Not only that, she also had to give up on her acting career to marry the prince.
When Grace Kelly played the role of a princess in The Swan, she might not have thought about becoming a real-life princess. Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco instantly hit it off when they met during a photoshoot in 1955, where she was leading the American delegation to the Cannes Film Festival, per Mental Floss.
Once she was back home, the actress and the prince stayed in touch. Later that year he came to the U.S. on a diplomatic tour and spent three days with Kelly and her family. By the end of these three days, the prince proposed and she accepted.
"She was playing in The Swan and she was playing a princess," Gwen Robyns, who published Princess Grace in 1976 and then became Kelly's close friend, told Vanity Fair. "Along comes this prince, and, being Grace, she was carried away by dreams and things."
Eventually, she walked down to Prince Rainier in 1956, the same year her movie was released. Thus, the American had become a Monégasque, and a royal, nonetheless. But, things aren't so simple when you're getting married to a royal. To make sure Kelly could get married to the Prince, she and her family had to pay the royal family a huge sum of $2 million as dowry. Along with that Kelly also had to submit to a fertility test, reports The Chicago Tribune.
Though Kelly's father was outraged by this, she managed to persuade him. The actress and the prince married each other and had three children; Caroline, Princess of Hanover, Stephanie, Princess of Monaco, and Albert II, Prince of Monaco. She also had to give up on her acting career to make sure she was a good wife and mother.
Unfortunately, on September 13, 1982, while she was driving home to Monaco with her then 17-year-old daughter, Princess Stephanie, she suffered a stroke, causing her to lose control of her car, reports PEOPLE. She drove off a steep mountain, causing the vehicle to plummet 100 feet down a ravine. Though she was rescued, she tragically died from a brain hemorrhage the next day at age 52. However, Stephanie survived the accident.
Prince Albert, Kelly's son and the reigning head of Monaco, has also spoken of healing after the death of his mother. "It always takes a while; you recover thanks to your other family members and to your friends and to people who are dear to you who can provide comfort. It also takes a few years to really come to terms with it," the now 62-year-old royal dad said in a 2017 interview.
As for Prince Rainier, he died in 2005, but, according to Albert, he never recovered from his beloved wife's death. "He was deeply affected, and he wasn't quite the same man as he was before the accident."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Philip Townsend