Princess Grace of Monaco has died of the injuries she sustained in a car crash near Monte Carlo yesterday.
The Hollywood actress Grace Kelly – who starred in the Alfred Hitchcock hits Dial M for Murder and Rear Window – suffered a brain haemorrhage.
A statement issued by the royal palace said she died at 2130 GMT after her conditioned worsened throughout the morning and become irreversible by the afternoon.
It also said the former film star’s husband, Monaco’s head of state Prince Rainier, and her three children were at her bedside when she died.
The US-born princess’ youngest daughter Stephanie was in the car at the time of the accident, but suffered only light bruising.
The news of her death was unexpected as previous reports from the palace had indicated that despite broken ribs, leg and collarbone she was in a stable condition.
The Monaco royal family also released an account of yesterday’s accident and said the princess had lost control of the car when the brakes failed.
After leaving the road her 10-year-old Rover tumbled 100 ft (30.5 m) down a ravine, turning over several times before coming to rest in a garden.
But a witness who was driving behind the two princesses said the car began zigzagging erratically some time before the crash happened.
Two engineers from British Leyland are on their way to Monte Carlo to examine the wreckage.
Courtesy BBC News
Princess Grace was given a full royal funeral at the Cathedral of St Nicholas in Monte Carlo.
Her daughter Stephanie – who was later reported to have suffered a serious cervical fracture rather than slight bruising – was too ill to attend.
The Leyland engineers who were sent to the crash scene said the car had been in a perfect state before the accident.
It was later determined the princess had probably suffered a minor stroke which had caused her to lose control of the car.