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Princess Grace - The Monaco Years

Updated on June 18, 2013
New Princess Grace Movie slammed by the Monaco Royal family as largely fictional and historically inaccurate.
New Princess Grace Movie slammed by the Monaco Royal family as largely fictional and historically inaccurate.
Grace Kelly was Alfred Hitchcock's greatest muse
Grace Kelly was Alfred Hitchcock's greatest muse

Princess Grace of Monaco

Grace Kelly - Princess of Monaco

Grace Kelly, Hollywood Icon and Royal Princess gave up her glittering Hollywood career to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco. Her life is now coming under scrutiny once again as a new movie claiming to depict her role in Monaco as a loyal wife is currently hitting the headlines. Princess Grace’s family are not happy with this film and claim it is largely fictional and certainly not a true portrayal of their mothers life. I have not seen this film yet but am very much looking forward to garnering my own opinion on it. Previously I wrote a Hub about Grace Kelly’s early life and her career in Hollywood. Part 2 of this article is about Princesses Grace’s life after her marriage.

When the glitz and glamour of Grace Kelly’s Royal Wedding had subsided and the honeymoon cruise had ended, reality began to sink in for the first time. Grace realized she was living in a strange country, with only minimal knowledge of the language. Prince Rainier’s family were of little help to Grace as it became quickly apparent to Grace that they did not approve of her. Grace’s husband Prince Rainier had little understanding of her dilemma as he was caught up in the trials and tribulations of running Monaco. Grace became very lonely and yearned for her carefree Hollywood days.

The birth of Grace’s children brought some respite from her feelings of isolation and inadequacy. Her first child was Princess Caroline and was followed less than fourteen months later by the birth of Prince Albert. Grace took to motherhood passionately and strived to give her children as normal an upbringing as possible.

The financial outlook of Monaco became much more positive after Prince Rainier’s marriage to Grace. It created worldwide interest in the small country and tourists flocked there, in their thousands. It once again became the exclusive gambling capital of the world.

Grace undoubtedly missed her acting life and received a couple of offers to return to Hollywood. In 1960 MGM offered her a role in their Upcoming film ‘King Of Kings’, in which she would play the virgin Mary. Prince Rainier said it would not be an appropriate role for her. Grace was inconsolable and she spent a long time trying to recover from her obvious disappointment.

Another film offer came in 1962 when her old friend Alfred Hitchcock wanted her to star in a film called ‘Marnie’. Surprisingly for Grace, her husband agreed. Prince Rainier could see she needed something to lift her ever-declining mood. Monaco’s residents however, were appalled at the announcement. After a lot of controversy over the issue, Grace felt she was left with little option but to decline the offer.

She tried to hide her disappointment by immersing herself in her involvement with Monaco’s many charities and associations. In 1965 she gave birth to another daughter, her third child Princess Stephanie, so once again she took her role of motherhood very seriously.

The third film offer came in 1976 the film was called ‘The Turning Point’, Once again Grace felt unable to accept. It was now more than twenty years since making her last film and she was left feeling very depressed. Her lack of self-fulfillment along with her deepening resentment for her husband’s lack of understanding, caused an undeniable rift in their marriage.

After this Grace began making collages out of the many beautiful flowers she picked during her many walks around Monaco. This led to her holding an exhibition in 1977 and in 1980 her collection was published in a book called ‘My Book of Flowers’. In 1977 Grace did get her only other chance to stand behind a camera. She starred as a narrator in a documentary called ‘The Children of Theatre Street’.

Princess Grace also got the opportunity to perform poetry readings and toured as a reader of American Poetry. Prince Rainier was not pleased at her spending so much time away from Monaco and it caused further turmoil in their marriage.

Grace died in September 1982. She was fifty-two years old. Her family were devastated at her untimely death. Even today nobody has equaled her unique appeal. It is ironic that her greatest acting role turned out to be her life as Princess Grace of Monaco. Time will tell whether Nicole Kidman can accurately portray this unique icon who was truly a woman of her era. This film is currently just being filmed and should be due for release next year.


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    • thewritingowl profile image

      Mary Kelly Godley 5 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for your comment Davidwork. I agree with your opinion on Nicole Kidman while I like her a lot in some of her films she wouldn't have been my choice to play Grace Kelly either.

      Yes the film is going to deal with a particular political crises and not Princess Grace's life in Monaco life specifically. Still Prince Albert releases a Press Statement saying the film was historically inaccurate and did not portray his mother as she was.

      Yeah I read a number of books about her life over the years and I too feel sad for her. She gave up so much but would never make that known because she came from a family who put success and social status far above personal happiness.

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      Davidwork 5 years ago

      Interesting hub. I do not yet know a lot about the script of the upcoming film. Perhaps the Royal Family of Monaco are upset because too much artistic licence has been used, but as far as I am aware, it is only about the political crisis between France and Monaco in the early 1960s, and not about the Princesse's private life.

      Even so, books about her difficult marriage to Prince Rainier were published years ago, including Tarborelli's "Once Upon A Time". I always felt a little sad for Grace, because from all the accounts that I've read, I feel that she later regretted giving up her acting life.

      Point of personal opinion, I don't think Nicole Kidman was the best choice to portray her. January Jones, AKA Betty Draper in Mad Men, is probably the best Grace Kelly/Princess Grace lookalike I've ever seen, and she is now exactly the same age that the Princess was at the time of the crisis in the early 1960s. I'm sure she would have given a good performance, she is a fairly good actress.