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Grace Kelly & Diana's Lives Echoed Each Other — The Princess Once Told an Engaged Diana That 'It'll Only Get Worse'

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 17, 2022
10:40 P.M.
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Princess Diana and Grace Kelly shared a bond based on their similarities. They became so close that Kelly even gave the young Princess advice about what to expect in her new role when she got engaged.

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Princess Diana met Princess Grace of Monaco, also known as Grace Kelly, for the first time during a royal event. Diana was only 19, while Kelly was already 51 and married into another prominent Royal Family.

Kelly had been married to Prince Rainier III of Monaco for around 25 years when she met Diana. The People's Princess and Prince Charles attended the benefit concert to raise funds for the Royal Opera House Development Appeal. It was the first public together. 

Lady Diana Spencer, Princess Grace of Monaco, and Prince Charles, at a fundraising concert and reception on March 9, 1981, in London, United Kingdom. | Source: Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

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Since this was the first public royal event Diana attended as Charles' fiancée, she was pretty nervous. Over 18 months and several occasions, Kelly and the young Princess got to know each other and built an eternal bond after Kelly took Diana under her wing.

The older Princess became somewhat of a support system for Charles' bride-to-be. Her support helped Diana gain more self-confidence even though she and Kelly only met up with each other on a few occasions.

THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN GRACE AND DIANA

Lady Diana Spencer and Princess Grace of Monaco in London at an evening in aid of the Royal Opera House Development Appeal on March 9, 1981. | Source: PA Images/Getty Images

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Ironically, Kelly and Diana had a lot of similarities that drew them to each other. Neither were royalty from birth, but they married royals, with Kelly being an actress before meeting Rainier in April 1955 at the Cannes Film Festival.

The pair only dated for a year before she married him in 1956. On the other hand, Diana was introduced to Charles in November 1977 during a grouse hunt at Althorp, her family home, but he was still dating her older sister, Sarah Spencer, at the time.

Prince Rainier kneeling during Mass in the Cathedral while marrying Grace Kelly in 1956, in Monaco. | Source: Thomas D. Mcavoy/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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After they married, both Diana and Kelly got involved in charity work. The Princess of Monaco worked hard when she became a patron of the Rainbow Coalition Children and the Red Cross of Monaco.

While the Princess of Wales supported people with HIV and Aids and famously worked alongside the British Red Cross Anti-Personnel Land Mines Campaign. Unfortunately, another similarity the two princesses shared was dealing with cheating husbands.

Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer, and Princess Grace of Monaco at a fundraising concert and reception on March 9, 1981, in London, United Kingdom. | Source: Anwar Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

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Charles allegedly had an ongoing affair that his wife was reportedly aware of, with his true love, Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he later married. While Rainier allegedly had three different mistresses within the first month of his marriage.

According to Wendy Leigh, a biographer of "True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess," the infidelities left Kelly "humiliated and extremely unhappy." Diana and Kelly also struggled with royal life, and both passed away from similar and tragic deaths.

THEIR FIRST MEETING AND WHAT GRACE TOLD DIANA

Lady Diana Spencer, Princess Grace of Monaco, and Prince Charles at a Gala Charity Concert in London on March 9, 1981. | Source: Kent Gavin/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

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During their first meeting on March 9, 1981, Diana had just gotten engaged to Charles. The newly engaged couple got to see a musical recital at Goldsmiths' Hall, with Diana recalling what it was like meeting Kelly for the first time, stating:

“I remember meeting Princess Grace and how wonderful and serene she was - but there was troubled water under her, I saw that."

Princess Grace of Monaco and Lady Diana Spencer at Wimbledon's Men's Singles final on July 4, 1981. | Source: Bettmann/Getty Images

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Charles's young bride had worn a black Emanuel dress that was too revealing for the royals and two sizes too small, leaving her struggling to breathe. After she noticed how uncomfortable Diana was, Kelly pulled her over to the lady's bathroom at the event to talk, where she jokingly told her:

“Don’t worry dear, it’ll only get worse.”

Prince Charles with his wife Princess Diana at the altar of St Paul's Cathedral during their marriage ceremony on July 29, 1981. | Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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With Rainier being a distant relative of Prince Charles, Kelly attended Diana's televised royal wedding. Another thing the Princess of Monaco noted was how Diana and Charles weren't well suited.

According to Leigh, Kelly allegedly worried about the younger Princess because she thought she and her new husband had nothing in common. Rainier's wife also thought the Prince of Wales was too old for the young Princess. 

DIANA FELT "PHYSICALLY CONNECTED" TO GRACE

Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles at their first public engagement together, a recital at London's Goldsmith's Hall on March 9, 1981. | Source: Central Press/Getty Images

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Both Kelly and Diana passed away from injuries sustained in car accidents, and rumors surfaced about each Princess surrounding their deaths. The Princess of Monaco suffered several injuries from a car crash on September 13, 1982.

Doctors speculated that she had a stroke while behind the wheel, causing her to die at the hospital the next day. Rumors around her death surfaced at that point, with the palace initially saying she was alive. 

Grace Patricia Kelly, later known as Princess Grace of Monaco, in a black-and-white image on March 8, 1956. | Source: Keystone/Getty Images

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Eyewitnesses said they believed her daughter, Princess Stephanie, was the one driving during the accident. Stephanie only suffered a hairline fracture to one of her vertebrae in the incident and later made a full recovery.

The Princess of Wales cried at the event that became her first solo engagement representating the monarchy.

Diana wanted to pay her respects in person and asked Charles if she could attend Kelly's funeral. The Prince of Wales was reluctant and told his wife it was unnecessary to be present at the service.

Princess Diana at the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco on September 18, 1982, in Monaco. | Source: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

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Feeling bonded to the Princess of Monaco since she had been an outsider like her who married into a big family, Diana took her plea to Charles' mother, the Queen. The monarch allowed the People's Princess to go to the funeral.

Her being able to attend meant the world to Charles' wife that according to Andrew Morton's biography "Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words," she even told Kelly's other daughter, Princess Caroline, that she'd felt "psychically connected" to the late Princess. Diana said she'd always treasure Kelly's kindness.

Princess Diana at the University games on her birthday in Canada on July 1, 1983. | Source: Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

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The Princess of Wales cried at the event that became her first solo engagement representing the monarchy. On August 31, 1997, Diana died after a car crash in Paris while trying to escape the paparazzi tailing her.

The media was allegedly tracking her and her new lover, Dodi Fayed. Rumors later came out that the Princess had written to her butler, Paul Burrell, months before mentioning how she thought Charles wanted her dead.

The Prince of Wales, then her ex-husband, was reportedly plotting her death by "accident." She claimed her ex was trying to sabotage her car's brakes so he could marry the woman he loved.

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