Thursday, September 25, 2008
On September 13, 1982, while driving with her daughter Stéphanie to Monaco from their country home, Princess Grace suffered a stroke, which caused her to drive her Rover P6 off the serpentine road down a mountainside. Princess Grace was pulled alive from the wreckage, but had suffered serious injuries and was unconscious. She died the following day at The Princess Grace Hospital Centre, having never regained consciousness. It was initially reported that Princess Stéphanie suffered only minor bruising, although it later emerged that she had suffered a serious cervical fracture. It was rumored that Princess Grace had been driving on the same stretch of highway that had been featured in her 1955 movie To Catch a Thief; but, her son has always denied it.
Princess Grace was buried in the Grimaldi family vault on September 18, 1982, after a requiem mass in Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco. Prince Rainier, who did not remarry after Kelly's death, was buried alongside her following his death in 2005. The 400 guests at the service included representatives of foreign governments and of present and past European royal houses (Diana, Princess of Wales was the only member of the British royal family to attend), as well as several veteran US film stars. Nearly 100 million people worldwide watched her funeral.
In his eulogy, James Stewart said: "You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. Grace brought into my life as she brought into yours, a soft, warm light every time I saw her, and every time I saw her was a holiday of its own. No question, I'll miss her, we'll all miss her, God bless you, Princess Grace."