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Ninety Years of Grace: Princess Grace’s first wedding dress


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Her gown she wore for her religious marriage is one of the most famous royal outfits ever worn and an icon of the 20th century but Grace Kelly had another wedding dress before that celebrated creation. Grace and Prince Rainier III of Monaco said ‘I do’ in a civil ceremony the day before the church service beamed around the world and for that event, this royal bride wore pink.

The two piece suit she chose was very Fifties and very Grace. It was made of pale pink taffeta which was covered in cream lace. The fitted jacket had a rounded collar, three quarter length sleeves and featured a single, central row of buttons down its front. The skirt was mid calf length with a gentle flare. Grace also wore a Juliet cap to complete the outfit.

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It was the creation of Helen Rose, one of the best known designers at MGM studios where Grace had made many of the films which had turned her into a Hollywood superstar. Rose was also responsible for the wedding dress that the new Princess of Monaco would wear to her religious marriage.

Grace Patricia Kelly’s civil wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco took place on April 18th 1956 in the Throne Room of the Prince’s Palace in the tiny state. It was performed by Marcel Potanier, Monaco’s Minister of Justice. Around eighty guests were present for the event with the bride and groom’s family joined by representatives of over 20 different countries from around the world. Following the ceremony, the couple made a brief appearance before hundreds of wellwishers and went on to celebrate with a short reception.

The couple’s religious ceremony took place on April 19th 1956 at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco with Grace wearing that most famous of wedding dresses. But while the outfit for Grace’s civil marriage isn’t perhaps as well known as the silk and lace creation that she wore to church the following day, it has its very own place in royal fashion history.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.