Actress Grace Kelly was not the first American princess. In the late 19th century, young American heiresses exchanged their wealth for titles, marrying into the European elite. One such heiress was Clara Ward, who was born in Detroit in 1873. She married a Belgian Prince, becoming Princesse de Caraman-Chimay, but Clara’s story is no traditional fairy tale.
Joe Grimm joins Current State to tell us more about Clara’s unconventional life. Grimm is the visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism. He’s also the author of several books including, "Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors" and "Coney Detroit." Grimm first wrote about Clara Ward for Michigan History Magazine.