"Forty years on, she still captures people's imagination," Prince Albert of Monaco says, recalling his mother, the iconic starlet-turned princess, Grace Kelly. "She managed to capture the imagination and attention of several younger generations and not many have done that. It's an incredible gift that she had."
To make the 40th anniversary of her death, the royal spoke with People, sharing his memories of his famous mother, as well as what he wishes he could tell her.
"It doesn't seem like 40 years," he said. "Many times during a day, a week, not only do I find myself thinking of her, but numbers of people still recall her to me. They remember her and that's a great tribute to her and who she was — to what an exceptional human being she was." He added, "She had charm and incredible allure about her. And It's not only her beauty or the fashion icon that she was that attracts people. It was her warmth, her heart, the humanity people saw in her that they remember."
Born in Philadelphia in 1929, Kelly made a name for herself in Hollywood with her signature charm, poise, and beauty in classic films like To Catch a Thief, Rear Window, and Dial M for Murder. She won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1955 for her film The Country Girl, but just a year later she left the movies behind to become a real life princess when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. Together, the couple had three children, Princess Caroline, Prince Albert, and Princess Stéphanie before Kelly's death at the age of 52 in a tragic car crash in 1982.
Her passing meant that Kelly never got to meet Albert's wife, Princess Charlene, and their 7 year old twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella—a fact that Albert says he mourns now. "If I could speak to her, I would say that I wish she were here to see her grandchildren and how great they are. They're great kids."
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