The story behind Grace Kelly’s unknown second marriage ceremony gown

The story behind Grace Kelly's unknown second wedding dress

The wedding dress Grace Kelly wore to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco regularly tops the list of the best-dressed historical dresses. The now 65-year-old design was created by Helen Rose, seamstress and costume designer at MGM Studios, and is one of the most iconic bridal looks of the 20th century. The high neckline, fitted bodice, and silk taffeta skirt with thousands of hand-sewn beads and a 3 foot train are a familiar sight for most people, regardless of their interest in celebrities or weddings.

Read More: The Most Iconic Celebrity Wedding Dresses Of All Time

Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier III of Monaco at their official ceremony on April 19, 1956 – considered by many to be the wedding of the century.

© PA Photos

It’s a silhouette that would inspire the choices of thousands of women over the years. Kate Middleton in particular, whose dress Sarah Burton wore for Alexander McQueen in 2011, undoubtedly bore similarities to the style the Princess of Monaco wore in 1956.

The world watched as Helen Rose’s design for Grace Kelly stole the spotlight on the television event, which aired on several European networks and was watched by over 30 million viewers.

Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly during the reception of their civil ceremony in the Prince’s Palace of Monaco.

© Keystone-France

A lesser-seen Grace Kelly wedding dress, however, is the one worn the day before her famous event with Prince Ranier of Monaco began. On April 18, another piece of bridal history was written without recognition. At a civil wedding service in the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the bride wore a two-piece pink ensemble that is said to be somewhere between champagne and pastel pink.

The suit was made of taffeta and was completely covered with French Alencon lace. It was also the work of Helen Rose, whose bell-shaped skirt was combined with a fitted top with a jacket with a rounded collar and silk brocade embroidery. A Juliet hat and children’s gloves completed the elegantly reserved bridal look, which was perfect for the occasion.

A sketch by Helen Rose of the pink two-piece dress Grace Kelly wore for her civil ceremony with Prince Rainier.

© Bettmann

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You may wonder how one of Grace Kelly’s wedding gowns was completely disregarded by history, especially if it was a two-piece pink brocade. The answer lies in large part in the princess’ conscious discretion. After the civil ceremony was over, Kelly put on a simple day dress to avoid paying attention before arriving at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in one of the most spectacular wedding gowns the world had ever seen just a day later. Beauty, mind and control of their own bridal legacy.

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