It may be that Princess Grace’s unspoken true vocation was to be a film director. She certainly had plenty of opportunity to learn from the best. This Oscar winning actress, one of Hollywood’s most memorable leading ladies, came away from the untold hours under Alfred Hitchcock’s tutelage with telling skills behind the camera as well as in front of it.
Even while in the spotlight, prior to her life’s most important role as wife and mother, Grace filmed away those around her. These treasured moments, recorded on film and tucked away in the Palace archives, many of them previously unseen are revealed in a documentary about to be aired in prime time on France 3.
Her Name Was Grace Kelly
This riveting documentary “Her name was Grace Kelly” (Elle s’appelait Grace Kelly) will be broadcast imminently on September 4 at 9.05 pm
The French public channel aims to introduce viewers to Princess Grace Kelly, as they have never seen her. Included in the documentary are intimate private films, shot by her Grace’s father in 1932, when she was then only three years old. They reveal her childhood. You see her grow up over the years, until she is a teenager up until 18 years old. Fast forward to 1952, now the quintessential film actress, she filmed in Kenya with Ava Gardner and Clark Gable. Behind her own camera, she films the camp, her surrounding actors, even the lions. And, of course, it would be remiss not to include the iconic scenes where she debuts as an actress in New York eventually to receive an Oscar in 1955 and then the metamorphosis to aristocracy in 1956.
Her marriage to Prince Rainier will be one of the most memorable events of that year. By marrying and giving up being an actress, Princess Grace still carried on her vocation in films. But this time she filmed those around her herself – including perpetuating the memories of her children and loved ones in their daily life. The documentary with this intriguing footage is co-produced by Patrick Spica, who has already filmed multiple times behind the scenes at the Palais. Behind the camera is Serge de Sampigny, respected for his masterful historical documentaries which are his speciality.
After twelve months of work, the director delivers a two-hour delightful documentary – having had access to privileged documents and videos from the princely family, including unique family moments on holiday – all with the permission of Prince Albert. This is another Grace, free from her official image.
Sequences shot in the gardens and the chapel of the Prince’s Palace include the sovereign reminiscing over the memory of his mother in conversations with Stéphane Bern.
The Kelly Family Speaking of Their Own
Princess Grace’s nephews and nieces are speaking to the camera too, offering rare personal insights into Grace. And not only the children of Princess Grace’s brothers and sisters of the Kelly family speak. There is also the late Baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy who portrays her aunt in moving terms which has sufficiently intrigued the French press to report on it widely prior to the documentary being shown.
Definitely not to be missed the documentary airs on France 3 – diarize five past nine on September 4th.