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Grace Kelly had to pay $2M Dowry Before Marrying Prince Rainier III

Grace Kelly | Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images


Grace Kelly had to pay $2M Dowry Before Marrying Prince Rainier III


It’s not like the fairy tales when it comes to becoming a princess. While Disney will have you believe that losing a shoe or falling into a coma is enough, real-life royalty will have even more stringent requirements. When Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III and became a princess, she easily showed her value by capturing the hearts of the Monégasque citizens. Through her charisma alone, she could not win the seat. The Kellys were forced to pay an astronomically large dowry first, which cost them millions of dollars and almost cost Prince Rainier his marriage.

Grace Kelly was on her way to become a Hollywood royalty in 1956. After receiving an Academy Award for best actress for her part in “The Country Girl” (1954), she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco and exchanged her life’s work and wealth for a real royal title.

Kelly’s tale started in 1955, when she attended the Cannes Film Festival. She was invited to a photo session with Prince Rainier, who had been on the throne of Monaco for six years, while she was there. The promise of being a member of the royal family is always thrilling. Kelly almost definitely didn’t know that Monaco’s treasury was almost depleted. After WWII, resort visitors didn’t have as much money to spend in posh casinos as they had before the war. Prince Rainier was trying to solve the issues that plagued his tiny principality.

Despite challenges such as an electrical outage at Kelly’s hotel, the actress arrived at the palace on time, wearing a hideous dress with large cabbage flowers, which she later described as hideous.

The prince, on the other hand, was running late, confirming the old royal adage that “a prince or princess is never late; the others simply arrived earlier.” Kelly was preparing to abandon the meeting and depart when Rainier arrived right as she was about to exit, charmingly apologizing to Kelly for the wait. The prince allegedly led Kelly through the palace’s formal gardens, stopping by his own zoo to inspire her by petting a baby tiger.

Rainier allegedly mentioned his plan to visit America soon when on a tour of the palace, and Kelly didn’t say anything to stop him.


According to “Grace Kelly: The Missing Millions,” a recent Channel 5 documentary that premiered in the UK on March 27, the actress had to give a $2 million dowry to the House of Grimaldi in order to wed Prince Rainier, and she merged her acting fortune with her family inheritance to come up with the money.

Kelly was a total stranger to the royal scene when she married Prince Rainier III in 1956. Kelly’s influential status in Hollywood had accustomed her to glitz and glitter, but her transfer to Monaco undoubtedly came with a few cultural shocks.

Princess Grace quickly became a household name in the monarchy. According to Grace Influential, she did important philanthropy work through her organization and hosted an annual Christmas party for orphaned children. Her subjects adored her, and she soon rose to the top of the royal elite. Kelly also famously assisted Princess Diana of Wales in her early days as a royal.


“What is so poignant about Grace Kelly’s story is that she had to pay to become a princess,” Gemma Godfrey, a financial planner included in the documentary, told Insider.

“Most people think of it as a fairytale,” she said, “going from Hollywood and suddenly being whisked off to a lot of wealth.”

The former actress seemed to be made for the part of Princess of Monaco. And so, Kelly had to go through one of the strangest auditions she’d ever had. Kelly had to undergo a pregnancy test and pay a hefty dowry before marrying the prince.

Royal marriages are notoriously costly affairs. After all, the ring Kelly planned to wear on her wedding day is believed to be worth $4.6 million, but this figure may have risen marginally since her untimely death. And then, the future princess may not have predicted the price of deciding to wed her true love.

The Kelly family was required to have a $2 million dowry before the couple could be legally married, according to Mental Floss. Despite  the fact that Kelly’s father had the funds, he was naturally taken aback.

According to certain outlets, such as the Chicago Tribune, the man refused to pay. Many people believe Princess Grace paid half of the money herself as a sign of her affection for her future spouse.

Although the $2 million price tag may deter others, we believe Kelly made the right decision in seeking the crown. She had three children with Prince Rainier III: Stéphanie, Caroline, and Albert II. Despite the fact that she did not survive to see her many grandchildren, she was an important part of what has grown into a wonderful family legacy.

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