14 September-Princess Grace

Princess Grace of Monaco visited her grandfather’s house in Co Mayo, Ireland in 1961. She was greeted by Mrs Ellen Mulchrone who was then the owner. The house is located close to Drumgoney Lough, better known locally as Leg of Mutton Lake, in Drimurla near Newport County Mayo. Princess Grace’s grandfather, John Bernard Kelly, who was a bricklayer, left Drimurla in 1887 for Philadelphia where he founded a successful construction company.

John Kelly’s granddaughter Grace Kelly was interested in acting from a young age. After completing high school she decided, against her father’s wishes, to pursue an acting career. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and shortly after graduation she moved to Hollywood. She went on to appear in eleven films and numerous television productions. Grace Kelly received several awards including two Academy Awards. Her first award was for Best Supporting Actress for her part in the film Mogambo in 1953. She received her second Academy Award for her role as Best Actress in The Country Girl in 1954.

Grace Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco in April 1956 brought to an end her acting career. She concentrated on her role as Princess of Monaco and became involved in various philanthropic projects. She established the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco which opened in 1984. Following her visit to Newport in 1961 Princess Grace purchased her ancestral home. On subsequent visits in 1976 and 1979 she discussed architectural plans for a holiday home at Drimurla. The plans never materialised as Princess Grace died following a car crash in 1982.

The Rainiers had three children Princess Caroline, Prince Albert, and Princess Stéphanie. Following the death of Prince Rainier in 2005 he was succeeded by his son Prince Albert II. Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancée Charlene Wittstock met relatives of the Prince at Newport House, Co Mayo, Ireland on April 6th 2011 while on a state visit to Ireland. The couple then followed the footsteps of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace and visited the ancestral home of the prince’s great grandfather at Drimurla. A Festival in honour of Princess Grace is held in the picturesque town of Newport Co Mayo.

Princess Grace of Monaco died at the age of 52 in the year 1982 On This Day.

Grace Kelly by twm1340 on 2007-10-11 16:52:33

Railway Bridge, Newport County Mayo by Mark Waters on 2006-08-07 21:59:40

Railway Tunnel Newport, Co Mayo by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1892-01-01 00:00:00

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