Wednesday, April 20, 2011
THE Wedding of Monaco
A friend remembered Grace telling her that she had finally 'found her prince' only to later discover that for Grace, her "prince" actually was a prince. Their match and marriage put Monaco on the map. People all over the world and particularly in the United States, who had never heard of the tiny principality before suddenly became obsessed with all things Monegasque. Prince Rainier designed his own special uniform for the big day and Grace was given an early release from her MGM contract on the condition that the studio be given exclusive rights to film the princely wedding and release it to the public. It was an excellent short film, showing not just the wedding but Grace arriving in Monaco, exploring the Princely Palace that would be her new home and getting a taste of the centuries of history of the Grimaldi monarchy she was marrying in to. Prince Rainier had plenty of logistics to handle as his tiny country was literally swarmed with press and Grace had to have felt pulled in every direction from the wedding plans to relocating to Monaco to quickly learning French (or at least enough to get through the ceremony, to be refined and completed later). The Princess said later the actual wedding was rather difficult, so intense and crushing was the media glare. However, true to form, one would never have suspected it as everything was carried off flawlessly.
Not only did the wedding day and wedding ceremony set a standard for class and excellence but so did the marriage itself. Rainier and Grace were absolutely devoted to each other and would remain so for the rest of their lives. The Prince of Monaco could not have made a better choice. Princess Grace brought world attention to Monaco, made it the premier vacation spot for the Hollywood crowd among whom she had many friends but, with the help of Prince Rainier, Monaco also became known to the average person and was welcoming to a new wave of middle class visitors rather than remaining the exclusive retreat of the super-rich. Much of the artistic and charitable dates on Monegasque social calendar even today go back to what was first set up by Princess Grace. Recently, in the United States, a poll was taken as to the most beautiful princesses in the world. Kate Middleton made the list, as did (not surprisingly) Princess (later Queen) Rania of Jordan, Diana Princess of Wales, but still topping them all was our own Princess Grace of Monaco. Clearly, she set the standard in more ways than one.