Grace Kelly first shimmied her way into my life when my mum bought me a copy of High Society on video, when I was about 12. She gave me a quick run-down of the ‘beautiful actress marries prince and moves to Monaco story’ and pressed play. When the credits rolled two hours later, I could very much see what the fuss was about.
Not one to be fickle with my emotions, I have taken my love of Grace Kelly into adulthood. My boyfriend (now husband) took me back to Monaco for my 23rd birthday to visit an exhibition, which gave me the chance to see her wedding dress, Oscar and other personal belongings with my own eyes. We even had lunch at the Carlton in Cannes because it’s where To Catch a Thief was filmed. Framed prints of her hang on my walls at home; my bookcase is filled with her biographies and we had a Grace Kelly themed wedding.
When people become aware of my fondness for her, I often get asked the question, ‘Why Grace Kelly?’ My list is pretty long but this is a good start:
– She was beautiful, clever, talented and so very cool. Who wouldn’t want to be a powerhouse of these traits?
– She was determined to follow her dream. Despite coming from a family of athletics, she broke free from tradition to follow a career in the arts, reached the top and had the Oscar to prove it. For those who haven’t seen Rear Window, I suggest you make it your ‘next see’ film because it’s a classy masterpiece and Ms Kelly at her finest.
– She wore some amazing clothes. This might sound shallow but as a lover of beautiful dresses, I’m not going to apologise. Although she was one of those people who would have made Primark look like Prada, she wore some truly gorgeous frocks that I will probably lust after forever.
– She didn’t live happily ever after. There is a misconception that her life was a modern day fairy tale. Yes, she married a handsome prince and moved to a pink(ish) palace by the sea; but she found the transition hard, had to give up a career she loved and had good and bad times in her marriage like most people. The fact she gave a good performance as an actress and a princess regardless of what was happening in her personal life make her all the more endearing.
– She has yet to be topped. When you think of ‘ice cool beauty,’ you think of Grace Kelly. When you think of ‘Hitchcock blonde,’ you think of Grace Kelly. There have been so many beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed actresses who have graced the silver screens since she first presented herself to Hollywood, but no one has really surpassed her.
– She left a legacy. As well as leaving her mark on my DVD collection she has gone down in history on both sides of the Atlantic. She is largely remembered for being talented, kind, successful and dedicated to both her career and family. And that’s something to aspire to.