H.S.H. Prince Albert II who will be unable to attend due to his participation at the International World Water Forum, declared: 'I very much regret that I will not be present at this inauguration of the exhibition. As I will be unable to attend, Princess Charlene is delighted to attend on my behalf. Australia is a country she knows very well and really appreciates."
The exhibition features extraordinary gowns and items of ephemera from the princely Family's own personal collection.
The exhibition, featuring rare film costumes such as the shimmering frock from High Society, haute couture gowns from Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel, Givenchy and Yves St Laurent and meticulously-tailored suits and American casual wear, includes key dresses such as Grace Kelly's civil wedding gown, the Edith Head designed dress worn by Grace to collect her Academy Award (pictured), the Academy Award, Grace Kelly's Cartier jewellery and magnificent accessories, such as the famous Hermes Kelly bag.
The exhibition will explore the extraordinary development and cultivation of Grace Kelly's style, influence and transformation from Hollywood actress to princess.
Director of Bendigo Art Gallery Karen Quinlan said "We are thrilled Princess Charlene will attend the opening of this superb exhibition and look forward to welcoming her in this fine City.
The Honorary Consul to Monaco Andrew Cannon said, "The extraordinary exhibition is of great importance to the Royal Family and Princess Charlene's attendance at the opening is testament to this. The family have a great love of this country, indeed it was after the death of Princess Grace that the family received more letters of condolence from Australia than any other country. The family have been eager to support however they can and as such, it was with the support of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco that we were able to secure this fantastic exhibition for Australia."
Karen Quinlan added, "The exhibition provides an unprecedented opportunity to be able to introduce an Australian audience to this unrivalled wardrobe, and chart Grace Kelly's unique influence on twentieth century fashion. Within this exhibition we hope to move you a little closer to the person, her classic style, her timeless elegance and ultimately I hope to enhance our understanding of this 20th century iconic woman whom we admire and still love. "
This exceptional exhibition comprising more than 100 items including dresses and accessories will be showcased in four of the gallery's main spaces.
The first exhibition organized by the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco has been an enormous success, registering more than 135 000 visitors; afterwards, it took place in Paris, Rome, Moscow, London, Toronto and Sao Paulo.
GRACE KELLY: Style icon is curated and organised by the V&A Museum, London and the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco. The exhibition will run from 11 March 2012 -- 17 June 2012.
Speech of H.S.H. Princess Charlène
Good evening everybody,
My thanks go to The Honourable Premier of Victoria, Mr. Ted Baillieu for hisgenerous words,and to Andrew Cannon for his kind introduction
I am also touched by the gracious hospitality of the great people of Bendigo, their city and their legendary Art Gallery,and so thrilled to be back in this great country!
Australia holds a very special place in my heart.
I often travelled here to train and to compete with my Australian mates, surely among the finest athletes in the world.
The purpose for my visit this time is to open, on behalf of Prince Albert of Monaco, my husband, a rare exhibition dedicated to perhaps one of the most captivating personalities of all times.
Knowing the life, talents and achievements of Princess Grace, where do we begin to tell the incrediblestory of such, an accomplished artist, a patron of the arts, a humanitarian, a Princess, and indeed a Style Icon.
Princess Grace's beautiful style is a reflection of Her natural elegance, taste,character, and a rare command of colors and textures.
A style so gracefully unique that it remainsan inspiration to all across generations and cultures.
A style so much part of every facet of Heramazing life, including the beloved Princess and the devoted mother she was.
Much admired and respected by the people of Monaco, Princess Grace was simply adored by Her three Children: Princess Caroline, Princess Stephanie and Prince Albert.
All three inherited their mother'skindness, generosity and compassion.
This evening, I am honored and proud to be here with you, in tribute to this truly inspirational Princess and also in tribute to the craftsmanship of those who designed and produced the masterpieces we are about to admire.
And so Congratulations to the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco,The London Victoria & Albert Museum, to Karen Quinlan the Bendigo Gallery director, and to everyone in your teams for making this fascinating Exhibition possible.