Customer Reviews for

Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2003

    A FAIRY TALE WITHOUT A HAPPY ENDING

    To most of the world the wedding of Hollywood star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco probably had all the makings of a fairy tale. There was a handsome prince in the appropriately luxe setting. As we now know if this particular fairy tale lacked the requisite happy ending. The beginning and middle were not a bed of roses either according to biographer Taraborrelli. In almost 500 pages there is a great deal according to Taraborrelli, some of which seems questionable. The narrative is rife with assumptions, such as attributing thoughts to Grace with, 'She may have been thinking' or 'She would have been pleased.' Or, his comment regarding a family member's statement, '....that sounds so much like one her mother might have made.' All of these conclusions seem to imply an intimacy with his subject that the writer did not enjoy. Further the dust jacket claims that Grace's thoughts and feelings regarding her wedding are revealed. Another claim to stretch credibility. Lastly, where was Taraborrelli's editor? To mention only one oversight: the wrong year for the death of Princess Diana is an all too obvious mistake. Aside from those reservations Taraborrelli has done a yeoman's task of assembling the minutia of both subjects lives from Grace's Philadelphia birth to Rainier's loveless childhood to their less than eventful first meeting to the Grimaldi dynasty today. Born to Jack and Margaret Kelly, a couple who yearned to be a part of the upper echelon of Philadelphia society, Grace was one of four offspring. She would spend her life seeking her distant father's approval. Handsome and gregarious, Jack always wore custom-tailored suits and was known as one of the biggest characters in the City of Brotherly Love. He pinned his Olympic hopes on his son, Kell, and doted on daughter Peggy, who was tough and smart. An outsider in the family circle, Grace sought comfort within herself. When she was 18 Grace went to New York City and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Through dint of sheer determination and a modicum of luck she became a Hollywood star, eventually winning an Oscar for 'The Country Girl.' Even this did not impress papa Jack who at the time is quoted as saying that he thought Peggy might have received such an honor but never Grace. Her movie years were marked by unhappy love affairs with Ray Milland and William Holden. (Taraborrelli claims that there was never a romance between Grace and Clark Gable while other biographers make the opposite assertion.) In 1955 Grace attended the Cannes Film Festival. For publicity purposes it was suggested that she visit Monaco while in France and have her photo taken with Prince Rainier - a meeting that would dramatically alter the lives of both. The Grimaldis have ruled the storybook principality of Monaco for over 700 years. One of the most sought after bachelors in the world, Prince Rainier well knew it was time for him to marry and produce an heir to the throne. While Grace, following adverse publicity concerning her affair with the married Ray Milland, concluded, 'I hated Hollywood. It's a town without pity.' The pair met briefly, each expressing the wish that they might meet again. They did, indeed. Upon a visit to the United States the following year Rainier, described as a 'shy, sometimes moody man,' proposed to Grace and she accepted, despite her strong feelings for fashion designer Oleg Cassini. In later years, when Rainier is asked whether or not it had been love at first sight, he replied, 'No....I don't believe in love at first sight anyway.' It is a wishy-washy expression, which I don't use.' Nonetheless, to the world theirs was a fairy tale romance capped by a fairy tale wedding. However, few in the world knew about the fertility test Grace was required to take, the dowry required, and the marriage agreement in which she relinquished all rights to any children the couple may have should the marriag

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2011

    PRETTY GOOD

    VERY INSIGHTFUL AND WELL WRITTEN. VERY FORTHCOMING FOR PRINCE RANIER, WISH THERE WAS MORE PERSONAL INSIGHT INTO THE PRINCESS THOUGH.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2003

    Down to Earth Store of a Fairy Tale Princess

    I enjoyed this book very much because it portraits Grace Kelly's charmed life as not so charming. It is a very indepth picture of life in the palace - the hum drum everyday trials and tribulations that Princess Grace suffered. It's amazing that all these high profile princesses (Grace, Diana, etc.) led such troubled lives. I enjoyed reading about Grace and Rainier's problems with their two high-spirited princesses - Caroline and Stephanie. It was especially interesting to learn of a possible cover-up regarding Princess Grace's death. The book also brought us up to date on the current status of the Grimaldi's. Stephanie's last ten years would have caused a great deal of heartache for Grace had she lived. I've read other books on the Grimaldis - this one is good - not great.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2003

    What can I say...Excellent

    This will be on my list as one of the best books that I read in 2003. Excellent background material although I did find a couple of inconsistencies on dates. Excellent reading...could not put it down. Kodos Mr. Taraborrelli!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2014

    Ashley's Wish ~ Part 1

    "ASHLEY!!! IT'S LUNCH TIME!!!" It was a summer day in California, and Ashley Hollows just got her new iPhone 6 Plus. I mean, before she had an iPhone 5 S and now she has the newest version of the iPhone 6 Plus. "Coming!" Ashley yelled down the stairs, while texting her friend, Jessica. Ashley walked down the stairs, with the phone in her hand. Her parents rolled their eyes. As Ashley took her seat at the table, her mother spoke up. "Ashley, dear... Your fater and I are going on a vaction to Tokyo for three weeks. Can you handle that?" Ashley looked up from her phone. "Three weeks? Alone? Awesome!" Ashley looked at her parent's faces, and she calmed down a bit. "Yah, I can handle it." She said, as she tapped her phone. Her parents exchanged glances. "Good, cause we are leaving now." ~~~ READ THE NEXT PART IN THE NEXT RESULT~~~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2004

    A Compelling Read

    J. Randy Taraborrelli has written a superb account of the lives of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier: Their courtship, the wedding, regrets and tribulations; and, finally, the tragic death of the princess. It is a compelling 'hard-to-put-down' read. --Ron Howe / Erskine, MN

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    Posted January 31, 2012

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    Posted December 22, 2012

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    Posted January 18, 2011

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    Posted December 29, 2012

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    Posted October 9, 2011

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    Posted August 28, 2012

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