Prince Albert of Monaco has given viewers a unique glimpse inside the childhood home of his late mother, Princess Grace Kelly, in a new television interview. The prince visited the home in Philadelphia with US news network TODAY, and explained his decision to purchase it in autumn 2016 for $755,000 (around £557,000).
"I think after talking to some of my cousins about this, we didn't want to see it disappear or see it transformed in any way by future owners," Prince Albert told Hoda Kotb on TODAY. "It's a big part of our family's history."
Prince Albert of Monaco has restored his mother's childhood home
The two-and-a-half storey colonial home was originally built in 1928 by Grace Kelly's father, John B. Kelly, in 1928. However, rather than being converted into a museum, it will now be used as a place for the family to stay, and also as home to the offices for the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and The Princess Grace Foundation.
Prince Albert has overseen the restoration of the six-bedroom property so it resembles the period when his ancestors lived there. The Monaco royal and his cousins went through old photographs and videos of the home to ensure it resembles how it was when their mother lived there as closely as possible. There are also a number of personal touches throughout, such as family photos and markings on a door showing the measurements of Grace and her siblings as they were growing up. "Maybe they thought we were going to take it back one day," Albert said, when asked why previous owners hadn't painted over them.
Prince Albert opened the doors to his mother's childhood home in an interview with TODAY
The spacious property has a den in the basement where the family used to host parties, and it was also the setting for an interview after Grace's engagement to Prince Rainier was announced. There is also a real bar which the family called "Kelly Tavern" and has an oar that once belonged to Grace's Olympian father on display.