ON THIS DAY    19 April      Graphics version >>   BBC News >>
Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
1956: Prince Rainier marries Grace Kelly

VIDEO : Footage from the wedding

Prince Rainier III of Monaco has married the American film actress Grace Kelly.

The religious ceremony follows yesterday's civil ceremony held in the throne room in the Palace of Monaco.

The celebration of the Nuptial Mass was held in the Cathedral of Monaco. Miss Kelly looked every bit the film star in her ivory gown made of silk taffeta and lace.

The couple did not look at each other during the ceremony, but sat, stood and knelt facing the high altar as instructed by Monsignor Marella, the Papal Legate from Paris.

They spoke their vows so quietly that it was hard to tell whether they made them in English or French, the national language of Monaco.

At the end of the ceremony, a message was read out from the Pope. Then the couple drove through the streets of Monte Carlo in an open-top car, waving to thousands of well-wishers.

The couple, who announced their engagement in January, are spending their honeymoon cruising around the Mediterranean aboard Prince Rainier's yacht, Deo Juvante II - out of the public eye for the first time in months.

Nervous bride

Yesterday's civil ceremony, conducted by the president of the Monaco Supreme Court, was attended by the couple's close family and friends.

In Monaco, as in France, a civil marriage must take place before a religious ceremony.

Miss Kelly, wearing a beige, lace dress with a close-fitting hat, was noticeably nervous throughout the proceedings.

Following the legal formalities the couple made a short appearance on the balcony of the palace where approximately 500 members of the public waited below.

The newly-married couple, surrounded by an abundance of red and white flowers, waved to the crowds for a few minutes before going back inside.

In Context
Grace Patricia Kelly was born on 12 November 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1951, she appeared in her first film entitled Fourteen Hours.

The following year her career took off when she landed the role of Amy Kane in High Noon.

After her marriage, when she become Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, she gave up her acting career, having made 11 films.

She and Prince Rainier went on to have three children - Caroline, Albert, and Stephanie.

Princess Grace was killed in a car crash on September 14, 1982 after her car went off a road over a cliff in Monaco.

Prince Rainier III - or Rainer Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand de Grimaldi - was born in 1923 and was educated in Britain, Switzerland and France.

The Prince succeeded his grandfather Louis II in 1949 to become Monaco's 31st ruler. He died in April 2005.


Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
^^ Back to top |