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Ninety Years of Grace: her life in photos


PHOTO CREDIT: BY METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER, PUBLIC DOMAIN, WIKI COMMONS

Grace Patricia Kelly, the Hollywood film star who became the most famous princess in the world, was born on November 12th 1929. Ninety years on, she remains one of the ultimate regal icons of the 20th century. From the romance that turned her into a princess to her work to support children and families, her royal life was one of the most talked about in the world. On the 90th anniversary of the birth of Grace of Monaco, Royal Central looks at ten photos that tell the story of the ultimate fairytale princess.

A star is born

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Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12th 1929 in the Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, the third child of John B. Kelly Sr and his wife, Margaret Majer. This early image of Grace was taken in July 1930, when she was eight months old.

A life on the stage

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Grace followed her dreams of becoming an actress despite opposition from her family. She worked in TV and theatre before landing her first major film role in High Noon in 1951.

Queen of Hollywood

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Grace Kelly starred in some of the biggest box office films of the early 1950s. In 1954, she starred as Georgie Elgin in The Country Girl, going on to win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance. She had already been nominated as Best Supporting Actress for her part in the 1953 movie, Mogambo.

Real life princess

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Grace met Prince Rainier III of Monaco while attending the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. When they announced their engagement, early in 1956, they became the most famous couple in the world. Millions watched their religious wedding on April 19th 1956.

A mother first

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Princess Grace gave birth to her first child, Princess Caroline, on January 23rd 1957. A son, Prince Albert, followed on March 14th 1958 with Rainier and Grace completing their family on February 1st 1965 when they welcomed Princess Stephanie.

The most famous princess in the world?

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Grace’s fame and the fairytale image of her wedding to Rainier brought huge attention to Monaco. The couple worked hard to consolidate the interest in their principality and travelled extensively in their roles, bringing further fame to the country.

Grace’s Charity Work

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Princess Grace supported many charities and had a particular interest in helping children and families. She was an early advocate of La Leche League, promoting breast feeding to new mums, and held a Christmas party every year to distribute gifts to youngsters. She also set up the Princess Grace Foundation to support local artists.

Grace, Style Icon

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Princess Grace was known for her sense of style and love of fashion. Throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, her design choices excited just as much interest as the fashion of any 21st century royal.

Kindness and Grace

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Princess Grace’s friends spoke often of her kindness and that was on show in early 1981 when she met a newly engaged Lady Diana Spencer. Diana later revealed that Grace had dried her eyes as she had burst into tears, overwhelmed by the interest in her as she stepped out as the fiancee of the Prince of Wales. The image of the two women together that night became an iconic royal photo of the 21st century.

Goodbye to Grace

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Princess Grace was involved in a car accident on September 13th 1982. She died of the injuries sustained in that crash the following day. Her funeral, on September 18th 1982, was watched by millions around the world while Monaco came out in force to mourn their princess. The sight of Prince Rainier, broken by grief, following her coffin, was a lasting testament to the love story that had turned the all American film star into one of the most famous royals of them all.

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Grace Patricia Kelly, Princess of Monaco, born November 12th 1929, died September 14th 1982.



About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.