It's been called the wedding of the century. On April 18, 1956, in a real-life fairytale, American actress Grace Kelly became a princess when she married Monaco's Prince Rainier. More than 60 years later, we're taking a look back at the details of that iconic day.
Now one of the most recognizable wedding dresses of all time, Kelly's stunning gown was actually a gift to the actress from MGM. Designed by costume designer Helen Rose, it reportedly required 30 seamstresses and six weeks to make.
The dress, which features a high neckline, multiple petticoats, antique Brussels lace, and hundreds of tiny pearls, is now owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which displays it from time to time. Its silhouette continues to inspire modern brides from Mirada Kerr to Kate Middleton, but it wasn't the only dress Kelly wore for her wedding.
She actually wore a second blush-colored lace dress for her civil marriage ceremony, which took place at the palace before she wed Prince Rainier in the religious ceremony at St. Nicholas Cathedral.
Unlike some royal brides, Kelly opted not to wear a tiara on her wedding day. Instead, she chose a Juliet cap to hold her 90-yard veil in place, adorned with lace, seed pearls, and paper orange blossoms.
Grace Kelly carried a prayer book embellished with silk, lace, and pearls and a small bunch of lilies of the valley down the aisle in place of an oversized bouquet.
THE GUEST LIST
The ceremony at Monaco's St. Nicholas Cathedral was attended by around 600 people including movie stars like Cary Grant, Ava Gardner, and Gloria Swanson, and society notables Aristotle Onassis and Conrad Hilton.
There was no rubbery chicken breast on the menu at this royal wedding banquet. Guests dined on caviar, lobster, champagne, and a 200-pound, six-tier wedding cake.
“Mom said it was ‘overwhelming,’ ” Prince Albert told People. “That ‘excited’ or the word ‘overjoyed’ wasn’t strong enough to express her feelings. My father said so too.”
Following her wedding (and 142 official new titles, including Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, for the actress-turned-royal), the newlyweds jetted off on a seven-week cruise on the yacht, Deo Juvante II, a wedding gift from Onassis.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.