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.
On April 19, 1956 the world tuned in to celebrate the marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier of Monaco – a love that would last a lifetime. To commemorate what would have been their 60th Wedding Anniversary, here is a nostalgic look back at the wedding photos followed by archives of the time and the official wedding video.
Television was a relatively new medium at that time – in fact these ‘moving pictures’ were first recorded to be shown in movie theatres as “newsreels”, which were previews to movies. Theatre audiences got to see these two marvellous newsreels from 1956, one American and one British, chronicling the romance between film actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Step Back In Time to 1956…
Grace Kelly Marries her Prince The Hollywood star becomes a fairy tale princess of the tiny principality of Monaco
Monaco, April 19 (Excerpt from The Guardian) Princess Grace Patricia of Monaco sailed out of the glassy blue harbour here this evening on board the yacht Deo Juvante II. Beside her on the bridge stood Prince Rainier III. Two hours later the Deo Juvante was in harbour at Villevranche, ten miles distant, while its owners sought refuge from the Mediterranean in their villa at Cap Ferrat. This was only eight hours after the marriage service in the small off-white cathedral on top of the Monaco rocks.
The quayside here, below the rocks and by the gasometers, is not Constitution Hill. Only the usual crowd of some 1,500 sightseers had gathered a couple of hours before the Prince and Princess got out of their car and, without ceremony other than smiles and waves, went up the gangway.
“Miss Kelly!” cried some photographers, but one called out, “ No she’s changed her name again.” So the cry changed to “Princess!” The Princess smiled as she waved with one arm and held her black poodle with the other. Here was no filmic leave-taking. An underwater look in her eyes and a bearing a shade taut and withdrawn saw to that. Fair haired, neat in a grey suit and close-fitting white hat – that was Miss Kelly of Philadelphia, that was…
Prince Rainier III of Monaco has married the American film actress Grace Kelly.
The religious ceremony follows yesterday’s civil ceremony held in the throne room in the Palace of Monaco.
The celebration of the Nuptial Mass was held in the Cathedral of Monaco. Miss Kelly looked every bit the film star in her ivory gown made of silk taffeta and lace.
The couple did not look at each other during the ceremony, but sat, stood and knelt facing the high altar as instructed by Monsignor Marella, the Papal Legate from Paris.
They spoke their vows so quietly that it was hard to tell whether they made them in English or French, the national language of Monaco.
At the end of the ceremony, a message was read out from the Pope. Then the couple drove through the streets of Monte Carlo in an open-top car, waving to thousands of well-wishers.
The couple, who announced their engagement in January, are spending their honeymoon cruising around the Mediterranean aboard Prince Rainier’s yacht, Deo Juvante II – out of the public eye for the first time in months.
Yesterday’s civil ceremony, conducted by the president of the Monaco Supreme Court, was attended by the couple’s close family and friends.
In Monaco, as in France, a civil marriage must take place before a religious ceremony.
Miss Kelly, wearing a beige, lace dress with a close-fitting hat, was noticeably nervous throughout the proceedings.
Following the legal formalities the couple made a short appearance on the balcony of the palace where approximately 500 members of the public waited below.
The newly-married couple, surrounded by an abundance of red and white flowers, waved to the crowds for a few minutes before going back inside.