Princess Grace’s Legacy: Her Efforts to Elevate Women’s Causes

The theme of this year’s International Women's Day, celebrated on March 8, is “Invest in Women: Inspire Inclusion,” a practice Princess Grace followed as both an accomplished actress and a devoted philanthropist. In fact, Princess Grace’s efforts at helping elevate women’s causes were so impactful during her lifetime that her legacy has endured for more than 40 years and is carried on today by the Princess Grace Foundation USA (PGF) and by the Grace de Monaco brand.

As we celebrate all women helping to make a difference in our lives and our futures, let us honor Princess Grace’s legacy and remember how she first stepped forward to be a force of empowerment and help forge a better, more inclusive world. 

Princess Grace was a trailblazer.

In 1951, early into her acting career, Princess Grace began a life-long friendship with Josephine Baker. They supported each other, and stood by each other in times of turmoil. In an important moment in history, Princess Grace protested the treatment of her dear friend, who was being subjected to blatant racism and discrimination at a supper club. Years later, Princess Grace helped to fund Josephine’s comeback show “Josephine” in Paris to ensure she had the proper celebration for a historic 50 year career.

During her own acting achievements, Princess Grace negotiated an unheard-of (for a woman) MGM contract. Not only was she paid a higher salary than most actresses commanded at the time, but she was allowed to live in New York rather than LA so she could pursue the theater, and it gave her the freedom to review (and reject) movie scripts—and that permitted her to work with other movie studios. That latter stipulation is how she came to star in Paramount’s “The Country Girl,” a role that won her an Oscar for Best Actress. 

Planting the seeds of her philanthropic legacy.

After Princess Grace married Prince Rainier III and moved to Monaco, she turned her attention to charities and causes that supported women (and, often, mothers), serving as president of the Monaco Red Cross and founder of AMADE, which protects the rights of children globally. She also laid the groundwork for the Princess Grace Foundation, a successful endeavor that provides financial support and guidance to emerging artists in theatre, dance and film.

Princess Grace also initiated the International Monte-Carlo Ballets Festival in 1966, which is known today as the Spring Arts Festival, an annual inclusive gathering of the world’s leading dancers, musicians and artists. 

In her last recorded interview, conducted in 1982, Princess Grace shared her thoughts on what kind of legacy she wanted to leave behind. “I was very lucky in my career and I loved it. But I don't think I was accomplished enough as an actor to be remembered for that particularly. No, I'd like to be remembered as a decent human being and a caring one.” Through her example of female leadership, as well as her devotion to causes that benefited women, Princess Grace did indeed create that legacy of human kindness, inclusivity and strength.

Grace de Monaco carries on Princess Grace’s mission

Our inclusive approach to sourcing helps to empower artists to create our portfolio of fragrances and textiles. Additionally, Grace de Monaco’s unique luxury-for-good business model combines luxury and benevolence as 100% of the profits from each purchase flows directly into the Princess Grace Foundation USA. This helps fund grants for emerging artists in theatre, dance and film, many of whom are committed to telling female-centered stories. Finally, the brand looks inward to inspire women as well, as 70 percent of the brand’s employees are women, including CEO Claudia Poccia.

This International Women’s Day, with its focus on inclusion, is a good time to reflect on what we can all be doing to help women from every background get a seat at the table (or in the classroom, at an easel, in the cockpit, behind the camera—wherever they want to be). As Princess Grace once said, “...I think that women can do anything they decide to do.”

Shop Grace de Monaco fragrances, scarves and home accessories to support Princess Grace’s commitment to the arts and illuminate the path ahead for women and emerging artists.