Grace Kelly: The Missing Millions delves into Monaco royal family
Actress Grace Kelly paid a high price to marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956, according to the new documentary Grace Kelly: The Missing Millions. The high-paid Hollywood actress, who played starring roles in such memorable films as High Noon and Rear Window, at one time earned around $1.5 million in the period of five years.
“What is so poignant about Grace Kelly’s story is that she had to pay to become a princess,” says Gemma Godfrey, a wealth advisor who contributed to the documentary. “Most people think of it as a fairytale, going from Hollywood and suddenly being whisked off to a lot of wealth.”
According to the doc, the Oscar-winning actress had to pay 2 million dollars in dowry to the House of Grimaldi to be able to enter the royal family. She also had to give up a successful Hollywood career. “I think the dowry was a shocking thing, to pay $2 million, which in today’s terms would be $20 million,” says Godfrey. “It wiped out her entire savings, and the other half wiped out her inheritance. So really, when you think about what she sacrificed, she actually gave up her savings and her ability to earn as well.”
It may come as a surprise to many that the practice of giving dowry to either the groom or the bride is still legal in Britain. The tradition has been discontinued in many countries due to violence against women by their husbands or their relatives associated with dowry demands.
Ironically, Kelly and Prince Rainier met at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, where the actress was promoting her latest film, To Catch a Thief. The duo later took part in a photo op for the Paris Match magazine, where presumably they had the time to get acquainted better.
The documentary delves into Kelly’s life from the time she was a teenager in Philadelphia to her death in a car accident at the age of 52 with a mere $10,000 to her name and a rundown house in Ireland, which had belonged to her grandfather. The film also reports that one of Kelly’s three wills could not be accessed. “We’ve asked to see a copy but the palace said that it’s not publicly available. They’ve told us that Prince Albert and his family don’t wish to disclose its content,” Godfrey said.
According to the movie platform latenightstreaming, Kelly got her onscreen break in High Noon. “She ended up winning four Oscars for her role in the 1952 film, which made a whopping $18 million at the box office. An MGM Studios contract followed shortly after, and Kelly ended up staring in classics such as Dial M for Murder and High Society.”