Monaco Revue   
Remembering a peerless princess

Like an echo, the French word for "touching" was heard several times, from the lips of many, as Monaco's elite filed past displays of photos, home movies, Hollywood films, letters, dresses, jewellery, dried flower artwork and countless other personal items of a long lost mother of three royal children and a nation.

The opening of "The Grace Kelly Years" exhibition (July 11, 2007) had a reverential, rather than a celebratory air. Although quarter of a century has passed since the car she was driving careened off a cliff and took her life, Philadelphia-born Princess Grace is very much missed by the citizens and residents of the country she called home after giving up a glowing Hollywood career to marry Prince Rainier III in 1956.

Fifteen rooms of never before seen personal effects allow visitors to know her more intimately. Actually, in some rooms you feel almost as if you've been invited up to Roc Agel (the family's private mountaintop retreat, from which the Princess was returning to Monaco that fateful day) and are thumbing through photo albums or are riffling through boxes in the attic. Items on display include childhood paintings and cards Prince Albert and his sisters, Princesses Caroline and Stephanie made for their mother, and the nursery clothes in which she dressed them. Prince Albert, who requested the exhibition, with the backing of his sisters, gave unprecendented access to the curator, noted film-maker and historian Frédéric Mitterrand.

The exhibition at the Grimaldi Forum runs from July 12 to September 23.

Across the principality, 25 installations have been set up marking significant events in the life of both the mini-state and Princess Grace. And from July 19 to 21, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is staging Le Songe in tribute to the princess' memory.    Photos: © DP Inc.
St Pier in Monaco

St Pier in Monaco
Princess Grace's living legacy, her youngest children Princess Stephanie and Prince Albert II at the opening
Monaco Monaco
(Left) Gina Lollobrigida, Italian actress and contemporary of the late princess   (Right) Prince Albert with exhibition organizer Frédéric Mitterrand, nephew of the former French president
(Left) Jack Nicholson at the opening with Prince Albert's personal trainer Jean-Camille Oyac
(Right) At age 83, Princess Grace's hairdresser Alexandre — seen here working his magic on the royal tresses — could not make the trip from Paris so he sent his granddaughter Ophélie raimon
Present were, left, Palace chaplain Canon César Penzo and Monaco Archbishop Bernard Barsi
(Right) The exhibition offers a close up look at not only that famous portrait of Grace Kelly with her Oscar, but as well the dress she wore and the golden statue she took home that night
Magazine covers with Grace Kelly/Princess Grace's photos literally cover a wall of the exhibition

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