So, so far we’ve talked about when photographer Howell Conant first met Grace Kelly (in Part One of this series), and how he covered their engagement and wedding (Part Two). In the years following what had been called “The wedding of the century”, Howell and Grace’s personal and professional relationship continued. Howell would visit Grace at least once or twice a year in Monaco and was there for key moments in Grace’s life.
For example, Howell was there to take pictures of Princess Caroline just hours after she was born and he came back again just forty days later for her christening.
He was also there for Christmas.
And out sailing.
And to capture manysweet family moments. Of this one he said, “I loved photographing Grace when she was with her children, if only because she could get so involved with them that she paid little attention to me and my camera. At the moment when I snapped this photo, nothing was more important than fixing Caroline’s curls.”
And here we have a fun shot of Howell himself with Grace, clowning around while on holiday in the Swiss Alps.
Howell particularly liked this portrait that he took in honour of the couple’s tenth wedding anniversary in 1966. The sash that Grace is wearing is Monaco’s highest honour, the Order of St. Charles. He said, “For me, this picture personifies Princess Grace as the shot from Jamaica, of her head rising from the water, personifies Grace Kelly, the actress.” Despite the crazy hair situation she’s got going on, Grace still looks remarkably regal and poised in this portrait.
Howell also took many formal portraits of the family over the years, such as this one.
This casual photograph of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier was taken at Roc Agel, their country retreat in 1980.
Sadly, when Grace passed away in September of 1982, Howell was packing for his next trip to Monaco (he was set to take the family’s Christmas portrait). Instead, he travelled there to attend her funeral. This was the only time that Howell did not take his camera with him to Monaco.
Howell published a book about his experiences photographing Grace in 1992. The title of the book is simply “Grace.” He passed away in March of 1999 at the age of 83.
After all these photos of Grace, are you wondering what the photographer himself looked like? We sure were. Here he is on the far right in a snapshot taken by one of his assistants.