Marilyn Monroe Could Have Been Princess of Monaco Instead of Grace Kelly

For many pop culture fans around the world, Grace Kelly is known not only as a beloved actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood but also as the Princess of Monaco. Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco made headlines around the world and attracted a great deal of interest. She left her Hollywood career behind her and carved out a whole new life, one that is still a subject of fascination to this day. While it seems inconceivable to think of anyone else in Kelly’s place as the princess of Monaco, there was a time when, reportedly, the royal family had their eye on a very different Hollywood star: Marilyn Monroe.

The royal family of Monaco set out to look for a Hollywood star

In the ’50s, the Golden Age of Hollywood was in full swing, with beautiful, talented stars making headlines on a daily basis. The royal family of Monaco, according to a recent report by Best Life Online, had a special interest in matching up Prince Rainier of Monaco to one of these stars. The report states that, in the mid-’50s, Monaco was not doing well financially, and that officials were looking to up tourism to the principality since that was the biggest industry. Prince Rainier was in danger of losing his throne if Monaco didn’t experience a change in fortune, and fast. 

The report, which pulls information from a recent documentary, notes that Prince Rainier of Monaco was advised to marry a Hollywood star since it would likely boost tourism and improve economic trade as well as allow Monaco to capitalize on all the attention from the press that such a match would receive. Establishing a relationship between the prince and a star wouldn’t prove to be an easy endeavor, however. 

Was Marilyn Monroe considered as a princess for Prince Rainier of Monaco?

Actress Marilyn Monroe
Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait | Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Best Life Online reports that Marilyn Monroe was the first choice considered by the royal family of Monaco as a possible bride for Prince Rainier. At the time, Monroe was one of the biggest stars in the world, and marriage between Monroe and the prince would undoubtedly bring a boatload of attention to the principality of Monaco.

However, there were several reasons why this match wouldn’t have worked out. For one, Monroe was considered to be too much of a sex symbol to be an appropriate match for Prince Rainier. The other, more logical reason, is that Monroe was already involved with other men at the time. In 1954, she was married to baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, and by 1956, she had divorced DiMaggio and married playwright Arthur Miller. For these reasons, Prince Rainier set his sights elsewhere. 

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier embarked on an epic love affair


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In 1955, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco met at the Cannes Film Festival. Things moved quickly between the couple, and they embarked on a romance that would become legendary. Kelly proved to be the perfect match for Prince Rainier, and after a very brief, whirlwind courtship, the two were married in April 1956

With Hollywood stars like Cary Grant and Ava Gardner in attendance at their wedding, the union between Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly made headlines around the world, becoming one of the biggest events of the decade. The marriage increased interest in the principality of Monaco and changed the course of the royal family’s history forever. To this day, Kelly is well known as the star who gave up an illustrious career to follow her heart and marry a prince.