Prince Al­bert II vis­its new buy: mom Grace Kelly’s home

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Kris­ten De Groot The As­so­ci­ated Press

PHILADEL­PHIA >> Prince Al­bert II of Monaco was in Philadel­phia on Tuesday in­spect­ing a house he re­cently bought: the home where his mother, Os­car­win­ning ac­tress Grace Kelly, grew up and ac­cepted a mar­riage pro­posal from his fa­ther, Prince Rainier III.

Al­bert spent nearly an hour in­side the home and walk­ing around the prop­erty, which he bought for $754,000. He waved to a hand­ful of fans lined up on the side­walk across the street from the home but made no pub­lic state­ments.

His cousin John B. Kelly III at­tended the in­spec­tion with him and said af­ter­ward the prince is still con­sid­er­ing ideas about what to do with the 2.5-story Colo­nial home.

Kelly said it’s pos­si­ble the home could house the U.S. of­fice of the prince’s char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion, which fo­cuses on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. He said they were also dis­cussing ways the space could be used to show­case in­ter­ests that Princess Grace held dear, like fash­ion, Ir­ish lit­er­a­ture, drama and ath­let­ics. But open­ing it as a full­time mu­seum is un­likely, adding, “If it was suc­cess­ful, the neigh­bors wouldn’t like us very much.”

For now, they are fo­cus­ing on get­ting the home back in good con­di­tion while dis­cussing ideas for its use.

Kelly said they spent the time in­side the house Tuesday rem­i­nisc­ing about par­ties and “hang­ing out in the garage.”

The home was built in 1935 by Grace Kelly’s fa­ther, John B. Kelly. He was a three-time Olympic gold medal-win­ning rower in the 1920s and later a prom­i­nent busi­ness­man ac­tive in Philadel­phia pol­i­tics.

Grace Kelly left Philadel­phia at age 20 for Hol­ly­wood but re­mained adored by Philadel­phi­ans through the years. The city mourned after she died in 1982 from in­juries she suf­fered in a car crash in France that in­volved her teenage daugh­ter. She was 52.

Once asked about mem­o­ries growing up in Philadel­phia, Kelly re­called walk­ing along the Wis­sahickon Creek in Fair­mount Park, say­ing it was her “great­est treat.”

Her child­hood home last made head­lines in 2014 when its 81-year-old for­mer owner pleaded no con­test to an­i­mal cru­elty charges for keep­ing cats and dogs in un­san­i­tary con­di­tions. Of­fi­cials with the Penn­syl­va­nia So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals seized 15 cats from the home and found the re­mains of sev­eral oth­ers. The owner had lived in the large brick house since 1973.

John Kelly said Prince Al­bert had wanted to buy the home for a few years, but it hadn’t been on the mar­ket un­til now.

“It’s been his idea and he re­ally wanted to do this to pre­serve his mother’s house, so he’s very happy right now,” Kelly said.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Prince Al­bert II of Monaco tours a house he re­cently pur­chased in Philadel­phia.

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