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Wedding Wednesday: Princess Grace of Monaco

When you think of a fairytale romance, who comes to mind? For me, the first to pop in my head is Princess Grace of Monaco. The Philadelphia born actress was in Cannes for the film festival in 1955 and was invited to the royal palace in Monaco for a photo shoot. Things got off to a rocky start (no power in the hotel, only one dress to wear that didn't need to be ironed, running late....) but the event took place and Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier were introduced. The actress was dating someone else, but as the story goes, the Prince was smitten and wouldn't' take no for an answer. Given that she ended up with not one but two engagement rings not long after, I'd say that there's a good chance it was love at first sight.
Grace Kelly, soon to be Princess Grace of Monaco, with her second engagement ring (inset)
Wedding Wednesday: Princess Grace of Monaco

When you think of a fairytale romance, who comes to mind? For me, the first to pop in my head is Princess Grace of Monaco. The Philadelphia born actress was in Cannes for the film festival in 1955 and was invited to the royal palace in Monaco for a photo shoot. Things got off to a rocky start (the power went out in the hotel, only one dress to wear that didn’t need to be ironed, running late….) but the event took place and Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier were introduced. The actress was dating someone else, but as the story goes, the Prince was so charmed by Grace that he wouldn’t’ take no for an answer. Given that she ended up with not one but two engagement rings not long after, I’d say that there’s a good chance it was love at first sight.

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier shortly after their engagement.
Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier shortly after their engagement.

The Prince and Grace corresponded after her departure and on a trip to the US months later, Prince Rainier not only came to meet her family in Philadelphia but he showed up with an engagement ring in hand. Three days after meeting the fam, the prince proposed to Grace with a ruby and diamond eternity band (the colors of Monaco!) from Cartier.

Grace Kelly admiring her first engagement ring.
Grace Kelly admiring her first engagement ring, a ruby and diamond eternity band.

Who’s to say what happened next but shortly thereafter, another engagement ring, also from Cartier, was produced. This time it was a show stopper! The 10.47ct emerald cut diamond is flanked on either side by baguettes and it became a movie star in its own right. Yup. It was a “prop” in the movie High Society, in which Grace was the star marrying into a wealthy family. Isn’t that art imitating life?

Princess Grace of Monaco on her wedding day.
Princess Grace of Monaco (nee Grace Kelly) on her wedding day.

Grace and the prince were married in Monaco in what some called the “wedding of the century.” Thirty million people tuned in to watch the American actress become a princess with 142 new official titles (really). There were two ceremonies, as required by Napoleonic Code of Monaco and the laws of the Roman Catholic Church – the first a civil ceremony at the palace on April 18, 1956. The second, a church wedding at St. Nichols Cathedral, was attended by 700 guests and broadcast live on TV for all to see. And later that evening, the newlyweds left on their yacht for a seven week honeymoon.

Princess Grace of Monaco's second engagement ring by Cartier.
The show stopping Cartier 10.47ct. emerald cut diamond ring, given to Grace Kelly by Prince Rainier as a second engagement ring.

Which ring of the two do you prefer? The simple eternity band or the ice rink of a diamond? Tell me in the comments below.

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