Princess Caroline of Monaco – Supporting her brother

Princess Caroline of Monaco
Abaca Press/Alamy Live News

Princess Grace of Monaco (née Kelly) had found out she was pregnant in July 1956 and had written to her friend Judith Kanter, “We’re preggos! Ecstatic!! Rainier will make the announcement soon…”1 The room adjoining Grace and Rainier’s bedroom was turned into a nursery with a Disney theme of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the private study was turned into a delivery room so that the child could be born at home.

Grace’s mother arrived for Christmas with American gynaecologist Dr Hervet to await the birth. Princess Caroline was born on 23 January 1957 as the rain poured down. Grace’s father reportedly exclaimed, “Hell! I wanted a boy!”2 Grace and Rainier were far more enthusiastic about the birth of their daughter, and for the time being, little Caroline was also the heiress presumptive. However, she was displaced in the line succession by the birth of her younger brother Albert on 14 March 1958. A younger sister named Stéphanie joined the family on 1 February 1965.

The three children were being raised in both French and English by an English nanny named Maureen King. Princess Caroline closely resembled her paternal grandmother Princess Charlotte in both character and appearance. However, due to the age gap between her and Stéphanie, she grew closest to her brother Albert. Caroline’s education had begun in Monaco, but she was later sent to St. Mary’s, a convent school near Ascot in England. She later went on to study at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and Sorbonne University.

Caroline was now living at Avenue Foch in Paris in a home acquired by her parents. She was hardly ever alone, with either a member of staff or a detective by her side. She was watched 24/7 by the paparazzi that camped outside her home. She began to feel trapped and hounded and was even known to exclaim, “Why do I have to be a Princess? I hate it!”3 Grace often spent time in Paris as well, as both Caroline and Stéphanie attended school there.

Caroline was now an adult and was often seen going out, smoking heavily and drinking. With the paparazzi forever hounding her, these photos also made their way to Monaco. Her father was alarmed and threatened lawsuits against the persistent paparazzi. He gave her more bodyguards, but this made her feel only more trapped. At the end of 1977, Caroline announced her wish to marry Philippe Junot, who was an investment broker and 17 years older than her. Her parents strongly objected to the match, but when they could not persuade her to break it off, they reluctantly agreed. Grace wrote, “This man [Junot]… doesn’t do anything. Oh, he’s in investments or something, but it doesn’t sound very real to me. Mainly what he seems to do and Caroline does with him is go to nightclubs and parties…”4

On 28 June 1978, Caroline and Philippe were married civilly, with a religious wedding following the next day. Their wedding was followed by an extended honeymoon of over five months. They then moved into the luxurious penthouse on the Avenue Bosquet in November. Caroline wanted to start a family, but Philippe found happiness outside of their marriage. It went downhill rather quickly, and on 8 August 1980, Caroline announced she intended to file for a divorce. Caroline commented, many years later, “When you’re young, you make mistakes, of course, but if you’re anybody else [other than a princess], you have time to sort it out for yourself… I would rather have done things differently. I would rather have lived somewhere else and been left alone… I’m fundamentally a lucky person without the littlest right to complain. But always in the back of my mind, I had plans and other ideas…”5

In 1982, Caroline’s mother Grace suffered a stroke as she was driving with Stéphanie in the passenger seat. The car crashed, and while Stéphanie managed to walk away from the accident, Grace died the following day in hospital surrounded by her family. Caroline, though devastated, stepped up to the mark. One observer noted, “It was incredible. Caroline seemed to carry herself differently – with undeniable regal bearing. She looked more mature. She spoke more confidently. Her sadness was evident, but it was controlled.”6 Rainier and Caroline appeared in public together, and she was soon the hostess.

Caroline still longed for a family of her own, and she remarried civilly to Stefano Casiraghi on 29 December 1983. Her first marriage had not been annulled, so they could not marry religiously. Caroline was by then in the early stages of her first pregnancy. The newlyweds settled in Monaco, where Stefano began to work in real estate and boat building. Their first child – Andrea – was born on 8 June 1984, followed by Charlotte in 1986 and Pierre in 1987. Caroline began to take up more of her late mother’s work.

However, tragedy was just around the corner. On 3 October 1990, Stefano was killed in a powerboat racing accident. He was still only 30 years old. Caroline went into deep mourning and disappeared into seclusion. However, she became close to French actor Vincent Lindon and reportedly asked for permission to marry him. On 26 February 1992, the Vatican finally granted Caroline the annulment of her first marriage.

Meanwhile, Stéphanie became pregnant by a former bodyguard, and she gave birth to a son named Louis on 26 November. Their daughter Pauline was born on 4 May 1994. Both were legitimized by their parents’ subsequent marriage in 1995, but their marriage ended in divorce again the following year.

However, Caroline and Victor did not appear to be heading to the altar. Instead, Caroline had picked up the tasks of Acting First Lady of the land again and spent much time reading and writing poetry. In the early 1990s, she became close friends with Prince Ernst August of Hanover and his wife, Chantal. In early 1996, her relationship with Vincent was definitely over, and she turned to Prince Ernst August for support. This soon turned into an affair, and Prince Ernst August divorced his wife in 1997. Caroline and Ernst August were married on 23 January 1999, while Caroline was pregnant with their first and only child. A daughter named Alexandra was born on 20 July 1999. Although the Kingdom of Hanover no longer exists and any titles are simply in pretence, the Princely Palace refers to Caroline as HRH The Princess of Hanover.

In 2005, Caroline’s father, Prince Rainier, died, and he was succeeded by her brother Albert, who was then unmarried and without issue. Caroline once again became the heiress presumptive. Albert finally married Charlene Wittstock in 2011, and their twins were born in 2014, pushing Caroline down the line of succession once again. She separated from Prince Ernst in August 2009, but they have not been officially divorced.


  1. The Grimaldis of Monaco by Anne Edwards p.265
  2. The Grimaldis of Monaco by Anne Edwards p.270
  3. The Grimaldis of Monaco by Anne Edwards p.288
  4. The Grimaldis of Monaco by Anne Edwards p.294
  5. The Grimaldis of Monaco by Anne Edwards p.296
  6. The Grimaldis of Monaco by Anne Edwards p.303

About Moniek Bloks 2732 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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