Olivia de Havilland introduced Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco

Imagine being the mastermind behind one of the best fairy tale love stories of all time. That was one of the achievements of actress Olivia de Havilland during her long and legendary life. the gone With the Wind Star, who passed away this weekend at age 104, played a key role in the marriage of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco.

Although de Havilland had never met Kelly, by sheer coincidence, the two movie stars met on the same train in the spring of 1955, heading from Paris to Cannes for the eighth Cannes Film Festival. De Havilland recently married Paris-Match editor, Pierre Galante.

Actually, it was Galante who had the idea to create Kelly and Rainier. After seeing Kelly on the train, Galante addressed the suggestion at dinner with de Havilland and Paris-Match editor-in-chief, Gaston Bonheur.

“My husband was born in Nice on the French Riviera,” said de Havilland Persons. “She suggested the meeting between Grace and Rainier at dinner with [Bonheur,] way to Cannes, an idea accepted immediately and with enthusiasm by Gastón “.

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The extraordinary pairing duo: Olivia de Havilland and her husband, Pierre Galante.

Central pressfake pictures

Therefore, the plan was launched. But, the only people left to convince were Kelly and Rainier. That piece was up to De Havilland, who proceeded to approach Kelly on the train.

“Grace caught my eye at the first meeting as a fairly reserved, possessed, and well-educated young woman,” de Havilland said, recalling her impromptu meeting “on the small platform between the restaurant car and the next carriage when I passed her. ask him if he would accept a meeting with Prince Rainier.

“She accepted immediately, but made the highly professional condition that such a meeting must first be approved by the studio sponsoring her visit to Cannes: MGM,” de Havilland noted.

Grace Kelly at Cannes 1955

Grace Kelly, photographed at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, where she met Prince Rainier.

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After receiving approval, Galante went to work at Rainier. The couple conveyed an invitation to the palace to Kelly. Although there were a few round-trip schedules, Kelly agreed to visit the palace that Friday.

However, little did she know that Friday would be filled with one unfortunate incident after another. There was no electricity at Kelly’s hotel, leaving her without a hairdryer, lights, iron, or elevator. Then Kelly got into a fender on the way to the palace, causing even more delays.

Despite the problem, Kelly arrived at the palace, and she and Rainier toured their private zoo, chatting all the time.

According to De Havilland, who saw Kelly later that night at the festival cocktail party, “he was in a state of enchantment.”

After this fateful meeting, Kelly and Rainier kept in touch, even when she returned to the United States. Only seven months after their first meeting, Rainier traveled to ask for Kelly’s hand in marriage.

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Kelly and Rainier before their 1956 “wedding of the century” in Monte Carlo.

Reg Burkettfake pictures

The rest, of course, is history. Although de Havilland was invited to the so-called “wedding of the century” between Kelly and Rainier, she was expecting the birth of their daughter, so she was unable to attend. However, she would always remember that momentous day on the train.

“I’m tempted to think it was fate,” said de Havilland.

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