Yesterday, her only son Prince Albert II got married to Charlene Wittstock at the ripe old age of 53, but Irish American legend Grace Kelly has long departed this earth.
Her death in a car crash in 1982 shocked the world. She was every bit as glamorous as Jackie Kennedy, with whom she was once compared.
Indeed, her influence has lasted down to the present day. The wedding gown of Catherine Middleton when she married Prince William was based on Grace's own stunning nuptial gown when she married Prince Rainier in 1956.
Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12th, 1929, and would have been only 82 on her only son’s wedding day if she had lived. She had two daughters also.
She was born to Jack Brendan Kelly, an Olympian gold medal rower, who traced the family tree back to County Mayo. Grace Kelly's father's ancestors were from Newport in County Mayo.
Her father (born 1889) was married to Margaret Maier; her grandfather was John Henry Kelly (born 1847) married to Mary Costello; and her great-grandfather was Brian Kelly (born 1804) married to Honora Margaret McLaughlin.
This year Albert took his bride to be on a trip to Mayo to the ancestral home of the Kelly’s, a nice touch much appreciated by the locals.
Jack Kelly was a prominent Irish American Democrat and narrowly lost a race to be mayor of Philadelphia. His daughter. Grace was named after his father’s sister, who died at a very young age.
Her Uncle George Kelly was estranged from the family because he was gay, but won the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for drama for his play "Craig’s Wife."
The acting gene was clearly in Grace’s DNA. She first appeared on Broadway at just 19 in Strindberg’s play "The Father." She made her film debit in 1951 in the film "Fourteen Hours."
Soon she was Hollywood’s hottest property starring in such notable films as "Rear Window," "High Noon," "Dial M for Murder" and "The County Girl," for which she won an Oscar.
She met Prince Rainier during a visit to Monaco in the 1950s. Their wedding was described as the Wedding of the Century.
Now her son has finally tied the knot to a woman who looks in many ways as statuesque and beautiful a blond as his mother.
One can only wonder what the Catholic Grace would make of her son’s three children out of wedlock!
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