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On This Day: Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco

The pair, whose marriage lasted 26 years, met when Kelly was invited to a photo session with Prince Rainier during the Cannes Film Festival in 1955.

April 19, 1956: American film actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco tied the knot on this day 57 years ago.

The star of 'The Country Girl' married Prince Rainier in a celebration in the Cathedral of Monaco.

The pair met when Kelly was invited to a photo session with Prince Rainier during the Cannes Film Festival in 1955.




They struck up a private correspondence soon after when Kelly was working on The Swan back in America, and rumours of a romance were sparked when Prince Rainier visited America in December 1955.

The Prince met Kelly again on this trip - along with her family - and proposed three days later.

The newlyweds ride in an open top car after the ceremony in the South of France. (PA)

Prince Rainier leads his film star bride from Monaco Cathedral on April 19, 1956 (PA)

The wedding itself, dubbed 'The Wedding of the Century' by an excitable media, saw 400 reporters apply to sail with Kelly and her entourage from America to the French Riviera (though most were turned away).

Kelly and Prince Rainier had both civil and religious weddings, in line with French law.




The 40-minute civil ceremony was held on April 18, in Monaco's Palace Throne Room, and was broadcast across Europe.

The following day they had a church ceremony at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco, in front of 600 guests. Kelly's dress, an ivory gown made of silk taffeta and lace, was worked on for six weeks by three dozen seamstresses.

Grace Kelly poses with Marlon Brando after the pair scooped Best Actress and Best Actor at the Oscars in 1955. …

After the wedding, where Kelly became Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, she gave up her acting career, having made 11 films.

Princess Grace and Prince Rainier's marriage lasted 26 years and saw them have three children together, before Kelly died in 1982.

The Princess suffered a stroke at the wheel of her car, which caused her to crash with her daughter also in the vehicle.

Kelly was pulled alive from the wreckage (her daughter was said to have suffered only minor bruising), but sustained serious injuries and died in hospital the next day, aged 52.