Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Weddings: Grace Kelly & HSH Prince Rainier Of Monaco

Wedding fever is upon us and by us I mean the entire planet. A royal wedding post is the only medicine. On August 19, 1956 Hollywood star Grace Kelly became Princess Grace Of Monaco. I just love her wedding photos and her gown is immaculate.

Grace Kelly leaving Hollywood for her wedding in 1956. Her family and fifty friends boarded the USS Constitution which was headed for Monaco.

 Helen Rose from MGM'S costume department designed the royal wedding gown as MGM had a policy of providing their stars with their wedding dresses (this was done not only for publicity but because the reputations of their leading ladies as married women were good for business). Grace Kelly was still under contract with MGM when she accepted Prince Rainier's marriage proposal.

 Helen Rose chose beautiful, rose point lace for the bodice, veil, train insert and prayer book. Valenciennes lace was used for the skirt support and ruffled petticoat. Silk tulle, seed pearls and the taffeta skirt completed the iconic gown.
First, Grace put on the bodice layer: the bodice was attached to an under-bodice, a ruffled skirt support (forming the unique bell shape of the skirt) and a slip. Then came the skirt, which itself included 3 attached petticoats underneath the faille exterior: one for foundation, one ruffled for volume, and the top petticoat for smoothing. A separate pleated taffeta cummerbund fused the top and skirt together, and finally a lace train insert was added in to the back.

On the night before she met Rainier, the electrical workers of France went on strike. Most of Grace's clothing was still wrinkled from travel, so she wore a hideous black dress with large flowers in it, and stick some artificial flowers in her hair. (From

Grace decided against the customary tiara and instead her veil was attached to a gorgeous, beaded juliet cap. Her hair was styled by Sydney Guilaroff.

The shoes paired with Grace's wedding dress were from Evins, New York, and were designed by David Evins. A copper penny was built into the right shoe for good luck. A popular belief is that Grace wore flats so that she would not be much taller than Rainier, these shoes actually have 2 1/2"-inch heels. (From

Grace carried Rev. J.M. Lelen's Bride's Manual: A Manual of Catholic Devotion with Mass for the Marriage Ceremony and the Nuptial Blessing during her wedding to Prince Rainier. The book was a gift from family friend Mrs. John F. McCloskey of Chestnut Hill and was decorated by MGM's wardrobe department. (From

The entire adult population of Monaco—3,000—was invited to the celebration following the wedding. (From

As a wedding present, Rainier gave Grace a Van Cleef & Arpels set of a necklace, bracelet, and earrings.

Prince Rainier III designed the uniform that he wore to the wedding himself.

The people of Monaco gave Grace and Rainier a cream and black Rolls Royce convertible as a wedding gift. After the religious wedding ceremony, the couple drove through the streets of Monaco in it. (From

Aristotle Onassis gave Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace "Deo Juvante II", a 147-foot yacht, as a wedding present. The couple traveled around the Mediterranean on the yacht for their honeymoon. (From


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