Why Princess Grace's Spectacular Wedding Tiara Wasn't Really a Tiara
Grace's daughter-in-law, Princess Charlene, would later go tiara-free to her own wedding
As one of the biggest Hollywood stars of her era, Princess Grace – before her wedding, she was known around the world as Rear Window star Grace Kelly – wasn’t a typical royal bride. And she didn’t accessorize like one either.
Atop the cap was a layer of lace covered in tiny pearls along with flowers. While it wasn’t actually a diamond-covered tiara, the piece was crown-like in appearance, with the pearls and flowers in the center stacked on top, almost appearing like a stack of jewels.
The entire lace-and-taffeta ensemble was designed by Helen Rose, a costume designer from MGM. As Princess Grace was still with MGM at the time of her wedding, the company had a policy in place to provide their actresses with wedding dresses.
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The tiara-free tradition would stick. Both of Grace’s daughters, Princesses Stephanie and Caroline, didn’t wear tiaras at their own weddings. And 55 years later, Princess Charlene followed in her late mother-in-law’s footsteps and also decided against wearing a tiara on the day of her religious wedding ceremony to Grace’s son Prince Albert, too.
Rather than wearing the tiaras on the day of their weddings, Monégasque royals have elected to wear them the night before – as Princess Grace did.
Princess Charlene, however, went tiara-less the night before her own wedding, wearing a black jumpsuit to see the Eagles in concert.
When it’s his daughter Princess Gabriella’s turn to walk down the aisle, Prince Albert told PEOPLE that she’ll have her pick of her famous female relatives’ jewels.
“For Gabriella, we’ll see what she wants to do for the day,” he says of his 1-year-old daughter. “Of course, we still have the tiara and some other jewels which we’ll make available if she wants.”
If you want to get a real-life peek at Princess Grace’s delicate wedding headpiece (and her iconic dress!), you’re out of luck for the time being: It’s currently not on display, although it has been in the past in her hometown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. • Reporting by PETER MIKELBANK