Grace Kelly met her Prince Charming, Rainier, at the Cannes Film Festival and after a whirlwind eight-month romance, the couple were engaged. The Hollywood actress and the royal tied the knot on 18 April 1956 in a civil ceremony, followed by a larger religious wedding the next day, as is customary in Monaco. Their nuptials were dubbed the “wedding of the century”, attended by around 700 guests and watched by an estimated 30 million on television.
The bride gave new meaning to the word “icon” when she stepped out on 19 April 1956 in her stunning wedding gown.
The show-stopping dress was made by MGM’s head costume designer Helen Rose and gifted to the actress by the film giants. It was the epitome of romance and instantly transformed the Hollywood star into real-life European royalty.
The dress, which took six weeks to make, was created from 125-year-old vintage Brussels lace, tulle and silk taffeta.
It was more complex than it looked. Underneath the sheer lace bodice was another strapless one made of silk crepe, while three layers of integrated petticoats gave the skirt its distinctive volume and bell shape.
Rainier and Grace enjoyed their wedding luncheon at the Palace’s Court of Honour and later cut their six-tier wedding cake using the prince’s sword.