Monday, April 18, 2016
Kelly-Monaco - wedding
April 18, 1956
Grace Kelly, the American film star, and Prince Rainier III of Monaco were married today in a civil ceremony, where the bride and groom gave their assent in French (Oui), reports the New York Times.
The 26-year-old Philadelphia native and the 32-year-old Sovereign Prince of Monaco exchanged vows in the palace's sixteenth century throne room.
The Roman Catholic ceremony will take place tomorrow.
About one hundred people attended the civil ceremony, which is required by Monegasque law, and the ceremony was televised throughout Western Europe.
The couple sat side by side in the room. The Kelly family and the bride's friends were on the bride's left, and the Grimaldis and their friends were on the bridegroom's right. Representatives of twenty-five nations sat behind the "Kelly contingent."
Miss Kelly and Prince Rainier were reported to be "tense and grim-faced, " and neither gave a "hint of a smile throughout the half-hour ceremony."
On two occasions, Miss Kelly "looked distraughtly" at the Prince, and he did not look back. On several occasions, he was seen fidgeting in his chair.
The couple were married according to the Napoleonic code, which includes: "the married couple mutually owe each other fidelity, help and assistance. The husband owes protection to his wife, the wife obedience to her husband. The wife is obliged to live with the husband, and to follow him everywhere he judges it suitable to reside. The husband is obliged to receive her and to furnish her all the necessities of life according to his means and conditions."
Each 'Oui" in response was "virtually inaudible."
The witnesses for the wedding were the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. John B Kelly of Philadelphia; the bride's brother, John B. Kelly, Jr.; the bride's sister, Mrs. George Davis; Prince Pierre, Count de Polignac and Princess Charlotte, the groom's divorced parents; Count Charles de Polignac, a cousin; Princess Antoinette of Monaco, the groom's older sister; and French Lieut. Col. Jean-Marie Ardent, a friend of Prince Rainier.
The Prince's private Chaplain, the Rev. Francis Tucker, and Conrad Hilton, personal representative of President Eisenhower, also signed the marriage register.
The couple tonight attended a gala performance at the Royal Opera House. Afterward, he took Grace back to the Palace, and then he drove to his villa at St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat, in France.