A sculpture of Princess Grace was unveiled in Newport, Co Mayo on March 16 with the help of her son, Prince Albert of Monaco. 

The Princess Grace sculpture, which was created by local artist Mark Rode, was personally selected by Prince Albert and is based on an image of the iconic Irish American actress. 

The unveiling of the Grace Kelly statue was on Thursday and it was a wonderful day. Well done to all involved in organizing it.

Posted by Mark Rode Sculpture on Saturday, March 18, 2023

The sculpture pays tribute to Grace Kelly's strong Co Mayo links and is part of Newport Business Association's Two Graces project, which also celebrates the legendary pirate queen Grace O'Malley

The Newport Business Association, which has a GoFundMe to support its Two Graces initiative, said the project was a "commemoration and celebration of two iconic women with strong Mayo links."

Darragh McGee, who helped organize the unveiling of the Princess Grace sculpture, told RTÉ News: "We're delighted to have Prince Albert unveil the statue.

"Mark Rode is a very talented sculptor and we've enjoyed watching him over the past year as his project nears completion. He works out of his studio in Swinford and we've been in and out watching him put the finishing touches to the statue."

Princess Grace sculpture is based on this image selected by Prince Albert. Hollywood meets Monaco royalty ⁦@rtenews#Newport #PrincessGrace pic.twitter.com/pZznayzkk9

— Teresa Mannion (@TeresaMannion) March 16, 2023

Rode, who has also created sculptures of Thomas MacDonagh, Barack Obama, and "The Quiet Man" statue in Cong, will now commence work on the Grace O'Malley sculpture, which is scheduled to be completed by early 2024. 

The Newport Business Association hopes that the two sculptures will attract visitors to the area and provide a welcome boost to tourism. 

Before traveling to Ireland for the unveiling of the sculpture of his mother, Prince Albert visited the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco for some early St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Grace Kelly was born and raised in Philadelphia, where her paternal grandfather John Peter Kelly had emigrated to from Newport, Co Mayo.

With her husband Prince Albert of Monaco, Princess Grace made three trips to Co Mayo and ultimately purchased the cottage in Drimurla, outside of Newport, where her grandfather had grown up.

On her third trip in 1979, Princess Grace made plans to build a holiday home in Drimurla, however, the plans never came to fruition as Grace died tragically in a car accident in Monaco in September 1982.

Her son, Prince Albert, visited the Co Mayo cottage in April 2011, 50 years after she had made her first visit to Ireland.