Princess Grace of Monaco; otherwise known as the actress Grace Kelly, lived every little girl’s fairytale dream – of being a world famous Hollywood actress and marrying a Prince. After tragically dying in a car accident aged just 52, Grace’s life itself was like an onscreen movie. Here, in our opinion, is why she was a woman who made history.
Grace Kelly was one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses in the 1950s. Ranked 13 in the list of top female stars of American cinema by the American Film Institute, Grace’s name is spoken in the same breath as silver screen legends Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. These women were in a league of grace, dignity, class and elegance of their own that most actresses nowadays can only dream of, but more importantly, they were amongst a group of early female go-getters. During a time where male stars dominated, women such as Grace Kelly fought to become on a par with their counterparts. From the 50s; at the height of Grace’s career, the era in which she won her first ever Golden Globe for her part in ‘Mogambo’, Grace and the elite few, unbeknown at the time, set the standards for female actresses of today.
Grace had more to offer than just being a beautiful and talented actress; she wanted to show more depth to her character instead of what was portrayed from her Hollywood persona. At the tender age of 26, Grace gave up the life of flashy lights and fame to take on her role as the Princess of Monaco, alongside her husband Rainier III, Prince of Monaco. A mother to three children – Caroline Louise Marguerite, Princess of Hanover, Albert II, Prince of Monaco and Princess Stephanie Marie Elisabeth – Kelly still managed to start and actively be involved with improving arts institutes in Monaco, leading to the ‘The Princess Grace Of Monaco Foundation’ to support local artisans.
After much outcry in Monaco over movies she starred in, and not being able to fulfill her yearning to act, Grace began a series of poetry readings and narrating television shows. Arts was Grace’s passion; a passion left behind in Hollywood but never forgotten. In 1963, Grace founded the Association Mondiale des Amis de l’Enfance (AMADE) – in Englsh, the World Association of Children’s Friends – an organization which promotes and protects children’s rights. AMADE is still going strong till this day, ensuring that Grace Kelly’s legacy lives on further than her superficial reputation of just being an actress and marrying a Prince.
Grace Kelly was a princess, a mother, a wife, a movie star, a fashion idol and a humanitarian, and will forever be an icon to women all across the globe.
If anyone is interested in finding out about the evolution of Grace Kelly as a style icon, her wardrobe will be on display at the V&A museum in London. Accompanying the contents of Grace’s wardrobe – from her time as a Hollywood actress and as Princess Grace of Monaco – will be film clips, posters, photographs and also her Oscar statuette. The ‘Grace Kelly: Style Icon’ exhibition will begin on the 17th April 2010 and run through until the 26th September 2010.
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