Prince Albert II was on site in County Mayo as a new statute of his late mother, Princess Grace, was unveiled to a large and excited crowd.
Grace Kelly’s grandfather emigrated to the United States in 1860, but the family’s Irish connections were always held dear. This connection was so apparent that after her death in 1982, Prince Rainier III championed the creation of the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco, whose purpose is to share Ireland’s literary culture and legacy with the wider population.
Now the Princess has been honoured in her ancestral nation with a statue crafted by artist Mark Rode, whose previous work depicting her caught the attention of Prince Albert, who was “significantly involved” in the creation of the final piece.
The statue, which is located near the Seven-Arch Viaduct in Newport, County Mayo, shows the Princess elegantly perched on a bench in a rather glamourous gown.
Prince Albert travelled to Ireland to officially unveil the statue in a visit organised by the Newport Business Association as part of The Two Graces project. It turns out that two legendary women with the same name hail from this part of the world, the other being notorious pirate queen, Grace O’Malley. A statue of O’Malley will be completed in 2024, also by Rode.
Other notable works from the sculptor include the Barack and Michelle Obama statue in Moneygall, County Offaly, the Quiet Man Statue in Cong, County Mayo, and the Titanic Memorial in Addergoole in Lahardane, also in County Mayo.
As for the Prince’s visit, the townspeople were decidedly thrilled. Darragh McGee, one of the organisers, told RTE News, “We’re delighted to have Prince Albert unveil the statue.”
Click on the gallery below to see more images, courtesy of the Palais Princier…
Photos credit: Ed Reid, source Palais Princier