The Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco

Publication date: 11/04/2013
The Irish Library, which opened in 1984, pays tribute to Princess Grace's attachment to her Irish origins

The Princess Grace Irish Library is under the aegis of the Princess Grace Foundation.  It is situated on the Rock of Monaco, in the former family home of Countess Brame-Gastaldi.

In 1961, during a State visit to Ireland, the Prince and Princess of Monaco visited the cottage in Drimurla, County Mayo, where John Henry Kelly, Princess Grace's grandfather, was born in 1847 during the Great Famine.  He later emigrated to the United States and founded what would become one of the leading construction companies in Philadelphia.

Princess Grace's personal collection of Irish books (most of which once lined the walls of her office in the Palace) and Irish-American sheet music form the heart of the Library's collections.  Many of these volumes are from the library of the great Irish diplomat Count Gerald Edward O’Kelly de Gallach (1890-1968) and were acquired by Princess Grace in the 1970s.  There are also books with inscriptions to the Prince and Princess by the former Irish President, Eamon De Valera. 

Some ten thousand books have been acquired or donated by benefactors and visitors since the Library first opened.

There is also a good selection of books for young readers aged three and over.

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