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Find out what Princess Grace and Prince Rainier were really like during the time depicted in the movie Grace of Monaco

Free Sample Excerpt

Sample Appreciation:

"A fasinating read into the life of the woman in the background of the famous photos. This book enraptures readers into the real life of the Princess of Monaco and her husband. So many previous publications were looking at her and trying to find fault. Joan Dale is able to provide insight to how it really was difficult to live in such a public world. And the descriptions of the homes and parties lend that this story is real and the relationship was true. It was also fasicnating to read about the American influence in Monaco and the reaction of de Gaulle during this time. This book will be a great addition to the collection for those who follow the lives of the famous and want to truely understand life in the "public" eye. "

Librarian - Lori Wilson


"The friendship that emerges over the twenty to thirty years is poignant and engrossing, particularly for those of us who grew up in the fifties and sixties. I found the account insightful and will easily recommend it to both student and adult readers."

Librarian - Karen Corso


"While her husband was serving as a diplomat at the American embassy in Paris, Joan Dale was first introduced to Princess Grace of Monaco at a formal event.

They were only a year apart in age, had similar interests, and were often mistaken as being sisters. Joan and Grace became close, lifelong friends. Joan’s husband’s keen intellect and astute business knowledge caught the attention of Prince Rainier who offered Martin a job as his aide. The opportunity to live and work in Monaco with close ties to the royal family allowed the Dale’s access to a world of enormous wealth and privilege. Gala balls and parties, sumptuous private dinners, dancing until the early hours of morning, while enjoying the company of famous movie stars, socialites, businessmen, and politicians was routine. 

Ms. Dale also provides an insider’s view of the private life of Monaco’s royal family. Although the royal family was expected to mingle with the very wealthy, they tried to maintain a lifestyle that was not ostentatious or outrageous. Grace’s charitable works, genuine concern for the well being of the less fortunate, and her love of family is evident. Retreating to their farm, Rocagel, high in the mountains overlooking the principality was a high priority. It allowed Grace and Rainier a chance to relax and live a more simple life.

Even though this book, at times, includes too much detail such as descriptions of clothing and lists of each food item consumed at dinners, Joan Dale’s fascinating memoir is a tribute to her friend, Princess Grace of Monaco and is an enjoyable read." 

Librarian - Cheryl Schubert 


After reading this piece, there are clear pros and clear cons. Mrs. Dale does a wonderful job at showcasing the intimate and simple moments she spent with Grace--from watching her choose her ensemble for a dinner party to spending r&r at the royal's country home, it is clear that Grace was a kind, generous and loving woman. She was a good wife, a wonderful mother, a strong but always looking to improve woman and a princess striving to be loved by her adopted country. What I enjoyed the most was learning about Grace's husband, Prince Rainer--his heartbreaking sentiments over losing his wife as well as the way they interacted throughout their marriage was surprising: they were a team. Their marriage was a loving partnership and I was struck at how much they complimented each other. 

Given that we are reading about Grace through Joan's point of view, we learn quite a bit about the author as well as her family. This I enjoyed because in learning about Joan, I learned about Grace. These two women were both young Americans in Monaco--they clearly held similar point of views. To follow the ups and downs of their lives was enjoyable. To hear about Grace through Joan's perspective...well, I only hope my friends speak of me with such beauty when I am no longer on this earth. 

While the intimate moments were fascinating (The fact Grace loved peanut butter sandwiches and had them with champagne was such a great tidbit or the fact that she wasn't fluent in French when she first came to Monaco--so delightful and endearing), there were many times where the narrative became quite dull. That is, at times a long history of politics or the state of the country--definitions that slowed down the pace of illustrating Grace, the real woman. Also, every few pages Grace's beauty was acclaimed and remarked upon, but really we knew she was beautiful. I would have preferred to know what she thought, what she was afraid of, what she dreamed about. 

While there are sections that could have been trimmed to keep the pacing from lagging, this was an enjoyable memoir/biography of an iconic figure. Joan successfully provided readers with not the movie star or the princess, but Grace, the woman who laughed and loved and was kind.

Educator - Jenny Ortiz


"My Days With Princess Grace of Monaco is not your usual biography. I'm not sure it can be called a biography at all. Instead, it is an account of a beautiful friendship. Joan Dale met a young Princess Grace when she moved to France with her husband. Princess Grace had just married Prince Rainier and didn't have many friends in her new country. So, she was very happy to find a young American couple who shared similar interests and whose kids were of similar ages to hers. The two couples became even closer when Joan's husband Martin started working for the Prince. They dined together, vacationed together, and had their children schooled together. Joan attended all the beautiful society events and balls that took place in Monaco in the 1960s, and was also privy to what really went on during the crisis with France that nearly cost Prince Rainier his throne. Although Joan moved around a lot during her life, she always remained close to Grace. She was also invited to the last cruise the Grimaldi, minus Stephanie, took before Grace's death.

Grace and her family lived a glamourous life, but were simple, down to earth people. Joan gives us glimpses of their more normal, private life, remembering when Prince Rainier made crepes in the kitchen or Grace exercised on the ship during her last cruise. It's a charming portrait, and you almost feel like you are intruding. Yet, the Dales are very respectful of Grace and her family. They wanted to share another side of Grace the world had never seen, and setting the record straight on many lies still circulating. There is nothing sensational or too gossipy here.

The portrait of Grace that emerges from these pages is very flattering. Grace was a kind and compassionate woman, devoted to her family and adopted country. If I had to find a fault with this book is that the Dales praise her so much that, at times, it's hard to believe Grace really was a human being. But I guess some people are so amazing that it is hard to find fault with them, and when we do, easily excuse them.

Beautifully written and illustrated with many private photos, My Days With Princess Grace Of Monaco are a must read for all fans of Grace Kelly, the Grimaldis, and royalty. Highly recommended."

Reviewer / Historian - Giorgia Guazzarotti


"Joan captures the life of Princess Grace and their relationship magnificently. After reading this book, I feel as if I too, know them. Thank you Joan for sharing this part of the Princess we didn't know. I would recommend this to all."

Book Reviewer - Adrienne Servis


"Excellent. Written with love & compassion, revealing facts hitherto unpublished.. Made compulsive reading."

Book Reviewer - Sylvia Bailey


"This is truly an insightful and beautiful memoir about a lovely Princess - Princess Grace of Monaco. Taken from the fond memories of a close friend, Joan Dale, a beautiful picture was painted of Princess Grace.

The fairy tale wedding, and the wedding of the century, to Prince Rainier III was just the beginning. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace were a magnificent couple. Her presence filled a room, more beautiful than one could imagine, and the Prince was affable, with a magnetic personality, although somewhat shy.

The book takes you through the crises with France, and the threat of Prince Rainier losing his throne. Prince Rainier had to deal with DeGaulle and his ultimatum stating that if Rainier kept his stance of remaining an independent and absolute ruler,he would depose the Prince. The issue was finally resolved in 1962 when Prince Rainier announced that a new constitution would soon be implemented. 

Princess Grace was portrayed as a very genuine person, being compassionate and caring, warm and loving, and most importantly, humble and down to earth. During her 26 years as Princess of Monaco, she had a charismatic presence and a beauty that shone brightly from deep within. There are no tawdry details revealed in this book - kudos to the author for that!"

Book Reviewer - Wanda Beaver


" This was a lovely insight into the private life and persona of a much loved public figure, as seen through the eyes of a close friend. Behind the scenes Grace was clearly a loving wife and mother and a loyal friend. Keeping home life as near normal as possible given the many public duties she had to undertake, Grace comes across as warm and vibrant and full of fun.

What a wonderful asset for Monaco, her adopted home."

Book Reviewer - Susie H


"This is a definitive book on the real Princess Grace from one who knew her personally. This is a delightfully enjoyable read that gives insight to the real Princess Grace. It is well written and based on fact. This book is not conjecture. It is written by one who was her personal confident. Very enjoyable read."

Book Reviewer - Lori Reed


 "It was a lovely portrait of a friendship and a generally happy book to read."

Librarian - Michelle Gilbert


"What a fascinating look at what Princess Grace Kelly was really like. This book was written from the perspective of a friend - someone who knew Grace well - not as a Princess or a movie star, but as a contemporary. Joan Dale and Grace met in their 20's,; they were young wives, mothers and confidantes with a friendship that lasted until Grace's tragic death.   

Joan kept journals, so we as readers are fortunate to experience her accounts of events in a way that seems we are right there. We see that Grace and her Prince were fine people who loved each other and their children deeply. They took their duties very seriously, but they also enjoyed relaxing with friends. They were real and genuine people.   

This book is a worthwhile and enjoyable read!"

Book Reviewer - Carol Custer


Loved the book about Princess Grace of Monaco, a charismatic, extraordinary person different from those who tarnished her reputation for both greed and notoriety. Written by a close confidante we are allowed into her life and how she founded charities to help vulnerable children, the trust still lives on today., it a poignant heart warming memoir and I loved it and would recommend this book. Its one of those never to be forgotten books which we should cherish.

Book Reviewer - Pam Thomas


"A heartwarming tribute written about an enduring friendship. Princess Grace and Mrs. Dale became acquaintances due to their husbands. They became friends later, raising their children together and enjoying each other. Mrs. Dale’s daughter has captured this portion of her Mother’s life in an attempt to share with her children what they have missed by not knowing both their grandmother and her Godmother, Princess Grace. If you are looking for gossip and secrets- look elsewhere, this is a fabulous book that tells of the era, the wealth, and the privilege without resorting to tawdry tales. Absolutely a fantastic glimpse into a friendship that just happened to take place with a Princess. Enjoy! "

Book Reviewer - Lynda Smoc


"Brilliant book.I loved reading about Grace such a fascinating life she had.I really liked the way the book was written."

Book Reviewer - Rachel Grantham


"Lovely book with lots of behind the scene one of a kind info about our favorite movie-star-princess."

Book Reviewer - Diana Belchase


"Well written memoir from close friend of Princess Grace. Poignant memories that give an insight into the life inside a palace. Well worth a read!"

Book Reviewer - Marlene Sanders


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