The Most Famous American Princess

Americans love a good fairy tale, especially if the princess is one of our own. With the news of Prince Harry’s engagement to American actress Meghan Markle, the U.S. is looking forward to playing a starring role in the royal wedding.

Markle has drawn comparisons to Grace Kelly, the American actress who married Prince Rainier III to become Princess of Monaco in 1956. Kelly was garnering acclaim in her own right as a model and film actress before joining the royal family of the 500-acre city-state. Pete Martin interviewed the rising star in 1954 for the Post’s article, “The Luckiest Girl in Hollywood.” At the time, Kelly was taking off in the film industry. She had struck a chord with Alfred Hitchcock after starring in Dial M for Murder and Rear Window, and months later she would earn an Academy Award for her role in Country Girl.

The next time Martin interviewed Kelly, in 1959, she was Princess Grace of Monaco, and no longer an actress. Kelly’s last role before her transformation into Monegasque royalty was in High Society with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Although she was no longer adorning the silver screen, the public celebrated Princess Grace for her perfectly apt role in nobility.

Like Grace Kelly, Meghan Markle will also be making the transition from actress to royal, and many Americans are excited to have one of their very own as a (possible) Duchess across the pond. If any group experiences the scrutinizing limelight more harshly than movie and television stars, it might be the British royal family. As much as Americans adore the prospects of charming weddings and cute Corgis, royal drama is just as relished. For the time-being, the only foreseeable controversy is Markle’s inevitable retirement from acting, which will inspire distress in her newfound fans.

Archive Page of Grace Kelly
Read “The Luckiest Girl in the World” by Pete Martin. Published October 30, 1954 in the Post