Princess Caroline, daughter of silver-screen star Grace Kelly celebrated her 60th birthday on 23rd January – but how much do we really know about the famous royal?
Born in 1957, Caroline entered into a world of wealth, privilege, and excess. She was born to parents Rainier III, the Prince of Monaco, and the famous American actress Grace Kelly, who dominated cinema screens during the 1950’s. She was the eldest of three siblings, with Prince Albert born in 1958, and Princess Stephanie born seven years later in 1965.
Caroline and her siblings grew up in Monaco, but often spent time at her grandparents home in Philadelphia too. The young royal then went on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, which houses several higher education and research institutions.
But Princess Caroline seemed to endure a turbulent time when it came to men and marriages later in her life. Whilst at university, she met a banker from Paris, Philippe Junot, whom she later married in 1978 aged just 21. But the marriage was doomed to fail, with reports of arguments during their honeymoon – and the pair quickly split in 1980.
The glamorous royal quickly found love again though, and this time, she hoped it would stick. She met Stefano Casiraghi, and the pair quickly married in 1983, when Caroline was three months pregnant with their son Andrea. Although Princess Caroline had not yet had her marriage to Junot annulled, meaning the pair couldn’t marry in a Catholic church, they enjoyed a civil ceremony in the Hall of Mirrors at the Monagasque Princley Palace.
The couple went on to have a further two children, Charlotte, born in 1986, and Pierre, born in 1987. Caroline is repeatedly quoted as saying that Stefano was the love of her life.
But Princess Caroline’s world was turned upside down when her mother Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, was killed in a car accident in 1982. The former film star, then 52, was driving back to Monaco when she suffered a stroke at the wheel. The stoke forced her to lose control of her vehicle, which then plunged down the mountainside. Remarkably, her daughter Princess Stephanie, who was in the passenger seat of the car, escaped with only minor injuries – although was unable to attend her mother’s funeral because of them.
And unfortunately, the Princess’ life was set to continue to be plagued with tragedy. In 1990, her beloved husband Stefano was killed in a speedboat accident off the coast
of Monaco – a race which was set to be his last before he officially
retired from the profession.
Princess Caroline of Monaco later went on to marry Prince Ernst August of Hanover, with whom she now has a daughter, Princess Alexandra. The couple are still married today.
Princess Caroline: Fashion Icon…
Now officially titled Princess Caroline of Hanover, the royal has long been hailed as a style icon, following in the footsteps of her mother before her. The Princess has favoured fashion powerhouse Chanel for a long time, having attended their annual fashion week shows since her 20’s. The royal has regularly donned dresses, jackets and suits by the designer, and her fashion prowess continues to this day – given her continuingly close relationship with Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel.