Airing on Sunday morning on CBS Sunday in the United States, Prince Albert II of Monaco gave a rare inside look at the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. His beloved mother, American actress Princess Grace (née Kelly), was a focal point as he discussed the creation of the Princess Grace Foundation in her memory with Rita Braver. His Serene Highness now lives in the palace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with his wife, Princess Charlene and their two-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques.
The Prince’s Palace of Monaco was built as a fortress in 1191 and has since become the home of the Monégasque Princely Family starting in the 12th century. Echoes of Grace are all in the Palace from the pool she designed to the redecoration of the family room and even in the Monégasque Princely Family’s 2016 Christmas card.
As CBS Sunday said, “Yet this tiny European city-state, less than one square mile, boasts not only a palace that dates back to the 12th century, but also a tale of love at first sight.” This, of course, is in reference to the love story of Albert’s parents, Prince Rainier of Monaco and the American actress, born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Grace Kelly.
Speaking about his mother, His Serene Highness said, “She was a very loving and caring mother. And she not only made sure that she gave us enough attention and enough love and that we had everything we needed, but she was so caring toward other people, too.”
CBS Sunday remarked at how Grace’s “history is carefully preserved here” with her childhood photos, passports, letters, clothing and jewellery – including her engagement ring from Rainier. Keeping these things and other touches of his mother is of great importance to the Sovereign Prince. He and his wife have ensured that her memory lives on in other ways, as well. After her untimely death at the age of 52, Prince Rainier created the Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation – USA in her memory to award scholarships to students going into performing arts.
Regarding these awards, Princess Charlene was asked about what they mean to her, “It’s to celebrate Princess Grace’s living legacy for supporting the up-and-coming artists, emerging talent, and giving hope and inspiration to many others out there.”
Albert continued, “She knew what young artists go through and what their aspirations are, and sometimes that they don’t have the means to continue their careers.”
In its almost 35 years of operation, the foundation has given out over 850 grants with some of the recipients going on to win Academy Awards as Grace did in 1954. His Serene Highness explained that High Noon and Rear Window are his favourite movies that his mother made. He added that he is amazed out how adored she still is around the world and the impact she has had on so many, “It’s incredibly rewarding and touching to see how much people still admire her and that her name still resonates today.”
Prince Albert recently bought his mother’s childhood home in Philadelphia with plans to turn it into a museum. He hopes the home will be open to the public by, at least, 2018.