Once Upon a Time

  • by J.Randy Taraborrelli
  • Narrated by Edward Herrmann
  • 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Actress Grace Kelly was swept away when the handsome Price Rainier, a man she barely knew, asked for her hand in marriage. If she married Rainier, she would be more than just a movie star, she would be Her Serene Royal Highness Princess Grace. Once in the palace, however, Grace found herself trapped in a fairy tale of her own making. Grace and Rainier may have been royalty, but they were also husband and wife, and parents, and, as such, just as vulnerable to the conflicts that can contaminate any household. Drawing upon hundreds of exclusive interviews with family and friends, Once Upon a Time portrays its subjects with passion and sympathy, revealing Grace, Rainier, Caroline, Albert, and Stephanie in ways both startling and compelling.

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What the Critics Say

"Illuminating political intrigue and complex family dynamics...vivid, full-blooded portraits." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Truly inspiring book.

I'm absolutely fascinated to learn about her commitments to Monaco and her family. Alas, I have finally figured out the meaning of love & marriage 'Obligation & commitment' & 'responsibility'. Life may not have turn the way she wished for.. However, she was a inspiring lady..
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- Alev Haddadieh

Grace Kelly's most challenging role

Where does Once Upon a Time rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

At the top! It's a beautifully written and engagingly read story of Grace Kelly and her life as 'Princess Grace of Monaco' - her most challenging role and one that required all her acting skills and the personal qualities that made her a Hollywood star; talent, confidence and determination.


What did you like best about this story?

It takes the listener on a journey from her first meeting with Prince Rainier and the protracted conditions required for her to become Princess Grace of Monaco - from medical tests to determine her childbearing ability to the shock of having to pay a $2 million dowry, to her tragic death in 1982.


Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No I haven't but I found him an excellent reader,


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There was a period when Grace became deeply depressed and considered leaving Rainier. Part of the marriage settlement stipulated that if the marriage failed she would have to leave the children behind. She asked her lawyer to look into it, report back and 'never mention it again'. Her lawyer told her it was Monaco law and she had agreed to it. So she came to terms with her situation and went on to have a deeper relationship with Prince Rainier, who was aware she had made many sacrifices to stay at his side and tried hard to make her happy. He even agreed to her making another film ('Marnie' with Alfred Hitchcock, which would have been totally unsuitable!). Strong protests from the people of Monaco after the announcement caused her to abandon the project.


Any additional comments?

A sensitive, often funny and illuminating book. (It also charts her childhood and Hollywood career.) It's respectful of the characters in the story but it's not afraid to reveal the truth behind the image of the 'fairy tale marriage'.

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- Bryan James

Book Details

  • Release Date: 30-05-2003
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio