By Antonio Torres del Cerro
Monaco, Sep 10 (EFE).- As the anniversary of Grace Kelly’s death approaches, her son Prince Albert II of Monaco discusses her legacy with Efe in an exclusive interview.
“They say that time heals all wounds, but the pain is still there, deep in the heart,” the ruler of the Grimaldi dynasty tells Efe from the Palais Princier, a medieval construction in the glamorous micro-state of some 38,000 inhabitants located in the heart of the Côte d’Azur.
Oscar winner Grace Kelly, well known for being Alfred Hitchcock’s muse, abandoned a brilliant Hollywood career to marry Rainier III and become the Princess of Monaco.
The fairy tale ended abruptly when she died the day after a fatal car accident aged 52 on September 14, 1982.
QUESTION: How do you remember this sad anniversary?
ANSWER: We don’t need this anniversary to think of our mother. We think about her very frequently throughout the year. 40 years is indeed an important anniversary, my mother died a long time ago. My father more recently (2005). But I think the memory of her is present, very much alive also for my two sisters (Caroline and Stephanie) and for all those who knew her. My mother also lives through different exhibitions that we have organized. The Princess Grace Foundation also preserves her legacy through awards to artists.
Q: How do you feel about your mother’s death after all these years?
A: They say that time heals all wounds, I think of her, we think of her very often. But she disappeared four decades ago and her memory is still very present and the pain is still there, deep in my heart. We remember the date with different commemorations to honor her. It is very important, but even more important is what she left us, not only as a material and behavioral inheritance, but — and I hope to also speak on behalf of my sisters — what she left us in her role as a mother, confidant and counselor.
Q: What kind of advice did she give you?
A: Patience, knowing how to listen to others, being generous, considering others, her sociability. And above all, the solidarity, the generosity that she showed through certain charitable activities.
Q: What do you remember with most affection about your mother?
A: She was always present. When we were children to heal us if we scraped our knees and later she was always available to listen to us, if we had a problem, to advise us. She was always very attentive to all our stages of childhood and adolescence.
Q: Of the three children (Caroline, Albert and Stephanie), who is most like her?
A: You will get me into trouble with that question. I have been told that I was most similar to her in character, but I think that in each child there are qualities from both father and mother.
Q: What memories do you have of that fateful September 13?
A: The last time I saw her was when she entered my room before leaving our property in Mont Agel, where she left with my sister. It was half an hour before the unfortunate news of the accident.
Q: Did you have any premonitions?
A. Not at all. It seemed like a completely banal day, a day back at work, late summer. A new week began. The day before I had been watching a football match in Italy, in Genoa, and had returned the night before a little late. It never crossed my mind that something would happen to her. I knew that she was going to travel to Paris the next day.
Q: False information and rumors surfaced around the accident, how did you deal with that?