April 20, 2016

60th Wedding Anniversary of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace

Calling all royal watchers: yesterday marked what would have been the 60th wedding anniversary of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. The date holds significance not only for the couple and their family, but for Monégasque history and for royal watchers worldwide. It is, I think, widely believed that the wedding of Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) was the event that started royal wedding fever, due to the wedding’s widespread broadcasting; however, I believe that the wedding of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace is the one that really brought royals into sensationalized public interest. It was truly a marriage of royalty and Hollywood, probably the most glamorous story that could have been imagined. Little girls everywhere were aflutter: a normal American girl-next-door being swept away and turned into a real-live princess! Imaginations ran wild, and everyone watching was rewarded with all the extravagance they desired.

This past week, the Princely Palace has been sharing beautiful photos from the week of their glittering royal wedding 60 years ago, and I am delighted to share them with you here to celebrate this very special anniversary. (NB: we’ve all seen the photos of Grace Kelly arriving in Monaco before the wedding – and if you haven’t, check out last year’s post here – so I’ll skip over those so we don’t have to rehash. Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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A very intimate photo of Grace Kelly getting ready for a private dinner at the palace, which I believe was given to honor her family and friends.

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Ah, so regal. Even before becoming a princess.

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The gentleman behind Ms. Kelly, facing the camera, I believe is her father.

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In case you’re just joining us here on the blog, I will fill you in on some details of Monégasque royal weddings: they are two-day affairs, where the first day the couple is married in a civil ceremony, and the second day celebrates the religious ceremony. The above photo is from the civil ceremony of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly. The dress she chose for the occasion is certainly elegant, and I only wish I could see the detailing on it up-close!

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This gorgeous and hugely famous wedding gown was designed by Helen Rose, who worked as a costume designer at MGM studios. It is now owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is appropriate as Grace Kelly was a beloved Philly girl through and through (in case any of you out there in Philadelphia were wondering where Kelly Drive got its name…now you know!). The bridesmaid dresses were by Priscilla of Boston.

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The photo that almost all brides have: father and daughter before the ceremony. I love any event where men get to wear top hats and not look ridiculous. Prince Harry looks especially awesome in one…but I digress.

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And of course, the happy couple! This iconic wedding holds a place in so many people’s hearts, and here we are 60 years later, celebrating the day and drooling over the fashion all over again. I’m pretty sure this wedding will never go out of style, and will always be a go-to inspiration for any bride searching for elegance.

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With fond, tender remembrance of the late Prince and Princess: happy anniversary!

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