A Photography, A Story: "Grace Kelly et le Prince Rainier"

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier
"Wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier in April 1956. On this occasion, the newspaper Sud Ouest sent the photographer Georges Berniard on the spot." Archives Sud ouest
- ArtPhotoLimited: We are in Monaco in April 1956, Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier.

This photograph was taken after the civil wedding of Prince Rainer and actress Grace Kelly on Wednesday, April 18, 1956. The wedding was broadcast live all over Europe and watched by millions of viewers. At that time, not all households were equipped with televisions, but "animated images" began to be introduced en masse. Several shops have also made their TVs available so that their customers can follow the wedding live. More than 1600 journalists were present for this emblematic event in the history of the Principality of Monaco.

- When exactly was this photo taken?

The civil marriage had just taken place in the throne room of the princely palace. The newlyweds then went to solicit their guests in the blue lounge before going to the balcony to greet the crowd waiting for the occasion. Grace Kelly was wearing for the big day a wedding dress made exclusively for the civil wedding by Metro Goldwyn Meyer Studios.

- Does photography today matter to the royal family?

Currently, the Prince's Palace has four official photographers. These photographers are present on all the events in which the princely family participate, and from time to time in their intimacy. Confidentiality contracts are signed by the photographers.

- This photo is over 50 years old, and it gives us a sense of modernity.

Grace Kelly represented at the time, as today, glamor and elegance. Because of her aura of actress, she was quickly appreciated by the Monegasques. She participated in many events and valued the community of Monaco. She also learned French in a few months to become the wife of Prince Rainier. Even today, this image of a modern and sporty princess perfectly represents the image of the Principality of Monaco: an independent and prosperous state.

Lastly, the story of your own family has been intertwined with photography for more than a century.

I am none other than the great-granddaughter of George Detaille said "the eye of Albert 1st" and Fernand Detaille, photographer and associate of Nadar in Marseille. In 1904, Georges Detaille, my grandfather, opened his photography studio in the Principality of Monaco and was soon brought to realize the portraits of Prince Albert I. He is thus named a patented photographer of the "prince scientist" and makes the majority of the official portraits of the prince. Since then, the generations of photographers follow each other and his sons, Georges and Fernand Detaille inherit this gift. The two brothers learn photography in Geneva alongside Frédéric Boissonnas, renowned artist, and in turn become the portrait painters of Prince Rainier. Fernand Detaille, close to the princely couple, can make many shots of Princess Grace. With his talent, he will also work alongside Salvador Dali and Marcel Pagnol studios. I am a photographer myself, and so I was his apprentice for several years.

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