She was the epitome of Hollywood glamour and transformed that into real-world flair when she married royalty, but ultimately Grace Kelly — who became Princess Grace of Monaco — was only human. When her car tumbled off the cliff of a winding road in Monaco on September 13, 1982, even her ethereal nature couldn’t save her — and she was at the age of 52.

When word first got out about her tragic accident, her injuries didn’t seem life-threatening — or at least it wasn’t reported as such in the press. So the announcement of her death on September 14 sent shockwaves through both her home country of America and her adopted nation of Monaco, where she lived for the last 26 years of her life.

. Instead, she was being mourned by notable names like Nancy Reagan, Princess Diana and Cary Grant at the Monaco Cathedral on September 18 in a 75-minute funeral service watched by about on television.



How did the car fall off the cliff?

雷电竞娱乐So Kelly and her daughter hopped into the car. At one point along the way, there was a sharp bend, requiring a 150-degree turn — and that’s where things went wrong. The vehicle went through a retaining wall and tumbled 120 feet down the slope.

. “In fact, I was thrown around inside the car like my mother, who was catapulted onto the back seat... The passenger door was completely smashed in — I got out on the only accessible side, the driver's.”

Grace Kelly car crash scene

The scene after Grace Kelly's deadly car crash

Were Kelly and Stephanie arguing before the crash?

雷电竞娱乐Another popular rumor that sprung up was that Kelly was distracted because she and Stephanie since the teenager wanted to marry her boyfriend at the time, the son of French film actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, a racing car driver named Paul.

But Stephanie their discussion is “strictly between the two of us” since “certain secrets, certain images, certain things about this story that belong to my heart.”


When the car was found, the gear was in the parked position. “I was about to take my driving test, I knew you had to put it in park to stop the car,” Stephanie . “I tried everything — I even pulled on the handbrake. Did my mother confuse the brake pedal with the accelerator? I don't know.”

雷电竞娱乐 pointed fingers at the car manufacturer saying that perhaps the 11-year-old Rover’s brakes failed. Engineers from the company even . No malfunctions were found.

雷电竞娱乐But one thing was known for sure: Neither of them was wearing a seat belt.

. “She was incredibly tired. The summer had been very busy. She hadn’t stopped going places and doing things all summer long. She’d done too much. She never mentioned it or complained about it though — but she wasn’t in great form.”

雷电竞娱乐 her mother saying she had a headache — and then it seemed as if she suffered a sudden pain and blacked out before the car went over the edge.

Why was the gravity of her condition originally underreported?

Dr. Louis Chatelaine of Monaco Hospital, who treated Kelly, said she suffered two strokes — one before the accident and then another because of the accident — and that immediately her chances of survival were low since she was technically brain dead from the two incidents, .

雷电竞娱乐But that wasn’t what the rest of the world learned. Originally the official announcement said that she had some broken limbs. In fact, the severity of the issue was so covered up that even palace staffers . Palace spokesperson Nadia Lacoste was on vacation too, perhaps limiting the information being relayed through the proper channels. Some of the staff members found out about the stroke on the Thursday after her Tuesday death by hearing it on the radio.

Whether the news was purposefully downplayed or the intensity of the situation wasn’t clear to those making the announcement remains unclear. But two physicians close to the issue didn’t love the way it was handled. Dr. Jean Duplay, a neurosurgeon in Nice, told the that “the communiques were administrative ones, not medical bulletins,” while Dr. Jean Chatelain, a surgeon at the Monaco hospital where Kelly died, said the announcements were “gabrage.”

Prince Rainier, with his daughter Princess Caroline and son Prince Albert, at the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco, September 18, 1982

Prince Rainier, with his daughter Princess Caroline and son Prince Albert, at the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco, September 18, 1982

Did the hospital follow the correct procedure?

雷电竞娱乐Duplay that when he was called to the hospital — ironically named after Princess Grace — at 12:30 p.m. following the accident (they had left their home at about 10 a.m. and were taken to the hospital about 10:30 a.m.), Kelly had been given anesthesia, so she couldn’t be moved to a unit with a scanner.

While a smaller private clinic in Monaco had a scanner, as did a facility in Nice, this particularly large Monaco hospital did not.

. Would an earlier scan have changed things? That will always remain a question, but doctors insist it came at the right time.

About 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14, 1982, Kelly was removed from life support and pronounced dead.

雷电竞娱乐The decision and agreed upon by his children Caroline and Albert II. (Stephanie was told about her mother’s death , as she was recovering from her own injuries.)

. “It was dreadful.”

雷电竞娱乐“When the press makes up a story about the Mafia wanting to kill Grace — though I can’t for a moment see why the Mafia would want to kill her — if there was some interpretation that seemed even only minutely possible, I’d say, all right. But when they keep rehashing the story that Stephanie was driving and they know it’s not true, when they know it’s been proven that she wasn’t driving, it hurts all of us.”

No matter how many years have passed, Stephanie still feels the weight of being the one by her mom’s side in her final moments. “There was so much magic that surrounded Mom, so much of that dream, that in some ways she almost stopped being human,” she said, . “It was difficult for people to accept that she could do something so human as to have a car accident. People figured I must have caused it because she was too perfect to do something like that. After a while you can’t help feeling guilty.”

READ MORE: Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III Were Introduced for a Magazine Article — and Then Fell in Love

How did Kelly want to be remembered?

In perhaps the most happenstance twist, even though Kelly rarely did interviews, she had an intimate chat with Pierre Salinger on June 22, 1982 — less than three months before her death — for 20/20, in which he happened to ask, “I know it’s much too early in your life to ask you think the question, but at some point, somebody’s going to ask it to you, how are you going to want to be remembered?”

雷电竞娱乐After a pause and hesitation, Kelly said, “I suppose I think mostly in terms of my children and their children, how they will remember me. I would like to be remembered as trying to do my job well, of being understanding and kind.”

When pressed if she’d want her acting career — including films like 1952’s High Noon, 1954’s The Country Girl and 1954’s Dial M for Murder — to define her, she got modest: “I don’t feel as though I achieved enough in my career to stand out more than many other people. I was very lucky in my career and I loved it. But I don’t think I was accomplished enough of an actor to be remembered for that particularly. I’d like to be remembered as a decent human being and a caring one.”

Salinger even asked what other life she’d dreamed of. “Oh, there are lots of things,” she said, whimsically. “If I had to be reincarnated, I think I’d come back as one of my dogs. They have a very happy nice life and a very easy life.”