Caroline, Princess of Hanover

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Princess Caroline
Princess of Hanover
Hereditary Princess of Monaco
Princess Caroline.jpg
The Princess of Hanover at the Monaco Media Forum Awards ceremony in 2009.
Spouse Philippe Junot (m. 1978; div. 1980)
Stefano Casiraghi (m. 1983; died 1990)
Ernst August, Prince of Hanover (m. 1999)
Issue Andrea Casiraghi
Charlotte Casiraghi
Pierre Casiraghi
Princess Alexandra of Hanover
Full name
Caroline Louise Marguerite Grimaldi
House House of Grimaldi (by birth)
House of Hanover (by marriage)
Father Rainier III, Prince of Monaco
Mother Grace Kelly
Born (1957-01-23) 23 January 1957 (age 57)
Prince's Palace, Monaco
Religion Roman Catholic

Caroline, Princess of Hanover (Caroline Louise Marguerite; born 23 January 1957), is the eldest child of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and the American actress Grace Kelly. She is the elder sister of Prince Albert II and Princess Stéphanie. She has been heir presumptive to the throne of Monaco since 2005, a position which she previously held from 1957 to 1958.

Caroline is married to Ernst August, Prince of Hanover (born 1954), the pretender to the former throne of the Kingdom of Hanover,[1] as well as the genealogical heir male of George III of the United Kingdom.

Family and early life[edit]

Caroline was born Caroline Louise Marguerite Grimaldi on 23 January 1957 in the Prince's Palace, Monaco. She is the eldest child of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and his wife, former American actress Grace Kelly. By birth, Caroline belongs to the House of Grimaldi, and was the heir presumptive from her birth to 14 March 1958, when her brother Prince Albert was born. On 1 February 1965, her younger sister Princess Stéphanie was born. Caroline is a legitimate patrilineal descendant of the Dukes of Polignac, and as such belongs to the historical French nobility. Through her mother, she is of Irish and German descent.[2][3]

As a child, she spent some of her time at the home of her maternal grandparents John B. Kelly, Sr. and Margaret Major in Philadelphia. In an interview for People in April 1982, shortly before her death, Grace described Caroline and Stéphanie as "warm, bright, amusing, intelligent and capable girls. They're very much in tune with their era. Besides being good students, they are good athletes – excellent skiers and swimmers. Both can cook and sew and play the piano and ride a horse. But, above all, my children are good sports, conscious of their position and considerate of others. They are sympathetic to the problems and concerns in the world today."[4] She died on 14 September 1982, the day after suffering a stroke, and driving her car over a cliff while returning from France to Monaco with Princess Stéphanie. After her mother's funeral, which was watched by an estimated 100 million people around the world,[5] Caroline adopted her mother's role as de facto first lady of Monaco.

Education[edit]

The princess received her French baccalauréat in 1974 with honors. She was also educated at St Mary's School Ascot. Caroline continued her studies at the Sorbonne University, where she received a diploma in philosophy and minors in psychology and biology.[6] She is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German and Italian.[7]

Official appearances[edit]

Princess Caroline and Albert, then Hereditary Prince of Monaco, with Ronald and Nancy Reagan in Washington D.C. on 28 March 1983

In 1979, Princess Caroline was appointed by her father as the president of the Monegasque Committee for the International Year of the Child. Two years later, in 1981, she founded her own foundation Jeune J'écoute.[6] Other philanthropic organizations Caroline has been involved with include the World Association of Children's Friends (AMADE),[8] the Princess Grace Foundation,[9] the Prince Pierre Foundation,[10] the Peter Le Marchant Trust and UNICEF. Her other patronages include the International School of Paris,[11] Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, which she also founded,[12] the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,[13] the Association des Guides et Scouts de Monaco, the Monte Carlo Garden Club and The Spring Arts Festival.

Following her mother's death in 1982, Caroline served as de facto first lady of Monaco until her brother married Charlene Wittstock in 2011.[14][15] She regularly attends important social events in Monaco related to the Monegasque Princely Family, such as the National Day celebrations,[16] the annual Rose Ball,[17] the Red Cross Ball and the Formula One competition Monaco Grand Prix.[18]

Due to her commitment to philanthropy and arts, Caroline was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on 2 December 2003.[19] The UNICEF honoured her with Children's Champion Award on 20 May 2006. The next year, she travelled to the Republic of South Africa to meet its former president Nelson Mandela.[20] In December 2011, the World Association of Children's Friends honoured her for "tireless endeavours in continuing the organisation's legacy". Her personal friend and the Chanel head designer Karl Lagerfeld presented her the award.[21] Caroline had also previously been given the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Charles, and had been appointed as the Commander of the Order of Cultural Merit.[22]

Personal and media life[edit]


Monegasque Princely FamilyCoat of arms of Monaco.svg

HSH The Prince
HSH The Princess


Caroline's personal interests include horse riding, swimming and skiing.[6] Since her youth, she has been considered an international fashion icon and as one of the best dressed women in the world.[23][24] In November 2011, an exhibition honouring Princess Caroline was opened at the National Museum of Monaco.[25]

Caroline was romantically linked to many famous men, including Mark Shand, the younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Guillermo Vilas; Sebastian Taylor, who had previously dated Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia; Jonathan Guinness, the son of Jonathan Guinness, 3rd Baron Moyne;[26] Henri Giscard d'Estaing, the son of former President of France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing; and French singer Philippe Lavil.[7] Following her divorce from Philippe Junot, she was briefly engaged to Robertino Rossellini, the son of Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman. Between her second and third marriages, Caroline had a relationship with French actor Vincent Lindon.[16]

First marriage[edit]

Princess Caroline's first husband was Philippe Junot (born 19 April 1940), a Parisian banker. They were married civilly in Monaco on 28 June 1978, and religiously on 29 June 1978.[27] Their lavish wedding ceremony was attended by some 65 guests, including Hollywood stars Ava Gardner, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.[28]

The couple divorced, childless, on 9 October 1980. In 1992, the Roman Catholic Church granted the princess a canonical annulment.

Second marriage[edit]

Her second husband was Stefano Casiraghi (8 September 1960 – 3 October 1990), the sportsman heir to an Italian industrial fortune. They were married civilly in Monaco on 29 December 1983, and had three children:

The two younger children are named for their maternal great-grandparents, Princess Charlotte and Prince Pierre, whilst Andrea was named for a childhood friend of his father's. Stefano Casiraghi was killed in a speed-boating accident in 1990, aged 30 years.

Third marriage[edit]

Hanoverian Royal Family
Hannover1837.jpg

HRH The Prince
HRH The Princess

Caroline's third and present husband is Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick, head of the House of Hanover which lost its throne in 1866.[1] Until 1918, however, his family ruled the sovereign Duchy of Brunswick, the territorial dowry given by the German Emperor Wilhelm II upon the marriage in 1913 of his only daughter, Princess Victoria Louise, to Ernst August's grandfather.

The couple married in Monaco on 23 January 1999. Ernst August had previously divorced his first wife Chantal Hochuli, with whom he had sons Prince Ernst August and Prince Christian, and who had been Caroline's friend.

The couple has one daughter together:

Her husband's title as Duke of Brunswick is honorific since the ruling family of that state was removed by the Weimar Republic in 1918, along with all royal and noble German ruling families, which were still allowed to retain their titles. Neither she nor her husband has royal rank in Germany, but Monaco recognizes the Hanoverians' former German royal titles, attributing to the couple the style of Royal Highness. On 11 January 1999, shortly before Caroline and Ernst's wedding, his fourth cousin once removed (George III was their common ancestor), Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, issued this Order in Council, "My Lords, I do hereby declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between His Royal Highness Prince Ernst August Albert of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg and Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite of Monaco...". As a legitimate male-line descendant of George III, Ernst August is subject to the Royal Marriages Act 1772: Without the Queen's Royal Assent, the marriage would have been void in Britain, where Ernst August's family owned substantial property and he holds (dual) citizenship.[1]

Likewise, the Monégasque court officially notified France of Caroline's contemplated marriage to Prince Ernst August and received assurance that there was no objection, in compliance with Article 2 of the 1918 Franco-Monégasque Treaty.[29] Despite obtaining the official approval of the governments of France, Monaco and the United Kingdom, upon Caroline's marriage to Ernst August he forfeited his own place in Britain's order of succession. He is also subject to the Act of Settlement 1701, which imposes that consequence upon British dynasts who marry Roman Catholics.[1]

In 2009, it was reported that Caroline had separated from Ernst August and returned to live in Monaco.[30][31] In January 2010, photos emerged of Ernst August kissing a woman who was not identified as Caroline, leading press to speculate that the couple are divorcing.[32]

Defense of privacy[edit]

Caroline has had a bad relationship with media and paparazzi since her youth, when she complained she "could not live the life of a normal student".[33] On 24 June 2004, the Princess obtained a judgement from the European Court of Human Rights condemning Germany for non-respect of her right to private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.[34] The case concerned, for instance, the publication of pictures of her taken secretly at the Beach Club in Monte Carlo, but the lack of implementation of the European Court of Human Rights judgement in Germany led to a second round of proceedings before the Strasbourg Court. This time five NGOs filed their observations in support of paparazzi, and the Princess lost her case.[35][36]

Line of succession issues[edit]

Princess Caroline is heir presumptive to the crown of Monaco because her brother Prince Albert II has no legitimate children. If Albert leaves no legitimate dynastic issue and should she outlive Albert, Caroline will one day become the second Sovereign Princess in Monaco's history. Her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother Louise-Hippolyte held that position for a few months in 1731.

There is precedent for a Monégasque prince to adopt his own illegitimate child and thereby place that child at the head of the line of succession to the Monegasque throne, as was done for Caroline's grandmother, Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois.[37] However, due to changes to the constitution of Monaco in 2002, this is no longer an option.[38]

Albert's lack of legitimate children prompted Prince Rainier III to change the constitution so as to ensure there would be a successor to the throne, which strengthened the places of Caroline and her descendants in the line of succession. On 2 April 2002, Monaco passed Princely Law 1.249, which provides that if the Sovereign Prince assumes the throne and then dies without a legitimate direct heir, the throne will pass to his dynastic siblings and their descendants according to the rule of male-preference cognatic primogeniture. The law was then ratified by France, as required by a 1918 Franco-Monégasque Treaty, on 4 October 2005.[38] Before this change, the crown of Monaco could pass only to a descendant of the last reigning prince, excluding such collateral relations as siblings, nephews, and nieces.

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

Caroline's monogram
  • 23 January 1957 – 14 March 1958: Her Serene Highness The Hereditary Princess of Monaco
  • 14 March 1958 – 23 January 1999: Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline of Monaco
  • 23 January 1999 – 6 April 2005: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover, Princess of Monaco
  • 6 April 2005 – present: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover, Hereditary Princess of Monaco

Contrary to usage in most other monarchies, not only is the heir apparent to the Monégasque throne titled Hereditary Prince, but whenever there is no heir apparent the heir presumptive legally bears the title of Hereditary Prince(ss). Therefore, Caroline first became the Hereditary Princess of Monaco at birth. From the birth of her only brother until his accession to the throne as Albert II, she was legally Princess Caroline of Monaco; at Albert's accession she resumed the position of heir presumptive. So long as Prince Albert remains without legitimate issue, Princess Caroline remains first in line to succeed him on the throne. However, Albert's firstborn legitimate child would displace her in the line of succession, either as Albert's heir apparent if male, or as his heir presumptive if female.

In Monaco and other monarchies, Caroline is usually referred to and addressed by the female form of the style attributed by tradition to her husband, i.e. Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover, rather than by her own legal title (Her Serene Highness The Hereditary Princess of Monaco). Historically, styles associated with kingdoms, such as Ernst August's, have been deemed of higher rank and status than those associated with principalities.[39]

Honours[edit]

See also List of honours of the Monegasque Princely Family by country

Monegasque orders[edit]

Foreign orders[edit]

  •  Sweden: HM King Carl XVI Gustaf 50th Anniversary Medal (30 April 1996)[42]

Other honours and awards[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Monaco royal taken seriously ill". BBC News (London). 8 April 2005. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ Jacobs, Laura (May 2010). "Grace Kelly’s Forever Look". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Herzog, Buck (14 January 1956). "'Irish' Grace Kelly Is Half German". The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Hauptfuhrer, Fred (5 April 1982). "Aging Gracefully". People. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Puente, Maria (10 September 2007). "Princess Grace lingers in memory". USA Today. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "H.R.H. The Princess of Hanover". Prince's Palace of Monaco. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Ward, Penny, Dowling, Kenny (30 August 1976). "Sweet Caroline". People. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover chairs the plenary assembly of AMADE". Prince's Palace of Monaco. 26 April 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "28th annual Princess Grace Awards gala". Prince's Palace of Monaco. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "The Prince Pierre Foundation". Prince's Palace of Monaco. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "International School of Paris". Prince's Palace of Monaco. 6 June 2003. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "La compagnie". Les Ballets de Monte Carlo (in French). Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo – Historique". Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra (in French). Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Princess Caroline of Monaco". Biography.com. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  15. ^ "Princess Caroline of Monaco". Hello. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "United and official: Charlene celebrates first National Day as princess". Hello. 21 November 2003. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Monaco Rose Ball, Moroccan Style". The Royal Forums. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "Monaco Royals at the F1 Grand Prix". Royalty in the News. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Princess Caroline becomes U.N. Goodwill Ambassador". Hello. 27 November 2003. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  20. ^ "Princess Caroline visits Nelson Mandela". Hello. 13 February 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  21. ^ "Caring Caroline honoured for following in Princess Grace's footsteps". Hello. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  22. ^ "Caroline de Monaco". Wikipedia (in French). Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  23. ^ Wohlfert, Lee (28 February 1977). "Here They Are Again, the World's Best-dressed Women—but Who Says So? and Why?". People. 
  24. ^ "The International Hall of Fame: Women". Vanity Fair. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  25. ^ "Camaleónica, atractiva, misteriosa… Una exposición muestra a Carolina de Mónaco a través del objetivo de grandes artistas". ¡Hola! (in Spanish). 8 November 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "Caroline Kicks Up Her Heels in London, and Mother Worries Back Home". People. 24 November 1975. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  27. ^ "'Iconic royal wedding gowns". Harpers Bazaar. 
  28. ^ "The turbulent love life and marriages of Albert's sisters". Hello. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  29. ^ Velde, François (22 March 2006). "Monaco: The Treaties of 1861 and 1918". www.heraldica.org (in French). Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  30. ^ "Questions over Princess Caroline's marriage as Ernst of Hanover increasingly absent". Hello. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  31. ^ Allen, Peter (12 September 2009). "Princess Caroline 'to divorce third husband', reigniting fears of a Monaco royal curse". Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  32. ^ Hall, Allan (8 January 2010). "Princess Caroline of Monaco hit by divorce rumors as husband is pictured kissing younger woman". Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  33. ^ Hauptfuhrer, Fred (1 September 1975). "Princess Pains". People. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  34. ^ "Case of Von Hannover v. Germany". European Court of Human Rights. 24 June 2004. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  35. ^ "Case of Von Hannover v. Germany No. 2". European Court of Human Rights. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  36. ^ "ECHR lowers the private life protection standard". www.eurolitigation.eu. 11 February 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  37. ^ Velde, François (22 March 2006). "Monaco: The Succession Crisis of 1918". Heraldica (in French). Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  38. ^ a b Velde, François (22 March 2006). "Monaco: The Constitution 2002". Heraldica (in French). Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  39. ^ Hubbard, Kim (8 February 1999). "Ernst Goes to Monaco". People. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  40. ^ In this serie of photos, Caroline wearing the Order of Saint Charles
  41. ^ Princely Family Website, official biography of Princess Caroline
  42. ^ Gettyimages

External links[edit]

Caroline, Princess of Hanover
Cadet branch of the House of Polignac
Born: 23 January 1957
Lines of succession
First
Line of succession to the Monegasque throne Succeeded by
Andrea Casiraghi
Monegasque royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Rainier
Hereditary Princess of Monaco
23 January 1957 – 14 March 1958
Succeeded by
Albert
Preceded by
Albert
Hereditary Princess of Monaco
6 April 2005 –
Incumbent