Fit for a princess: Prince Albert and Charlene guests of honour at Grace Kelly exhibit

To the world she was a Hollywood starlet who lived a fairytale; the beautiful blonde who lit up the silver screen for just five years before retiring to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco. 

Long after her death, Grace Kelly's legacy continues to live on in cinema and the world of fashion where she is still hailed as an icon. And of course it also extends to the Monegasque royal family, headed up by her only son, Prince Albert, and her daughters, Princesses Caroline and Stephanie.

It was fitting then that as a new Grace Kelly exhibition prepared to open in London this week, Albert and his girlfriend Charlene Wittstock made an appearance in the British capital for a special royal preview.

On display at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the collection features dresses, bags, gloves and pearls all taken from Grace's elegant wardrobe.

Among those who stepped out to view the exhibition, which features the gowns worn by Albert's mother in Rear Window (pictured below) and High Society, were British royals Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

Joan Collins – exuding Hollywood glamour herself – and her husband Percy Gibson, model Erin O'Connor and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr were also at the event, which will run in the British capital until September.

The Style Icon exhibition covers all aspects of Grace's life, from her beginnings as an 'Actress', through to sections on her as a 'Bride' and a 'Princess'.

It features 40 gowns owned by the blonde beauty, including some made by her favourite designers, Givenchy, Dior, Balenciaga and Yves St Laurent.

It was back in 1955 that Grace met and fell in love with Prince Rainier, and the couple married the following year, signalling the end of her career.

Beloved by the people of Monaco, the princess consort was tragically killed in a car accident in September 1982. She was survived by her husband until 2005, and the couple's three children.

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