International Royals

Prince Albert of Monaco recalls the moment he learned of his mother’s “traumatic” death

Princess Grace tragically died when she suffered a stroke and crashed her car near Monaco.

Almost thirty-five years after Grace Kelly’s tragic death, her son, Prince Albert of Monaco has opened up about the way in which the royal family coped with her “traumatic” death.

Of course, Princess Grace, nee Kelly, was one of the world's most famous Hollywood stars -- celebrated for films like Rear Window, To Catch a Thief and her Oscar-winning performance alongside Bing Crosby in The Country Girl -- before choosing to leave her career behind to marry Monaco's Prince Rainier III in 1956.

She died in 1982 from a car accident after suffering a stroke while driving with her 17-year-old daughter in the vehicle. Princess Stephanie, who was 17 at the time, suffered multiple injuries including broken ribs, three cervical fractures and a shattered collarbone.

Speaking on In Depth with Graham Bensinger last week, Albert recalled the heartbreaking moment his father revealed there had been an accident.

“Basically he said that we had to go down the hospital because mum and Stephanie had an accident,” he said.

“'I didn't think twice about it and went down with him, Caroline [Princess of Hanover, his sister] as well, and of course it was a very shocking moment.”

“One where you're not sure what to think. Of course you think that things are going to improve and it's not as bad an accident as you thought it was so... those few hours there were very tense and very emotional.”

He added: “It wasn't until later that evening that it became apparent that the outcome was not going to be a good one.”

Prince Albert is pictured with his late father, younger sister and beloved mother.
Prince Albert is pictured with his late father, younger sister and beloved mother.

The 59-year-old also revealed that his younger sister struggled to deal with the fact that she couldn't save their mother.

“Well, it took a very long time for her to recover from this and it was a very painful recollection for her, and it took a number of years for her to come to terms with that,” he explained.

“You know, just the pain of being in that car with our mother and not being able to pull her out or to have a different outcome. She was injured, of course also, but I think it's a traumatic experience and it would be for anybody.”

Albert said he turned toward his family in the wake of the tragedy, but didn’t really come to terms with his mother’s fate until years later.

“It always takes a while for you recover thanks to your other family members, to your friends, to the people who are dear to you and provide comfort.”

He added: “It also takes years to really fully come to terms with that.”

Albert added that his late father Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, who died in 2005, was never the same after losing his beloved wife.

“It was pretty obvious that he was deeply affected and he wasn't quite the same man as he was before the accident,” he confessed.

WATCH: Princess Grace sits down for her last-ever interview. Post continues...

Albert made headlines after it was revealed last year that he had purchased his mother’s childhood home in East Falls, Philadelphia.

The royal confirmed the news to People explaining, “It feels good. I’m very happy to have saved this old family home from a near certain death or development.”

“We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do with it. We’re looking at having it contain some museum exhibit space and maybe use part of it for offices for some of our foundation work," he explained.

Grace Kelly grew up here in East Falls, Philadelphia. (Pic via/philly.curbed.com)
Grace Kelly grew up here in East Falls, Philadelphia. (Pic via/philly.curbed.com)
The property was built by Princess Grace's father in John B. Kelly in 1935. (Pic via/philly.curbed.com)
The property was built by Princess Grace's father in John B. Kelly in 1935. (Pic via/philly.curbed.com)

The actress-turned-royal grew up in the sprawling six-bedroom property until her engagement to Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1955.

Prince Albert revealed that he and wife Princess Charlene are looking forward to bringing their twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, to their grandmother’s home.

“I’m looking forward to showing the house to the kids, sharing it with them, having them see the garden.”

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