A jewel of culture in the Principality, the Princess Grace Irish Library recently unveiled a cultural program celebrating its fortieth anniversary: “A retrospective of the life of Princess Grace, her Irish origins and her passion for Irish culture”.
Inaugurated in 1984, two years after Princess Grace passed away, the library houses a superb collection of rare books and Irish-American musical scores that the Princess had collected throughout her life. The library now has an online catalog which includes Princess Grace’s personal collection of more than five hundred Irish books and a thousand rare Irish-American musical scores.
This year, the library will be celebrating Prince Rainier’s contribution to the promotion of Irish culture and literature through the creation of the library in tribute to the affection his wife had for Ireland. The celebrations will be based on a triangular link between three countries: Ireland, the United States and Monaco, all so dear to the heart of Princess Grace.
Events will put Irish writers and musicians in the spotlight. They will also discuss key figures like Jack Kelly, father of Princess Grace, born in Philadelphia as the son of Mary Ann Costello and John Henry Kelly, who both left Ireland in 1867.
Students from the Rainier III Academy will perform a selection of pieces chosen from the Princess’s collection of scores through a collaboration between conservatories in the Principality and Ireland (the Rainier III Academy and the Technological University in Dublin).
A commemorative stamp celebrating the library’s fortieth anniversary will be issued during the year by the Postage Stamp Issuing Office.
The winner of the Ireland Funds Monaco Scholars program for spring 2024 is Flor Mac Carthy, a renowned author, journalist and former RTÉ TV presenter. She will be the library’s writer for the month of March. Flor wrote “The Presidents’ Letters – An unexpected History of Ireland” which published a letter from Princess Grace following the princely couple’s state trip in 1961.
Program of events:
January 24 at 7 pm: A lecture by author Patrick O’Sullivan Greene entitled ‘From Revolution to Royalty – the creation of an Irish-American Princess.’
February 21 at 7 pm: A multimedia presentation by author Neal Doherty on County Mayo tracing its history and heritage, including the Kelly family house.
March 13 at 7 pm: An illustrated conference by Flor MacCarthy on the existing links between the family of Sovereign Prince Albert II and the Irish Presidents as they appear through their correspondence. This presentation will be based on her best-selling book “The Presidents’ Letters: An Unexpected History of Ireland”.