The fortieth anniversary of the death of actress Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco

It’s been 40 years since the death of Grace Kelly, the Oscar-winning Hollywood actress and Hitchcock muse who, through her marriage to Rainier of Monaco, became a princess and revolutionized European monarchies in the 1950s. It was on September 14, 1982, that he died in a road accident on the road that connects Nice to Monte Carlo, traveling with his daughter Estefania.



with Grace Kelly Two of the mythologies that most fascinated the press and the public came together: that of cinema and that of monarchies. As an actress, she is one of the surprising faces of the new American cinema of the fifties, with a greater tendency towards naturalism. As natural as you can be in Hollywood movies, of course. charmed Hitchcock and won an Oscar. All this before the accession in 1956 Rainier from Monaco.

This union changed his life and forced the ban on royal homes. What was scandalous at the time that an actress, no matter how prestigious, would marry a sovereign, became the norm in the following decades. Lawyers, models, secretaries and even journalists would eventually marry royalty. It is now forty years since his death.

He died on September 14, 1982 Grace Kelly aged 53. Their relationship in the panorama of royal houses in the fifties was a breath of fresh air for some and a disrespect for others. Isabel II he came to boycott the wedding and virtually no monarchy was represented. This maneuver did not do him much good, as Monte Carlo became the center of world attention.

More than a quarter of a century later, when princess grace she died, no one questioned her anymore in monarchical circles. She had played the role of husband better than many of royal blood. A role that had begun to tire him. In the years before his death, he tried to spend as little time as possible in the Principality. A luxury apartment on Avenida Foch in Paris was his refuge in the late 1970s. At first, he assured that he was doing it to be close to his daughter Carolinawho studied in the French capital, but after her marriage to the French playboy Philippe Juneau in 1977 Grace continued her stay in Paris.

In addition, from 1976 he began to accept work away from the Principality. He gave charity poetry recitals, voiced a series of gardening documentaries and became a member of Fox’s board of directors, forcing him to travel frequently to his native United States. Many believe that in those years she lacked time as an actress and that with these works she filled this need.

Shortly after marrying Rainier, she twice had to turn down a return to the big screen: to play Mary in king of kings (1961) and to photograph again with his teacher Alfred Hitchcock Marni the thief (1964). Her husband, Prince Rainier, thinks it is not convenient for a princess to return to the world of cinema.

Stephanie, Grace Kelly and Rainier.

The marriage, which broke taboos in European monarchies, did not fare well in the years before the princess’s death. While Grace spent more and more time in France, Rainier had to remain in Monte Carlo at the head of a small country where the sovereign had political power and which was run almost like a private company. In addition, the rumors of the time ensured that the former queen of Hollywood began an affair with the French director Robert Hosseinone of the innovators of the French theater.

A few months before the fatal accident that ended the life of Grace Kelly, during an official visit to the marriage in Thailand, they organized a heated discussion that captured the interest of the international press. American tabloid magazine National Enquirer On its cover it is written that the princess has informed those closest to her of her intention to divorce. The truth is that in the month of August the couple and their three children (Carolina, Alberto and Estefania) embarked on a cruise through the Norwegian fjords. At the time, 17-year-old Estefania was in a relationship with Paul Belmondoson of the legendary French actor who did not like his parents at all.

The day that changed everything

On September 13, the princely couple and their little daughter were at their residence in Rock Arguelles, very close to Monte Carlo. Early in the morning, Rainier heads to the Principality. At ten in the morning Gracia and her daughter Estefania did. The princess filled the back of the car with clothes and hat boxes, so she decided to drive alone, something she didn’t like very much, staying in France as his personal driver. So he took charge of a Brown Rover 3500 which he bought five years earlier.

As the car headed towards Monte Carlo, a Renault truck followed. After the accident, the driver Eve Philly He will testify that at a certain moment he saw the car start to zigzag and that it attracted his attention by pressing the horn. The car straightened up, but as they rounded a sharp bend, he saw that the brake lights weren’t on and the speed wasn’t slowing down. A car went through the bend and fell 45 meters high, circling several times. The car fell into an orchard. The couple who own it came out when they heard the commotion and discovered the Dantesque scene. The car is broken and Princess Estefania got out of the driver’s window and asked for help in a state of shock.. The farmers notified the gendarmes and the Palace of Monte Carlo.

Grace Kelly’s funeral.

When the authorities arrived, they tried to get Princess Grace out of the car with great difficulty, with her eyes open and a huge hole in her forehead. Although he had a pulse, he was unresponsive to stimuli. Mother and daughter They were transferred to Princess Grace Hospital in Monte Carlo.. At some point, the need for a scanner became apparent. Since the state hospital does not have the necessary equipment, the princess was transferred to a private clinic. The stretcher did not fit in the elevator and had to be carried up the stairs. A scene with shades of the third world in a country of millionaires. At that time, Princess Caroline arrived in the country from England.

finally nothing could be done to save the life of the princess and she was pronounced dead at 10:30 on the night of September 14. Four days later, the state funeral took place. Estefania did not attend the funeral because she is still in hospital. They attended the same Fabiola from Belgium or farah diba. Representing France, the First Lady did Daniel Mitterrand and from the United States Nancy Reagan. United Kingdom attended from Diana of Wales that fifteen years later he would die in a similar fashion to Grace Kelly.

The official version of the death is that the wife of Rainier from Monaco had a seizure while driving and lost control. However, the type of attack that affected the former muse of Hitchcock. On the other hand, during the investigation by the French police, the Grimaldi Palace prohibited Princess Stephanie from testifying. Monaco’s constitution allows any member of the royal family to be exempt from prosecution.

All this helped build the legend that Estefania, still a minor, was driving. The interested party herself never spoke on the subject until an interview published exclusively by the magazine Hello!, on the twentieth anniversary of the event, he assured that this rumor was a lie. However, this was not the only rumor about the crash.. An American newspaper claimed that the car’s brakes had been tampered with. This caused rumors to grow about a possible attack on the princess, and that according to versions it could be organized by the Italian mafia or by the Order of the Sun Temple, a dangerous sect associated with her a decade earlier. No data was ever given to give truth to these rumors about the end of the woman who conquered Hollywood and then European royalty.

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