When Grace Kelly Said “I Do”

Among the many elaborate and memorable nuptials in history – Jackie O and JFK, Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles and, most recently the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William – Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier Grimaldi will forever sit in some memories as the most magnificent of them all. On this day 56 years ago, Hollywood glam met royal tradition when the ever-elegant film star Grace Kelly stunned the world in a Helen Rose gown with lace detail that some say raised the standards of matrimonial fashion. In fact, many fans noted Kelly’s influence on the Duchess of Cambridge’s Alexander McQueen gown, which boasted similar lace detail with modesty and elegance.

It’s not just their wedding that wowed onlookers; it is their relationship that completes a made-for-television love story. The 25-year-old Oscar-winning actress met the Prince of Monaco while attending a Cannes Film Festival. Thirty-one-year-old Rainier was just out of a relationship with French actress Giséle Pascal and was searching for a suitable bride to secure his place as a royal (under the terms of an old treaty, if Rainier died without an heir, they would all become citizens and taxpayers of France). Kelly admitted she was charmed by the Prince and made it clear she needed to be with someone with equal influence as she, saying, “I couldn’t bear walking into a restaurant and hearing the maitre d’ refer to my husband as Mr. Kelly.” And on the other side of the world, Rainier saw someone who could reinvigorate his domain. As the fairytale goes, one of Kelly’s bridesmaids, Rita Gam, told reporters ,”Their relationship was both rational and passionate.”

Though their ceremony is more than five decades old, as wedding season commences, brides around the world will be influenced by this timeless occasion that won the hearts of bridal and royal enthusiasts everywhere.

-Tianna Robinson