When I traversed many sky miles last month, I was able to catch the in-flight movie, Grace of Monaco.
The film was criticised by the children of Princess Grace as “needlessly glamorized and historically inaccurate…Therefore, the Princely Family wishes to stress that this film in no way constitutes a biopic. It recounts one rewritten, needlessly glamorized page in the history of Monaco and its family with both major historical inaccuracies and a series of purely fictional scenes.” Granted that this was not an accurate film, this post is about that film that I watched and possible insights that can be gained from the story of the main character.
Grace Kelly was an Academy Award (and Golden Globe)-winning American actress. She retired from acting at the age of twenty-six when Prince Rainier of Monaco made her his princess. Several years later when the duty and routine of being a wife, mother, and princess had set in, Alfred Hitchcock offered her a comeback role in the movie, Marnie. She was very interested to return to Hollywood, where her own identity was very much connected. But as pressure from Monaco politics as well as public outcry against her return to Hollywood grew, she experienced a crisis of identity and marriage. In the movie, she had a dialogue with her spiritual advisor, Tuck. Grace was troubled because she wanted to go back to her old identity of being an actress. But somehow it was no longer in keeping with her new identity as the Princess of a sovereign city state. She felt oppressed and considered getting a divorce to be freed. She seemed to feel boxed in, prevented from making her own choice of being the person she was. From a mindset of struggle, confusion, and suffering, Tuck reminded her of her most important role as wife to her husband who needs her, as mother to heirs to a powerful throne, and as Princess. Tuck reminded her that real love is manifested in keeping her commitment (obligation). Here are excerpts of that dialogue:
Princess Grace: Tuck, what happens if I get a divorce?
Tuck: Well I think we both know that you’ll never be able to come back here and… your children would suffer the most. They are heirs to a European throne, Grace. And add to that the fact that you would have been a failure as a princess.
Princess Grace: I don’t want to say no to the movie.
Tuck: Well don’t…. There’s consequence. When people dream of … royalty, they very rarely comprehend what it really means…Add to that a culture that’s one million miles way from anything you know…
Princess Grace: I don’t know how I’m going to spend the rest of my life in this place where I can’t be me.
Tuck: And who is that, Grace Kelly the movie star? You invented her. You learned a certain kind of walk and you perfected a certain kind of accent and you did it beautifully. But now you’re just a housewife with two bratty kids watching a rerun of your wedding day. This is not why you came here, Grace. You came here to play the greatest role of your life. Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco… Duchess of Valentinois… and 137 more titles that come with it. God help you.
Princess Grace: You make it sound so easy.
Tuck: Look. (pointing to the video of the wedding of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace). That’s a fantasy… That’s not real life. And it’s not real love. Real love is… obligation. At some point, every fairy tale must end.
When she understood that she was actually free to make a choice but that there are consequences to her choices, when she understood the weight of her calling and the responsibility that comes with the prestige and privilege of her position, Grace decided to step into the role that was laid out for her. She got a mentor to teach her the ways of The Princess she was meant to be. She learned and then spoke the language. She learned about the history of the kingdom she represented. She committed herself to this purpose. She started connecting with the people. She stepped into the best role of her life living out what she was called to do. ======
How about you, Princess? Daughter of the King of Kings, do you understand the weight of your calling, the responsibility that comes with your position? Are you learning the ways of being God’s Princess? Have you released your past? Are you seeing your appointed role as Ambassador of Christ, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, child of God, new creation? Remember who you are in Christ. May you live out the best role of your life!