Prince Albert of Monaco fondly remembers enjoying alone time in the house where his mother, Princess Grace, grew up. And now he has purchased the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, property. “It feels good,” he says.
The prince confirmed to People Magazine that he was the recent purchaser of the six-bedroom Colonial home in the city's East Falls section.
The home was where the Oscar-winning actress grew up and accepted a marriage proposal from Prince Rainier III of Monaco during Christmas of 1955.
"The house was very beautiful and very special to our family," Prince Albert told People. He said he was happy to have saved it "from a near certain death or development.''
The Kelly family last owned the home in 1974. It belonged to another family for the next 40 years. Outside of the home, a blue and yellow sign has been placed declaring the home as a Pennsylvania historical landmark.
"I remember one visit, one of the earliest I recall, Grandma put me up in one of the bedrooms upstairs," the prince said. "I must have been about five and it was one of the first times I remember when I wasn't put in with my sister. I remember just staring out the window, watching the cars go by, enjoying being alone."
The prince told the magazine he planned to visit Philadelphia on Tuesday as he considers plans for the home.
"We're still trying to figure out what we're going to do with it,'' he said. "We're looking at having it contain some museum exhibit space and maybe use part of it for offices for some of our foundation work.''
The home was built in 1935 by 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.
The estate sits on a 0.279-hectare parcel that features gardens and a private backyard. Inside, the home boasts a formal paneled dining room, finished basement and a barroom.
Prince Albert said he is "looking forward to showing the house to the kids, sharing it with them, having them see the garden." He is father to twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.
Grace Kelly left Philadelphia at age 20 for Hollywood, but remained adored by Philadelphians through the years. The city mourned after Princess Grace died in 1982 from injuries she suffered in an automobile crash in France that involved her teenage daughter. She was 52.