Skip to content

Did you know that H.S.H. Princess Grace personally helped Josephine Baker?

Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker / Photo credit: SBM

Two Americans who have gained worldwide fame had a strong friendship. In the mid-1960s, when Josephine Baker lost her entire fortune, the Princess of Monaco personally came to her help, offering her a home for life.

The Principality cares for its celebrity visitors. Josephine Baker was one such recipient, who was a huge star and possibly the world’s first Afro-American celebrity.

Grace Kelly and Josephine had a strong friendship, which began in 1951 when the future princess of Monaco bore the title of a rising star of Hollywood.

The meeting of Josephine and Grace took place in the glamourous Stork Club restaurant in New York. Josephine Baker returned to the States, where the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) named her the Woman of the Year.

Ironically, Josephine’s visit to New York was marred by an incident: the Stork Club staff refused service to the famous dancer. Being a witness to the outrageous scene, Grace Kelly unceremoniously left the restaurant with the black star and never returned there.

Even after Grace married Prince Rainier III, becoming the princess of Monaco, their relationship remained the same.

After great success Josephine, she had greater bad-luck and racial issues and by the mid-1960s, she had used up her entire fortune. 

A period of dark days overwhelmed her and her children when Brigitte Bardot and Princess Grace personally came to her help.

Bardot helped her financially and then Princess Grace invited her to Monaco. She helped her with funds, raised at galas held in the Principality, offering her a home for life.

Josephine’s Parisian concert dedicated to the 50th anniversary of her career was financed by the Prince of Monaco, Jackie Onassis and Princess Grace.

Josephine died a few days after her last concert from a brain hemorrhage. After the ceremony in Paris, she was buried in the cemetery of Monaco. 

Princess Grace also attended the funeral of Josephine, who found her final resting peace in the Principality of Monaco.

Josephine Baker banana dress
Josephine Baker in her legendary Banana dress

Aymeric Pazzaglia

Prominent Monégasque public speaker turned into an entrepreneur

Monégasque entrepreneur and business advisor, Aymeric Pazzaglia represents the new generation, filled with eagerness to make positive changes in the Principality. Aymeric informed and guided...

Sabrina Monte-Carlo KIDS

Extraordinary space, dedicated to the smallest of clientele

Renowned Monégasque designer, Sabrina Monteleone-Oeino recently opened her latest shop the Sabrina Monte-Carlo Kids, inspired by her daughter Manola. Sabrina Monteleone-Oeino / Photo credit: Yvan...

Silvia Andriotto

Aspire to inspire

Silvia Andriotto is passionate about integrating creativity and strategic thinking in all areas of wealth management. Being intellectually curious, creative and brainy, she never stops...

Alberto Domenico Vitale

The man behind diamonds in the Principality of Monaco

Long-term Monaco resident Alberto Domenico Vitale is a fourth-generation diamond expert and also an environmental advocate. Utilising his multilingual entrepreneurial skills, Alberto is the founder...

Did you know that the Monte Carlo Country Club was inspired by Suzanne Lenglen?

The Principality has had a long relationship with the brightest celebrities and sport personalities. The building of the legendary Monte Carlo Country Club was inspired by Suzanne Lenglen, who was the number one ladies’ tennis player in the world in the 1920’s, dominating the sport by having only lost 4 sets during her 7 year…

Marcela de Kern Royer

We all have the power to leave an impact

Yachting enthusiast and author, Marcela de Kern Royer is among those long-term Monaco residents who decided to add significant value to the Principality of Monaco....

Caroline Olds and her real estate team

Caroline Olds and her passion for real estate

South African native Caroline Olds has been a Monaco resident since 2007. She owns one of the most prestigious real estate agencies in the Principality...

Hugh Wade‑Jones / Enness Global Mortgages

From the UK to Monaco

Proud father Hugh Wade‑Jones, the owner of Enness Global Mortgages is one of the newest residents of the Principality of Monaco. The Englishman shares his...

Jessica Sbaraglia from Terre de Monaco

Jessica Sbaraglia, an ambitious woman who changed Monaco

It sounded like a utopian dream to bring back something which does not exist since 200 years in Monaco. However as it is today and...