Edward Quinn, Photographer

The Edward Quinn Archive

The First Meeting Ever of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier

Grace Kelly prior to her first meeting with Prince Rainier at the Palace of Monaco in 1955. Photo Edward Quinn. © edwardquinn.com
Edward Quinn in an interview:
"The first time I met Grace Kelly and saw what a beautiful girl she was and how photogenic – that was an important point. She came to make the film TO CATCH A THIEF with Hitchcock. I saw straightaway that she was very photogenic and a beautifully kind lady. That’s what made all the men fascinated by her. She had this very feminine attitude.
When she came for the Cannes Film Festival, PARIS MATCH decided to do a story of her visiting Prince Rainier at the palace. I went to cover that story because I was chosen by PARIS MATCH to do it. I knew Grace, I knew Prince Rainier. There was quite an instancy, because they had a big American car, it was Metro Goldwyn Mayer driving Grace Kelly over to the palace, and I was following behind with my Peugeot 203. Just up at a corner in Cannes, they sped around the turn...it is still there, it’s the same very sharp turn. I came round and banged into them. Lumps of my car fell off, the front bumper. They all got out and had a look. Nothing was wrong with their car, so we all went on from there.
We got to Monaco. When we got there, Prince Rainier was late for the appointment. So I had the idea – as a photographer always does have some idea – would it be interesting if we went and visited the palace while we were waiting. So the head of the guard said: Yes, that would be allright, and he gave us a guide. So before Prince Rainier arrived, I had taken the pictures of Grace Kelly in every room of the palace practically, including the throne room. And nobody visualised anything at that stage. There was no question that their would be any follow-up.
When Prince Rainier arrived, Grace Kelly gave that kind of very discreet American bow, bending her knee, and they shook hands.
I got that photo...which sometimes you don’t get. Then they were inside, so I said to Prince Rainier: Don’t you think it would be a good idea we go out into the garden where the light is better. I’ll be able to get better shots. So they went into the garden, and we followed discreetly behind, and I got quite a very nice set of pictures. The photos were published absolutely everywhere.
And then Grace left, and said to everybody: he is a very charming man, and that was the end of it for the time being. But then the story went on, finally towards the fairy tale wedding of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly.“

The pictures