Grace Kelly’s son Prince Albert says he’s always ‘felt a sense of responsibility’ to protect the late star
Prince Albert of Monaco has always been determined to protect his mother, Grace Kelly.
"There [are] so many different memories and different moments, of course, where we whole laughed, the family," the royal told Fox News exclusively. "… I used to do a lot of traveling with her because we used to split up traveling. We didn’t travel, the whole family, together."
"And so, I was usually the one [who] traveled with her," the 61-year-old continued. "She called me her traveling companion. I felt a sense of responsibility, even though I was very young. She was taking care of me, but I felt as though I had to take care of her at times, too. So we laughed about that."
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Kelly, the Philadelphia-born Hollywood actress who became Princess Grace of Monaco after her marriage to Prince Rainier III, passed away in 1982 at age 52 from injuries she sustained in a car accident. After her death, the Oscar-winner’s family wanted to create an organization that reflected her dedication to the arts.
Even after the former Hitchcock muse became a member of the royal family, she continued to raise awareness on the importance of the arts, as well as quietly supporting numerous American performing and film artists. Among Kelly’s many projects associated with the arts were restoring a theater in Monte Carlo, as well as embarking on stage tours in Europe and the United States, in which she read poetry.
Albert said the Princess Grace Foundation-USA is one of the many ways he’s keeping the legacy of the beloved matriarch alive.
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"It’s very simple — she had that desire to help young artists, young emerging artists, in the performing arts," he explained. "That’s exactly what we [do]. She didn’t have time to set up the foundation in her lifetime. She was busy with other charities and other foundations. There is also a Princess Grace Foundation-Monaco, which helps the dance school and other artists, mostly in painting and sculpture."
While Kelly gave up her Hollywood career to embark on her new role as a princess, Albert revealed she never forgot her American roots. In fact, she was still eager to help aspiring performers find their footing.
"The performing arts in this country, I think she was very keen on putting up an entity that would help because young artists have problems of trying… to find work when they get out of school, and trying to find some sort of recognition," said Albert.
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"I think that we were able to help fill that gap," he shared. "We’re not the only foundation out there in the performing arts, but… Look at the track record. Some 828 artists that we’ve helped in 37 years, to the tune of over $30 million. I think the best recognition we could get is artists, young artists… coming back and thanking us for having helped them in their initial projects and in their first steps out of school."
In Kelly’s lifetime, many wondered if the star would ever return to acting. Kelly had narrated a documentary about the Kirov Ballet School titled "The Children of Theater Street," where she also made a brief appearance, the New York Times reported. When asked whether she would plunge into acting again, Kelly quipped "Oh, no, not again. I’m getting older, too, dear. The only one who isn’t is Cary Grant."
But Kelly’s work after Hollywood isn’t forgotten. On Nov. 25, just weeks after she would have turned 90, Tony Award-winning actress Bernadette Peters was honored with the Prince Rainier III Award at the Princess Grace Awards Gala held at New York City’s Plaza Hotel. The award, presented by the foundation, acknowledged the 71-year-old for decades-long commitment to philanthropy, Playbill reported.
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Previous recipients of the award include Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Denzel Washington and Leslie Odom Jr. of "Hamilton" fame — just to name a few.
The outlet also shared Peters would be given a sum of $15,000 to be donated to a charity of her choosing.
"It’s incredible how she touched the lives of so many people," reflected Albert about his mother. "Not only of her generation, but also younger generations now… a lot of them still know her through her films or through photographs or through different actions that she was able to do over the years with different charities."
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Albert hopes that his mother will continue to be remembered, not just for her celebrated beauty or films, but for her willingness to help others follow a dream. Today, Albert said he’s still just as protective of Kelly.
"It’s her generosity of heart and of spirit that we are trying to carry on, and we’re trying to have it transpire out of what we do with the foundation," he said. "I hope that… she’ll still be recognized in many years to come as being that wonderful, generous, loving person that she was."