Grace Kelly's Storybook Romance with Cannes

Rue des Archives/AGIP

In 1955, the fest was desperate to have a star with her cultivated glamour in attendance; then, a chance meeting with a prince changed her life.

Only a decade into its run, the Cannes Film Festival had gone over the tawdry, topless-starlets-on the-beach edge. So in 1955, organizers worked to persuade Grace Kelly, then 25, to come to promote The Country Girl, for which she'd already won an Oscar. Kelly -- who had shot To Catch a Thief there the previous year -- classed up the place, and in return, indirectly, Cannes made her a princess.

Paris Match editor Gaston Bonheur decided a shot of her with Monaco's Prince Rainier III was the photo to die for. It was arranged, and the two met for the first time at his palace on the shoot. After taking Kelly on a personal tour of the gardens, Rainier mentioned he would love to see her again in his forthcoming visit to the States. She agreed, one thing led to another, and the couple married in Monaco on April 19 the following year. As shown in this selection of photos, many by well-known Cote d'Azur photographer Edward Quinn, Cannes got its fair share of Kelly's tasteful elegance.