We often imagine what lies behind palace doors...
What I personally envision goes along the lines of stunning outdoor water features, sprawling ballrooms, life-size portraits, majestic libraries...
And my very own fairy godmother.
Baring Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, it turns out that's exactly what a palace is like.
Prince Albert of Monaco opened his gold-plated (we assume) doors, inviting us mere mortal and CBS Sunday Morning to take a walk through his home.
^Me, when my invite finally makes its way in the mail!
The proud royal, who resides on the tip of the Mediterranean shore, chatted about his intimate memories of his mother, Grace Kelly.
The sprawling castle, built in the 12th Century, exudes a combination of Hollywood glamour with sheer royal perfection.
Prince Albert helps bring to life what a day in his shoes may be like as he strolled around the grounds.
“There’s a famous picture of my – I think it’s famous, you can tell me that! There’s a picture of my parents exchanging glances with the view of Monaco in the background,” Albert said of dad Prince Rainier and mum Grace.
The snapshot (you can see it in the video at the top) was taken at the time of their 1956 wedding.
At that point the actress had retired at the tender age of 26, following a stellar career starring in films like Rear Window and To Catch a Thief.
Not only Hollywood royalty, but an Oscar-winner too, for her performance alongside Bing Crosby in The Country Girl.
But for Grace, none of that mattered anymore as she had landed the role of her life, Princess of Monaco.
“She was a very loving and caring mother,” Albert reflected.
“She not only made sure that she gave us [Albert and his sisters, Princesses Caroline and Stephanie] enough attention and enough love and that we had everything we needed, but she was so caring toward other people, too.”
While the Princess put the love of her children, her husband and her people above all else - she was still Grace Kelly.
And she had many a famous friend.
Princess Charlene's husband dished on his mother's famous friends that would drop by.
"Alfred Hitchcock, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra… how could you forget them!”
Laughing he added, "He [Cary Grant] and my father used to have a have a field day telling jokes!”
It's clear that Monaco's shining jewel is their fallen Princess, who tragically passed away in 1982.
And her essence is still bright as ever, within the palace walls.
During the tour, the Prince showed where he played growing up, and a rather modern looking outdoor pool designed by Grace.
The Salle de Garde, or for those of us who don't reside in a palace, that's the old guard’s room, was re-purposed as a family room.
The 58-year-old explained that his mum didn't love the original decor, “We’ve had these blue-colored walls since then.”
Albert's childhood home still has many of Grace's prized possesions like her childhood photos, letters, passports, clothing and jewels.
One of the most exciting things that have been preserved is the gown she wore to accept her Oscar and her engagement ring from Prince Rainier.
The intimate tour ties in with the starlet's eldest son and his wife promoting her charity, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA to give scholarships to students in the performing arts.
The father-of-four explained that his royal mother often supported struggling new performers in private.
“It’s to celebrate Princess Grace’s living legacy for supporting the up-and-coming artists, emerging talent, and giving hope and inspiration to many others out there,” Princess Charlene said of the foundation.
“She knew what young artists go though,” Albert added, “and what their aspirations are, and sometimes that they don’t have the means to continue their careers.”
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