40th anniversary of the death of Princess Grace: A fairy tale that ended fatally
40th anniversary of the death of Princess Grace
A fairy tale that ended fatally
40 years ago today, Princess Grace died after a tragic car accident. A look back at her extraordinary life…
On September 14, 1982, time stood still for a moment in the small principality of Monaco: after a serious car accident the day before, Princess Grace (1929-1982) died of her injuries in hospital. She will only be 52 years old. A look back at her life:
Breakthrough in Hollywood
Grace Kelly was without a doubt one of the most beautiful and talented actresses of the last century. Hollywood noticed her early on. In 1951, at the age of 22, she appeared in front of the camera for a small role in the film “Fourteen Hours”. Her second film, alongside Hollywood legend Gary Cooper (1901-1961), helped Grace Kelly achieve her breakthrough: the cult western “High Noon” (1952) hit like a bomb and made the then 23-year-old suddenly one of the big stars of the 1950s. In 1955 she won the Oscar for best actress in the film “The Country Girl”.
Deified by Alfred Hitchcock
She owes her greatest successes to director legend Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980). The master of suspense was struck by Kelly’s unique beauty. For him she was the ideal type of unapproachable beauty and he hired her for the films “Murder Call” (1954), “The Window to the Courtyard” (1954) and “Over the Rooftops of Nice” (1955). “Grace Kelly is a snow-capped mountain and when the snow melts you discover a glowing volcano underneath,” he gushed about his star at the time. After Kelly ended her film career, Hitchcock mainly engaged actresses who resembled her type – such as Vera Miles, Kim Novak or Tippi Hedren.
Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra or James Stewart – Grace Kelly has been in front of the camera with the really big stars in her career. The actress also seemed to have had a soft spot for older men privately: “They’re just more interesting, I like people who know more than me,” she is said to have once explained.
Fairytale wedding in Monaco
Finally, in 1955, the life of the Hollywood star changed abruptly. Journalists arranged a meeting of the film star with the Prince of Monaco Rainier III at the Cannes Film Festival. (1923-2005). The bachelor was so smitten with the actress that he traveled to the States for Christmas and proposed to the Kellys for their daughter. The “wedding of the century” finally followed on April 19, 1956. Grace and Rainier were married at Monaco Cathedral by Archbishop Gilles Barthe, and the American film princess became Princess Grace.
Your life in the Principality
The Princess gave Monaco a facelift. The couple had children Caroline (65), Albert (64) and Stéphanie (57). The former actress turned down almost all offers for stage and film – including the leading role in the Hitchcock film “Marnie”. She took on “befitting” tasks, took on charitable events, became President of the Red Cross, founded a garden club and made flower collages.
The car accident
Her tragic accidental death in 1982 finally made the princess a legend. Princess Gracia Patricia and her then 17-year-old daughter Princess Stéphanie were on their way home from their summer residence Roc Agel on September 13, 1982, when the Princess’ car left the road on the winding Route de La Turbie for reasons that are not fully understood. The two women fell 40 meters down a cliff.
The princess was able to free herself with severe cervical injuries and a concussion. The Princess was taken to the Center Hospitalier Princesse Grace. On the evening of September 14, two months before her 53rd birthday, Gracia Patricia died as a result of the accident. Four days later, on September 18, the Princess was buried in the presence of around 800 mourners in the Notre-Dame-Immaculée Cathedral in Monaco.