Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The wedding of the year April 1956

The wedding between Prince Rainier III of Monaco and the Oscar-winning Grace Kelly took place in Monaco on April 19, 1956. Grace's father paid a $2,000,000 dowry to Rainier. It is unlikely that Charlotte's father, Mike, will be required to provide a dowry.

Here is a link to the BBC coverage of the wedding - the footage is grainy.

The marriage of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly was a state occasion. Suffice to say, the interest in the United States was paramount, but, at the time, the wedding was not a major royal event. There were no representatives from the reigning royal houses. The major foreign guests included former King Farouk of Egypt, Ava Gardener, W. Somerset Maugham, and the Aga Khan and his wife, the Begum. Somerset Maugham described the Riviera as a "sunny place for the shady," an apt description not only for Monaco, but for Maugham himself.

Princess Grace put Monaco on the map. She gave the principality a touch of class. It is unlikely that many sovereign heads of state will be present for the wedding, but there certainly will be royal representation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Can't recall the name of the book, but I have read that Aristotle Onassis advised Rainier that he should marry a Hollywood movie star to promote Monaco to the "jet set", and that he had strongly suggested Marylin Monroe as a likely bride! Looks like Rainier took his advice, and settled for Grace Kelly (and her enormous dowry!).