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4-19-05 Memories of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco

I remember being in the 10th Grade at the High School in Watkinsville at the time.  About the same time,  former President Truman’s daughter, Margaret was marrying a Daniell of  one of the Carolinas.  It also got coverage but not the kind that the Royal wedding received……..

AVOC

 

April 17, 2005

 

Memories of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

Upon hearing of the recent death and media coverage of Prince Rainier of Monaco I remembered the era of the royal wedding in 1956.

 

While Grace was a famous actress, she was a commoner.  The wedding was of fairy tale status.   It got the then equivalent of the coverage of the Prince Charles weddings.  With Grace Kelly becoming a Princess, it had the aura of romance and many of us learned about the small nation of Monaco.

 

I remember being in the 10th Grade at the High School in Watkinsville at the time.  About the same time,  former President Truman’s daughter, Margaret was marrying a Daniell of  one of the Carolinas.  It also got coverage but not the kind that the Royal wedding received.   The Truman marriage was talked about  by many of my relatives because we were related to South Carolina and North Carolina Daniells.

 

As a youngster, I had a strong sense of egalitarianism and remember exclaiming in my 10th grade Homeroom that I thought the Margaret Truman wedding (non-royalty) was more important in America!  Mrs. Hargrove, my homeroom teacher  whom I loved and who was always a true diplomat handled the issue very deftly.

 

It was later that I learned to appreciate more about the romance and dream quality of the marriage.   The marriage did last and Princess Grace conducted herself with “royal grace”.

 

From that wedding, I, along with many other Americans of that era, learned about the location and history of Monaco as an independent nation.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

April 6, 2005

 

Prince Rainier of Monaco Dies at Age 81

 


Associated Press Writer

Prince Rainier III, who reshaped Monaco and worked to overcome its reputation as "a sunny place for shady people," died Wednesday, leaving the throne to Prince Albert II, his only son with actress Grace Kelly.

In power for 56 of his 81 years, Rainier was Europe's longest-reigning monarch and the only ruler many of Monaco's 32,000 residents had ever known. A veritable father-figure, he dragged Monaco into the modern age while preserving much of the Mediterranean charm and royal trappings of his tiny principality.

Before age slowed him, Rainier poured his energies into public works, earning the name "the builder prince." He put Monaco — which is smaller than New York's Central Park — on the world map with his April 18, 1956, marriage to Kelly, who gave up Hollywood fame to become Princess Grace.

Albert, 47, has been groomed from birth to succeed Rainier. Multilingual, U.S. educated, and a five-time bobsledding Olympian, he was at his father's bedside when Rainier died at a hospital overlooking Monaco's yacht-filled main harbor………

The famed Monte Carlo casino closed in a sign of respect. Monaco's soccer team postponed a weekend match……….

Albert is unmarried and has no children — a source of consternation to Rainier, who worried about continuing the Grimaldi family line.

Monaco changed its succession law in 2002 to allow power to pass from a reigning prince who has no descendants to his siblings. Albert's sisters have children…….

When Rainier assumed the throne on May 9, 1949, Monaco's economy was driven by its roulette tables: Gambling proceeds represented 45 percent of government revenue. Now, casinos contribute less than 4 percent and Monaco relies on industries like pharmaceuticals, plastics, banking and tourism.

"I am like the head of a company," Rainier once said……

Rainier Grimaldi was the 30th descendant of Otto Canella, who founded the house of Grimaldi. Born May 31, 1923, the son of a princess born out of wedlock, Rainier was heir to a family with a stormy past — a harbinger of scandals to come……..

Educated in England, Switzerland and France, Rainier undertook military service near the end of World War II. He became Monaco's ruler at age 26 when his grandfather died……..

Rainier, who reportedly once considered Marilyn Monroe for his bride, met Kelly in 1955 when he was 31 and she was the 25-year-old star attraction of the Cannes Film Festival. She already had an Oscar from the 1954 film "The Country Girl," one of only 11 movies she made.

In January 1956, they announced their engagement and were married in April. Ten months later they had the first of their three children, Caroline. Albert's birth came the following year, on March 14. Stephanie was born Feb. 1, 1965.

Rainier never remarried after Grace's death in a car accident on Sept. 14, 1982 — and often cut a lonely figure in his latter years.

"She was always present and ready to do things either with me or for me if I couldn't do them," Rainier said in a 1983 interview. "Let's say the change is that we worked as a team and the team has been split up."…….


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