Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, wasn’t the first American actress to marry a royal prince. On April 19, 1956, Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in a lavish wedding. To this day, Kelly’s wedding gown is still regarded as one of the most beautiful dresses ever made.

Behind the design

It was once thought that Kelly asked her close friend and famous costume designer, Edith Head, to design her wedding gown. But that’s not true. Instead, Kelly asked Helen Rose, a costume designer for MGM Studios who earned two Academy Awards during her career. But perhaps her best design was Kelly’s famous wedding dress.

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Rose worked closely with Kelly while she designed the dress. An elaborate dress, the gown used over 400 yards of fabric, including a 125-year-old rose point Brussels lace.

More about the design

Brides were envious of Kelly’s gown in the 1950s, and they had every right to be jealous. The dress was created piece by piece, broken down into ten parts. The skirt had three petticoats made of ivory faille: a smoothing petticoat, ruffled petticoat, and foundation petticoat. The gown was also made of 100 yards of silk net. But that’s not all.

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Kelly’s veil was one of the longest veils in history—running 90 yards long and made of very fine, lightweight netting. It was specially designed to showcase Kelly’s face.

One of the most beautiful dresses

When Kelly walked down the wedding aisle, all 600 guests were watching her, as well as the 30 million viewers who were watching the wedding from afar. We don’t blame them! Who wouldn’t love this dress?

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In 1956, the gown cost $7,266, but Kelly didn’t have to pay for it. It was a wedding gift from MGM Studios to their beloved actress.

It’s been over 60 years since Kelly’s wedding, but no one has forgotten her magnificent gown. She didn’t even wear a tiara—because Grace Kelly was already a princess!