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Wednesday 15 May 2019

When the Prince met the actress; a royal love story

The principality of Monaco is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the first meeting between the American actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III.
Called Monaco, 6 May 1955. The Story of a Meeting", the exhibition is organised by the Palace of Monaco Archive and the Audiovisual Institute of Monaco for the 90th anniversary of Grace Kelly's birth and is said to "place her first meeting with Prince Rainier III of Monaco in context and perspective".

After winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in March 1955 for her role in The Country Girl, Grace Kelly had been on the French Riviera to shoot Alfred Hitchcock's film To Catch a Thief. 

As guest star at the 8th Cannes Film Festival, Kelly agreed to change her schedule for a last-minute meeting with the Prince of Monaco on the afternoon of May 6, 1955. 

Organised by Pierre Galante, a journalist with Paris Match, this meeting, which almost never happened, was immortalised by Michel Simon, photographer for the magazine, and the Irish photographer Edward Quinn, who had long been working on the Riviera.

The photographs by these two witnesses will be displayed together for the very first time.

Designed as a photographic tour through the Palace State rooms, the exhibition follows in Grace Kelly's footsteps in the places where she met Prince Rainier, around the dress she wore that day, along with personal items, letters, testimonials, newspaper clips and film excerpts. 

All this documentation shows how the meeting, which went virtually unnoticed at the time, became legend. 

Less than a year after this brief but decisive meeting, Prince Rainier III married Grace Patricia Kelly, on April 18-19, 1956 in Monaco.

The exhibition is offered as part of the Palace of Monaco's State Apartments visits open to the public for part of the year.


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