Her Grace Was Legendary On and Off the Screen
As one of the most elegant women in cinematic history, her same qualities off-screen shows us how a pearl can channel its energies in many ways, to better the world. This is another installment of the Living like a Pearl series. Find the other stories here.
Cary Grant would reflect on his choice of Grace as his favorite actress by saying “She had serenity." Little did he know while working with her on the Hitchcock film “To Catch a Thief”, she would one day be titled, ‘Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco’.
Grace Kelly was born to an affluent and prominent family on November 12, 1929. With an early passion for performing arts, she played a lead part in a play at age 12, and studied drama and dance.
Despite the disapproval of her parents who viewed acting as "a slim cut above streetwalker", Grace persevered, and followed her true pearl by graduating from the New York American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1949. Little could they know the enduring legend their daughter would become.
Grace became a darling of the screen during the early 1950s Golden Age of Television, in numerous theatre productions, and on the big screen as a leading Hollywood film star. Over her short but iconic acting career, she worked opposite the biggest talent of the time, such as Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, and was referred to as one of the "classic Hitchcock blondes”. Her acclaim grew with each film, and her career brought numerous Golden Globe and Academy Awards, and other highly acclaimed recognition.
But she traded in one pearl for another when she left acting to become Princess of Monaco, by marrying Prince Rainier III in 1956. Rivaling any Hollywood film, with the marriage she bore his astounding 142 official titles, and the wedding was estimated to have been watched by over 30 million viewers on live television.
During her 26 year marriage, before her untimely death in 1982 in the infamous car crash, she thrived in the role of what could be compared to a modern-day Lady Diana. She devoted her pearl of elegance and determination to philanthropic work by supporting the Red Cross, the Arts, and charity work for the plight of children that continues to this day in her name. In 1963 Grace founded AMADE Mondiale, a non-profit organization that supports the development, education, and health of children worldwide. To this day it helps more than 40,000 vulnerable children each year, and her eldest daughter, Princess Caroline is the current President.
Grace is quoted saying, "I would like to be remembered as someone who accomplished useful deeds, and who was a kind and loving person. I would like to leave the memory of a human being with a correct attitude and who did her best to help others."
Her legacy as a fashion icon continues to inspire modern designers and she is hailed for introducing the "fresh-faced" look, with natural beauty and little makeup.
This real-life princess story from American film actress to royal nobility forever left her mark on the world, and her three children; Princess Caroline, Prince Albert, and Princess Stéphanie carry the pearl of their mother’s legend, which endures the sands of time.