Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Grace Kelly weds her Prince

April 19, 1956

The Oscar-winning American film star, Grace Kelly, is now Her Serene Highness the Princess of Monaco, the consort of Prince Rainier III.

The couple were married today in a Roman Catholic service at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, which was filled with the representations of 25 nations,  600 guess, 100 reporters and the television and newsreel cameras.    The ceremony "was beamed by radio and television to millions of persons" in Western Europe.

The bride and groom "looked solemn" during the ceremony but the "tense, almost anguished look they displayed yesterday at their civil wedding" was gone.
Miss Kelly was "striking in her flowing white and ivory gown," as she walked "slowly down the nave on the arm of her father, John. B. Kelly of Philadelphia.

She was soon joined by Prince Rainier, who wore a uniform "that he designed himself.  It was based on the uniform of Napoleon's marshals  -- "a decorated black tunic with gold-leaf cuffs, sky-blue trousers with a gold band down the sides, and a midnight-blue bicorne with white ostrich feathers."

Prince Rainier was served by three best men: Count Charles de Polignac, a cousin; French Lieut. Col. Jean-Marie Arden, a friend; and Miss Kelly's brother, John B. Kelly's brother.

Miss Kelly had two matrons of honor: her sister, Mrs. George L. Davis of Philadelphia and Princess Antoinette of Monaco,  Prince Rainier's older sister.   The other attendants were Mrs. Thomas L. Guinzberg (the actress Rita Gam); Mrs. Elizabeth Gray; Mrs. Jay Kanter; and Mrs. Maree Pamp, a schoolmate of Miss Kelly.

The presiding Bishop Gilles Barthe said to the couple that their marriage had "given birth to 'great hopes.'"

Guests at the wedding including former King Farouk of Egypt, W. Somerset Maugham; Ava Gardner, the American film actress, and the Aga Khan and his wife, the Begum.

After the ceremony, couple drove through Monaco's "winding streets." The car stopped at the Chapel of St. Devote, where the new Princess Grace "placed her bouquet of lilies of the valley at the foot of the statue of the saint."

A buffet luncheon was held at the palace for the guests.  Prince Rainier bestowed on his new wife the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Charles, which is Monaco's highest order.

They spent their first afternoon as husband and wife at a soccer match.

Princess Grace's gown was described by the New York Times as the "loveliest example of the American product."



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