Grace Kelly’s Fatal Car Crash Left Her Daughter Wracked With Guilt

American Grace Kelly lived the fairytale that we all dreamed about as children. She was born in a small town and left to pursue her acting aspirations against her parents’ wishes.

Her talents were quickly recognized, and she rose through the ranks of Hollywood, eventually become the head of the U.S. Delegation at Cannes Film Festival. It was there that she met Monaco’s Prince Rainier III — the first step toward a brand-new life and title for the future Princess Grace

Tragically, Kelly didn’t get her happily ever after. A freak car accident left her with fatal injuries and left the public with many questions. 

The death of Monaco’s beloved Grace Kelly was met with intense scrutiny

Following her 1956 marriage to the prince, Princess Grace had three children. On top of her philanthropic work, she was a dutiful mother to Albert, Caroline, and Stéphanie.

Her caring heart was evident through her mission at the Princess Grace Foundation, which supported the local arts. It wasn’t long before Kelly had captured the heart of the Monégasque people.

The public was understandably shell-shocked when they received devastating news on September 13, 1982. During a routine trip back from her summer house, Princess Grace’s car went off the side of a cliff. According to People, Kelly was dead within hours of the incident. She was just 52 years old. 

Perhaps as a way of making sense of the devastating loss, fans of the family began theorizing. Every circumstance of the accident was analyzed, from the functionality of the car she was driving to the possibility of an unknown illness. Even the car’s passenger, 17-year-old Princess Stéphanie, was not left out of the conspiracies. 

Princess Stéphanie battled survivor’s guilt and public accusations

Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly | Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images

The public received more information about Kelly’s death as time passed. Biography reports that the accident was the result of the princess sustaining two massive strokes as she drove. Still, some of the princess’s biggest fans weren’t buying it.

As Biography notes, Kelly was open about her dislike for driving. Some wonder if it was actually the youngest daughter Stéphanie in the driver’s seat.

These speculations were backed by a witness who reported that he had seen Princess Stéphanie in the front seat. Culpability was also placed on Princess Stéphanie when a witness claimed that the mother-daughter duo had engaged in an intense argument prior to the drive. 

The accusations took a toll on the young girl, who had also sustained such severe injuries that she was unable to attend her mother’s funeral. People quotes her as saying: “There was a lot of pressure on me because everyone was saying that I had been driving the car, that it was all my fault, that I’d killed my mother. It’s not easy when you’re 17 to live with that.”

Fortunately, Princess Stéphanie seems to have found some peace in the years that followed the incident. She shared in an interview that she felt she must have been spared for a reason and is determined to make the most of her life. 

Stéphanie remains just one part of Kelly’s incredible royal legacy


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Princess Stéphanie gained a reputation as a “royal rebel,” according to Hello! Magazine. She fearlessly pursued her interests in fashion, music, and love. She’s also had three children and found motherhood an incredibly fulfilling role. 

Princess Stéphanie isn’t the only one carrying on Princess Grace’s legacy. The monarchy has continued its many philanthropic efforts and has welcomed a litany of new members. Although Kelly did not get the opportunity to meet her grandchildren, we’re confident they would have made her so proud.