Grace Kelly has received endless tributes after dying in a tragic car accident on September 13, 1982. The last tribute to the former princess of Monaco and one of Hollywood's greatest divas has arrived this week, in a place as marked as is the region where their ancestors were born. The small Irish town of Newport was the scene where Albert II of Monaco traveled this Thursday, and he did so to experience a most emotional day in memory of his mother.
In the small town, with only 626 inhabitants, the head of state of Monaco was first feted with all the honors in a fervent welcome ceremony. Shortly after his arrival, the 65-year-old prince began a walk through the picturesque streets of the town, accompanied, as usual, by the local authorities. He did it to the beat of a group of bagpipers, who entertained the walk.
The entire entourage then reached the point where the beautiful bronze statue dedicated to the wife of Rainier III is located. At that time, the sculpture was covered by a white canvas, in order to maintain expectation before being discovered by the Prince and the rest of the attendees. The inauguration of the work also had the presence of other relatives of the Hollywood star, such as his cousin JB Kelly. An act that was intended to be an intimate and personal tribute to the deceased movie star.
Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ireland, who had traveled to the coastal municipality, were also present at the site. The specific place where the sculpture has been erected is located on the outskirts of town, near the house that belonged to the ancestors of the Kelly family, specifically in the Drumilra neighborhood. A place that surely the prince has been very excited to visit.
The act took place last Thursday, one day before the celebration of Saint Patrick. In the act, Prince Alberto delivered a heartfelt speech of pride and gratitude when contemplating the figure that makes his mother even more eternal, if that is possible. The sovereign had become personally involved in the project by choosing the image that represents a benchmark in women's fashion at the time, created by the artist Mark Rode. A recognition, therefore, very personal.
The statue in honor of the actress has a meaning that fans of the cinema will have realized immediately. The sculpture recreates a scene from the film To Catch a Thief, released in 1995 and directed by Alfred Hitchcock and with Cary Grant in the main cast. The American actress now appears sitting on a bench, while in the suspenseful romantic comedy she did so with the same position on a sofa.
That tape marked the life and death of the Princess, since it was during its filming on the Côte d'Azur where she met Prince Rainier of Monaco. She married him a year later and would start a family. Coincidences of her life made her that, decades later, she would die in the same place. It was when she was 52 years old that she left this world, when her car left the road and fell down a hill. This is not the first statue to be erected in honor of the actress, as there is another in the Principality, in the Fontvieille gardens, which bear her name.