Here's How Princess Charlene Is Related To Grace Kelly

Meghan Markle wasn't the first American to marry into a royal family. Years before Markle met Prince Harry, celebrities like Rita Hayworth, Kendra Spears, and Marie-Chantal Miller fell in love with princes around the world (via Vogue France), as did socialite Wallis Simpson when her love for Edward VIII caused the King of the United Kingdom to abdicate from the throne, per Britannica

And who could forget Hollywood icon, Grace Kelly? The actress married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956, and subsequently took on the title of the Princess or, as the New York Times wrote at the time, Her Serene Highness (via Vogue France). Kelly was the second American to marry into Monaco's royal family, the first being Alice Heine who married Albert I of Monaco in 1889 (via Monaco Tribune).

The current sovereign prince of Monaco has since carried on the tradition of marrying a non-royal. In 2011, he married South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock who has since become the Princess Consort of Monaco, Marie Claire notes. 

Princess Charlene never got to meet her mother-in-law, Grace Kelly

As Albert is the son of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III, that makes the late American actress Princess Charlene's mother-in-law. Kelly died in 1982 as the result of a car crash (via Town & Country), so the Olympic swimmer never got the chance to meet her. But that hasn't stopped the world from comparing the two, and the ongoing pressure of being like Kelly led some to believe that this was the cause of a recent health scare, The Express reported. 

In November 2021, Prince Albert told People that Charlene had been admitted to a treatment facility "outside of Monaco" to treat "exhaustion, both emotional and physical." This came after the royal was diagnosed with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) infection in May 2021 during a trip to South Africa (via Vanity Fair). In the months following, Charlene underwent numerous surgeries to treat the infection, which have taken a toll on her.

It's believed Princess Charlene will resume her royal duties in 2022

"Obviously there were consequences of her different surgeries and the procedures she underwent in the last few months," Prince Albert told People, addressing the rumors surrounding the health of his wife. "Because I know there are rumors out there, let me say: This is not COVID," Albert explained. "And it's not cancer-related. It's not a personal relationship issue. And if you want to discuss another speculation," he continued, "it isn't related to plastic surgery or facial work at all."

As of March 2022, Charlene has returned to Monaco and is recovering with her husband and their children, twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, by her side (via Hello!). It's believed that she will resume royal duties in 2022, but not before she spends a few more months in recovery. "In order for Princess Charelene to achieve a full recovery and as she still needs peace and calm, The Princely Couple therefore asks that their private life and family environment continue to be expected," The Palace said in a statement.