The Alfred Hitchcock blonde and Oscar winner became royalty in 1956 at age 26 – forever ending her film career. And while many believed the star had embarked on a new life of greater glitz and glamour, Jay Jorgensen said Kelly experienced loneliness behind palace doors.
The author previously wrote a visual biography of the ‘50s screen icon titled “Grace Kelly: Hollywood Dream Girl,” which features over 400 photographs.
“The one thing that she would talk about was time,” Jorgensen recently told Closer Weekly. “She would say that she [wanted privacy] a little bit [with her husband] and just wanted to be alone with him for a while.”
Prince Rainier III and actress Princess Grace Kelly wave from the palace terrace at Monaco in the South of France on April 18, 1956. (AP)
According to Jorgensen, Kelly and Rainier visited Ireland – her family’s ancestral home – in 1961. In 1976, they purchased 35 acres, along with the remaining foundation stones that marked where a cottage once stood and had planned to build a vacation house there.
Jorgensen said Kelly didn’t anticipate the loneliness that would come from leaving behind her home in the U.S. to embark on a completely new life of duty and devotion in Monaco. At the time, she only spoke English while everyone else conversed in French.
However, she “drew on her inner strength” and dedicated herself to marriage and motherhood as a royal.
“When Grace got married, she did it on her town terms,” said Jorgensen. “She waited for the man who was essentially her equal and then became a fairly modern princess.”
In 1962, Hitchcock invited Kelly to star in “Marnie.” However, Jorgensen told the outlet that public opinion in Monaco stopped her from accepting the offer.
American actress Grace Kelly on the set of ‘To Catch a Thief,’ directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
“Rainier was agreeable to it, but Grace decided because of the big outcry, it shouldn’t be done,” he said.
But before her death in 1982 from a car accident at age 52, Kelly found an outlet for her acting. She continued to raise awareness of the importance of the arts and supported numerous American performing and film artists. Among Kelly’s many projects associated with the arts were restoring a theater in Monte Carlo, as well as leading stage tours in Europe and the U.S., in which she read poetry.
“She would do these tours to raise money for charity,” Jorgensen told the outlet. “Chances are, had she lived, she may have done a lot more and we may have finally seen her in a film again.”
The 63-year-old said the Princess Grace Foundation-USA is one of the many ways he’s keeping the legacy of the beloved matriarch alive.
Princess Grace of Monaco with her son Prince Albert at the Sporting Club of Monaco, circa 1980. (Photo by Francis Apesteguy/Getty Images )
“It’s very simple — she had that desire to help young artists, young emerging artists, in the performing arts,” he explained. “That’s exactly what we [do]. She didn’t have time to set up the foundation in her lifetime. She was busy with other charities and other foundations. There is also a Princess Grace Foundation-Monaco, which helps the dance school and other artists, mostly in painting and sculpture.”
While Kelly gave up her Hollywood career to become a princess, Albert revealed she never forgot her American roots. In fact, she was still eager to help aspiring performers find their footing.
“The performing arts in this country, I think she was very keen on putting up an entity that would help because young artists have problems of trying… to find work when they get out of school and trying to find some sort of recognition,” said Albert.
“It’s incredible how she touched the lives of so many people,” he reflected. “Not only of her generation but also younger generations now… a lot of them still know her through her films or through photographs or through different actions that she was able to do over the years with different charities.”