Prince Albert of Monaco is an American homeowner!
The prince confirms exclusively to PEOPLE that he recently purchased the childhood home of his mother, actress-turned-royal, Princess Grace.
“It feels good,” he tells PEOPLE of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home. “I’m very happy to have saved this old family home from a near certain death or development.
“We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do with it. We’re looking at having it contain some museum exhibit space and maybe use part of it for offices for some of our foundation work.”
Albert will travel to Philadelphia next week for a meeting to discuss further plans for the home on Tuesday.
“The house was very beautiful and very special to our family,” Albert says. “I remember one visit, one of the earliest I recall, Grandma put me up in one of the bedrooms upstairs. I must have been about 5 and it was one of the first times I remember when I wasn’t put in with my sister. I remember just staring out the window, watching the cars go by, enjoying being alone.”
Recalling another early memory, Albert says, “I couldn’t have been more than two, probably my first visit to the house. I remember rolling about on the carpet in the living room.
“The house is filled with little moments like that. Moments of being a family.”
The father of two says he can’t wait to make new memories in the home with his own children, twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.
“I’m looking forward to showing the house to the kids, sharing it with them, having them see the garden. It’ll probably be next year. We’ll have to finish the work and then we’ll have some sort of opening,” he says.
The six-bedroom Colonial-style brick mansion was originally priced at $1 million when it was listed over the summer. After a reduction, and several offers, it was reportedly sold on Sept. 28 for $775,000.
The large and spacious home features sheltering trees, a distinctive semi-circular drive, a large garden and has only ever had two real owners. It was the Kelly family home until 1974. When sold, it was then flipped within days to its most recent owner, who remained in it over 40 years.
A yellow and blue sign, posted on the 4,000 square feet house’s 0.69-acre grounds, designates the building as a Pennsylvania historical landmark, and proclaims that the house was built in 1935 by Grace’s father, John B. Kelly.
One of the upstairs doors of the detached house at 3901 Henry Ave still has the markings of the Kelly children’s heights as they grew up.
Neighbors in the residential area still recall the parties and carnivals the family hosted while Grace and her siblings were growing up.
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Grace Kelly left home to begin her career in showbiz, starring in such films as High Noon with Gary Cooper, Dial M For Murder with Ray Milland, Rear Window playing opposite James Stewart, To Catch A Thief, co-starring with Cary Grant and High Society with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.
Already considered Hollywood royalty, she became a real royal when she wed Prince Rainier III in April 1956. He reportedly proposed to her in her family’s Philadelphia home.
Grace died in September 1982 after suffering a stroke while driving on a mountain road in Monaco. She was 52.