In December, 1955, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier’s engagement was announced. Kelly’s engagement ring was a twelve-carat emerald-cut diamond ring.
Grace and her 65-member wedding party sailed to Monaco on the ocean liner Constitution on April 4, 1956. Prince Rainier gave Grace the yacht “Deo Juvante II” as a wedding gift.
The civil ceremony took place on April 18, 1956 in the palace’s baroque throne room. Grace wore a pale pink taffeta dress with cream-colored Alencon lace, white kid gloves, and a Juliet cap. Rainier wore striped trousers, a white vest, gray tie, and a black morning coat. They exchanged their vows in French.
There were only 80 guests at the civil ceremony. They held a reception for the citizens of Monaco after the ceremony so that each one could shake hands with the new princess. A gala celebration was held at the Opera House that evening.
On April 19, 1956, 600 guests witnessed the religious wedding ceremony held at St. Nicholas Cathedral and was celebrated by the Bishop of Monaco. The flowers decorating the altar and church included white lilacs, hydrangeas, lilies, and snapdragons. It was called “the wedding of the century” by the press. It is estimated that 30 million people watched the wedding on television.
The people of Monaco gave the couple a cream and black Rolls-Royce convertible. The luncheon reception was held in the Palace Court of Honor. They sliced the six-tier wedding cake with the Prince’s sword.