Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding (1956)

Invited at Cannes’ Film Festival, in 1955, Grace Kelly meets the prince of Monaco and in 1956, the American actress becomes a princess while she settles in Monaco after a sumptuous wedding. News of the engagement was a sensation, even though it meant a probable end to Kelly’s film career.

The Napoleonic Code of Monaco and the laws of the Roman Catholic Church necessitated two ceremonies – both a civil ceremony and a religious wedding.

The 16-minute civil ceremony took place in the Palace Throne Room of Monaco on April 18, 1956, and a reception later in the day was attended by 3,000 Monaco citizens. To cap the ceremony, the 142 official titles that she acquired in the union (counterparts of his) were formally recited.

The following day the church ceremony took place at Monaco’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral, before Monaco’s Bishop Gilles Barthe. 

The wedding was estimated to have been watched by over 30 million viewers on live television, and was described by biographer Robert Lacey as “the first modern event to generate media overkill.” 

Her wedding dress, designed by MGM’s Academy Award–winning Helen Rose, was worked on for six weeks by three dozen seamstresses. The bridesmaids’ gowns were designed by Joe Allen Hong at Neiman Marcus.

The 700 guests included several famous people, including Aristotle Onassis, Cary Grant, David Niven and his wife Hjördis, Gloria Swanson, Ava Gardner, the crowned head Aga Khan III, Gloria Guinness, Enid, Lady Kenmare, Daisy Fellowes, Etti Plesch, Lady Diana Cooper, Louise de Vilmorin, Loelia Lindsay, and Conrad Hilton.

She and Rainier left that night for their seven-week Mediterranean honeymoon cruise on his yacht, Deo Juvante II.

grace-kelly-2-a

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956 via

019_grace-kelly-et-rainieriii_theredlist

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956 via

grace-kelly-4-a

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956 via

grace19

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956 via

grace_dress_5_jpg_1319617905

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956 via

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956 via

Hot-2014-Taffeta-High-Neck-Princess-Of-Monaco-font-b-Wedding-b-font-Gowns-Backless-Lace

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956 via

grace

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956

157-grace-kelly-theredlist

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956 via

grace-kellys-dress

Grace Kelly & Rainier III, Prince of Monaco Wedding Day, April 19, 1956 via

In April 19th 1956, the world watched as Prince Rainier of Monaco wed Hollywood actress Grace Kelly at the Cathedral of St Nicholas.

Costume and Fashion Designer Oleg Cassini (1913-2006)

Oleg Cassini (1913 – 2006) was an American fashion designer born to an aristocratic Russian family with maternal Italian ancestry. He came to the United States as a young man after starting as a designer in Rome, and quickly got work with Paramount Pictures.

Cassini established his reputation by designing for films. He gained additional renown by designing for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. “The Jackie Look” was highly influential in American design.

He also designed for Rita Hayworth, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood and Gene Tierney whom he married in 1941; they separated after the birth of their first daughter. She began a romance with John F. Kennedy. Their romance was short lived as he could never marry her because of his political ambitions. She reconciled with Cassini and they had a second daughter. This marriage lasted until 1952 and they remained friends.

After his divorce Cassini and Grace Kelly were briefly engaged, but her family would not approve the marriage as he was 16 years her senior, twice divorced, had 2 children and was non-catholic.

heyday-gene-tierney-vintage-retro-wedding-dress-inspiration

Oleg Cassini designed this gown for Gene Tierney, though a speedy elopement meant it was never made and worn. Five years later, the gown saw the light of day for Gene’s role in the movie Razor’s Edge (1946), for which Oleg designed her costumes via

marilyn-monroe-in-red-velve-oleg-cassini

Marilyn wore a smoldering red Oleg Cassini velvet gown to accept her Best Young Box Office Personality award in 1951. She later wore it for a sensual publicity portrait via

grace

Grace Kelly at the premiere of Rear Window, 1954. Her dress was designed by Oleg Cassini who was her escort that evening. Photo by Frank Worth via

turner

Oleg Cassini dressing Lana Turner via

jackie

Jackie Kennedy Onassis in iconic 1961 Presidential Inauguration gown by Oleg Cassini via