In the year 1961 Drogheda was visited by royalty. Prince Rainer of Monaco and his wife Princess Grace Kelly visited the Lourdes Hospital, to which they had generously donated. Chancing their arm St.Bridget NS on Bothar Brugha, asked that as the motorcade drove by their school could the Prince and Princess stop and spare a minute to see the children, they were told this wouldn’t be possible as they had other commitments and were under pressure. So instead, the powers that be decided that the children should perform a guard of honour for the motorcade instead as it drove on by. Unbeknownst to them Marion Byrne, all of 7 years of age, had been selected from a lottery to stand in the middle of the road, dressed in her communion dress, and was told to halt the motorcade and present to Princess Grace a bouquet of roses. This she did, and from that moment came one of the most beloved photos of Princess Grace ever taken.
So beloved is this photo of the Princess that earlier today, 56 years after that fateful day, Prince Albert came to the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda to accept a painting of the picture presented to him in the company of Marion Byrne herself. The painting was done by our own local talent Ciaran Dunlevy
I had the pleasure of meeting him myself, in what was a truly memorable day for the town of Drogheda