We all know the now-classic story: Grace Kelly, also known as Princess Grace of Monaco, went from model to movie star to a member of one of the most glamorous royal families on the planet. Although she met her husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, under glamorous circumstances and had an even more glamorous affair for a wedding, she had to complete a few uncomfortable tasks before tying the knot. Ahead, find out how the star of Dial M for Murder made her way into Monaco’s High Society.
Wondering how Grace Kelly met her Prince (and where you might meet your own?) Well, the future husband and wife met during a photo call at Cannes Film Festival , which makes sense since she was a movie star, known as one of the iconic Hitchcock blondes, starring in classics such as Rear Window and To Catch a Thief, and Cannes is near Monaco, Prince Rainier’s home. Kelly found the Prince “charming,” and the two kept in close contact. Prince Rainier even stayed with Kelly for a few days when he visited the United States.
Although dowries are considered a relic of the distant past, the House of Grimaldi (Monaco’s royal family) required that the Kelly family pay them over 2 million dollars for the privilege of joining their House. This stipulation made both Grace and her father very uncomfortable, but eventually, the two agreed to split the bill–clearly, it was worth it to Kelly and her family. Maybe they thought of it as a membership fee for a very exclusive club, which it was, in a way.
Here’s another thing Kelly had to do before becoming Princess Grace: She had to pass a fertility test. This may seem a bit invasive, but it’s important to remember how crucial it is for a Prince to produce heirs. Still, this also bothered Kelly’s family, but Grace went through with it anyway. And it paid off, since Prince Rainier and Princess Grace had three children together: Albert II, Prince of Monaco; Caroline, Princess of Hanover; and Stephanie, Princess of Monaco. One of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier’s grandchildren, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, even shares her namesake grandmother’s profession: She is an actress, having appeared on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Grace Kelly had to complete some rather unenviable tasks before she could marry her Prince, but it looks like it was worth it: Their wedding, which took place on April 18, 1956 was watched by 30 million people, according to Good Housekeeping, and was attended by Ava Gardner and Cary Grant, two of Hollywood’s biggest stars of all time. On top of that, Kelly’s wedding gown is now considered one of the most famous and influential dresses of all time, inspiring Sarah Burton’s celebrated design for Kate Middleton’s own wedding gown.