sitting side-by-side.
Photos and Images Funeral & Death of Grace Kelly
Words may be foreign but photos and images are universal: