January 5, 1956
The engagement between Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Miss Grace Kelly of Philadelphia was announced earlier today, reports the New York Times.
The announcement was first at a "private luncheon" given by Miss Kelly's parents at the Philadelphia Country Club.''
This was followed by a news conference at the Kelly home on Henry Avenue.
Miss Kelly, an Oscar-winning film actress, said she would "certainly" live in Monaco, and would take French lessons. As she is a "native-born American," she will retain her United States citizenship, and will acquire Monegasque nationality when she marries Prince Rainier.
The Prince told the assembled reporters that his wife will be known as Her Serene Highness, the Princess of Monaco or as Princess Grace.
It came as no surprise that the question of children was raised. The matter is "more than academic in Monaco" because if Prince Rainier does not have an heir, the "principality will revert to France." Miss Kelly "hesitated" when the question was broached, and her mother came to her rescue.
Mrs. Kelly said: "I should say a lot. I am a grandmother and I love a family.
The newly engaged couple and the bride's "beaming family" maintained patience and dignity and their good humor throughout the press conference, which took place at 4 p.m.
Miss Kelly wore a "champagne colored gown of brocaded wool," with a palace beige silk scarf around her neck. A gold star was to the right of the scarf. The star matched her "shell-like earrings. Prince Rainier wore a blue suit, and his "white collar was pinned down."
Prince Rainier acknowledged that a wedding date has not been set. "It hasn't been definitely arranged. We don''t know if it will be in America or in Monaco."
Reporters also asked if Miss Kelly would continue her film career after her marriage. Miss Kelly answered: "I still have a contract with M-G-M and I have to do two more pictures, and then I'm taking a leave of absence." When pressed for further details, Miss Kelly said that tomorrow night she would attend the Monte Carlo Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. She plans to leave for Hollywood at the weekend as she begins work on a film called "High Society" on January 17.
Prince Rainier said he would he heading to Florida.
The questions then moved to the ring, which consists of "two intertwined bands of rubies and diamonds."
Although he would not give the details of his proposal, Rainier did say that he gave the ring to his "sweetheart" two days ago.
Grace Kelly is the daughter of Olympic medalist, John B. Kelly and his wife, Margaret. She was born in Philadelphia on November 12, 1929. She first met Prince Rainier when she was on location on the French Riviera.
Prince Rainier, who succeeded his grandfather, Prince Louis, in 1949, has been described as the the world's most eligible bachelor.
The tiny principality "on the sunny coast of the Mediterranean burst into national rejoicing" when they learned of Prince Rainier's engagement to Grace Kelly.