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Testimonials & Reviews

"Mrs Dale describes her time with the Princess and the Grimaldi family in such an entertaining manner and I am captivated by all her little details !

Because I have followed Princess Grace's life for so many years I am already aware of many of the events mentioned so to get the "inside" scoop is really delightful for me !

I believe you have a best seller on your hands ! It is delightful, full of so many anecdotes about Princess Grace, that only her dear friend would know of !

To me your mother lived the is a fascinating story......."

- Montreal, Canada

"I love reading, and am so honored to have read this book. It is a jewel. The photos are beautiful and very very personal.”

- Rome, Italy

"I have finished reading the book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At last a book without a hidden agenda written by people who were personal friends of Grace and Rainier."

- Kentucky, USA

"I am now reading your book and enjoying it thoroughly. She was such an incredible woman.

I found your website, after I saw the Trailer for the new movie with Nicole Kidman. I love the actress, but was very disappointed they are not following historical record. I don't see the point to it, if it isn't accurate. So when I saw your book telling the real story, I wanted to know, so that I was properly informed... Thank you for telling the real story."

- Winnipeg, Canada

"Your book reminded me how precious, delightful, and fulfilling a good friendship can be, especially the ones involving couples! "

- Ohio, USA

"... honestly, this is the story that should have been made into a movie… not the other one!"

- Los Angeles, USA

"This Is an honest human look at the real Princess Grace not the legend. But the real woman .her dear friend who saw the private side of her watched her interact with family&friends with no cameras following her.highly recommend for all fans of Princess Grace & want to get a glimpse the real woman."

- Illinois, USA


... for me, the real delight of this book was its depiction of Prince Rainier. He's always seemed sort of like a background figure to me, even though he was the sovereign of his country, probably because Princess Grace's spotlight was inevitably so bright. But in Dale's memory, he makes crepes in her small kitchen, drives capably through the hairpin turns of the Monegasque-French countryside, and gifts antique fireplaces to friends for their new home. Because Dale was also so connected to the political aspects of Monaco in the 1960s, courtesy her husband's position at the palace, the book also gives an inside look at the tensions that existed between Monaco and France during that period. I absolutely loved getting to know Rainier a little better.

The book ends on a poignant note, as Dale was invited along on the last family vacation that the Grimaldis (sans Stephanie) took before Grace's car accident. Dale's journal from the cruise is reproduced, providing glimpses at the family behind the glamor. Grace does aerobics on the ship; Albert dances in the disco; Caroline is thrilled when a stranger wants to talk to her but doesn't recognize her. The deep grief of the family after Grace's death is really underscored by this section of the book. It was so personal that I almost felt like an intruder, and it made me wonder if Albert and Caroline have read the book, and if so, if they approved...


Since she first arrived on the shores of Monaco, her face partially obscured by a domed white hat, there have been rumors and speculation about Princess Grace of Monaco. Though her life would be even more public as a royal than as Grace Kelly, movie star, she was in many ways unknowable. The freshness of her beauty and the regal bearing that made her seem born to palace life fascinated her subjects and drew visitors from around the world, but out of duty, and a personal need for privacy, she would only share so much of herself with the world.

In My Days With Princess Grace of Monaco, much as with Grace, Howell Conant's book of intimate photos, you get a glimpse of the real woman. Using correspondence, journal entries and her own unforgettable memories, long time friend Joan Dale shares her memories of the times she spent with the princess in Monaco and around the world. She reveals a Grace who dazzles with her personality as much as her beauty. A kind, generous soul who values service to those in need, simple pleasures and above all, family life.


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.

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Joan successfully provided readers with not the movie star or the princess, but Grace, the woman who laughed and loved and was kind.

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The reader is able to vicariously experience the grandeur (along with the tedium) of life in the public eye filled with dazzling parties, incredible jaunts to amazing locales, and the flashing bulbs of the ever present paparazzi. An eye opening story which I am tempted to retell, but I’ll let you discover it for yourselves. Please pick up and read this four and a half star book and transplant yourself back to life in the late fifties and early sixties.

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If you are looking to know Grace the princess you will become deeply acquainted with her in this memoir.

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This book was not an easy read, but definitely a book worth savoring. Perhaps one might compare the experience to receiving a bottle of fine wine which is to be sipped, not gulped, and that is how I approached it, reading a section or two at a time. 

My Days With Princess Grace of Monaco is the story of two women, one of Princess Grace and her life with Prince Rainier, the other of Joan Dale with her husband Martin. Joan led a fascinating life, first as a diplomat's wife, then as the wife of the Privy Counselor to the Prince of Monaco, and finally as the wife of a successful business man, as her husband switched jobs over their twenty-five years of marriage. Her experiences reflect the excitement of life in the royal palace. The story focuses on the six or so years that Joan and Grace maintained a close, sisterly relationship, and continues on through correspondence and visits between the two until Grace's untimely death in 1982. There are numerous excerpts of letters and photographs to assist in making the past come alive. Joan Dale, a wonderful storyteller, fills this biography with interesting anecdotes of her life and that of her best friend, The Princess of Monaco.

Originally this book was written as a family history, but after Joan's death, her daughter Pamela Grace decided to publish this work for the benefit of the public. If a biography could have an objective, this one's goal would be to demonstrate the gracious kindness that Princess Grace exemplified as well as reflect her love of the arts and her desire to use her place of privilege to help others. "I wish to be remembered as a decent human being, and a caring one." is a comment the Princess made in her last public interview with Pierre Salinger on 20/20, and it is repeatedly demonstrated in the author's narrative.

What I found most compelling about this work is not the minute details Joan Dale has included, but the fact that I grew up in that same era and so was familiar with many of the names and dates mentioned. Joan kept extensive journals which, along with her newsy letters home to her parents, described the jewelry and outfits worn by the rich and famous as well as the lavish meals served at the numerous extravaganzas the Dales attended with the royal couple. The reader is able to vicariously experience the grandeur (along with the tedium) of life in the public eye filled with dazzling parties, incredible jaunts to amazing locales, and the flashing bulbs of the ever present paparazzi. Monaco seemed to be the go to place of many of the world's leading entertainers and bureaucrats, perhaps because of the beauty of the Rivera or the appeal of the casino at Monte Carlo. Actors, such as David Niven, had summer homes in Monaco where the residents lived tax free. Now, if don't recognize world renowned individuals such as David Nivon, Frank Sinatra, and Cary Grant, or Aristotle Onassis and Charles DeGaulle, or if you've never heard about the marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier, then you probably won't appreciate the minutiae within this book. I, however, am familiar with many of the names and events relayed as Joan tells her story, which greatly enhanced my enjoyment.

Next to Diana's wedding to Prince Charles, the wedding of Grace to Rainier was the event of the 20th century. Everyone was in love with the beautiful actress Grace Kelly and when she accepted Prince Rainier's proposal to become the Princess of Monaco, it was a fairy tale come true. Grace loved planning and attending parties which was fortunate since her life was a whirlwind of social events filled with performances by world famous artists. Joan Dale was in the unique position to share this lifestyle with us.

An eye opening story which I am tempted to retell, but I'll let you discover it for yourselves. Please pick up and read this four and a half star book and transplant yourself back to life in the late fifties and early sixties.

A special thank you to Netgalley, Inlightning, and Pamela Dale (Joan's daughter, as well as the god daughter of Princess Grace) for allowing me to download a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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"This is not the most "exciting" biography of a movie star and/or princess, but it is doggedly sincere and faithful to the popular image of Grace Kelly. (Before that image was sullied by lurid tell-all books.) I'm sure the princess herself would be pleased. " (more in Boston Herald)

"Excellent reflection of a close friend with the late Princess Grace of Monaco. Nostalgia and personal stories reveal the many refined layers that defined HSH Princess Grace's life and the great loss we have all experienced with her tragic death." ( Catholic News Agency )

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