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Caroline, Princess of Hanover

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Title: Caroline, Princess of Hanover  
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Subject: Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, Albert II, Prince of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Andrea Casiraghi, Princess Alexandra of Hanover (born 1999)
Collection: 1957 Births, Commanders of the Order of Cultural Merit (Monaco), Duchesses of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Grace Kelly, Grand Crosses of the Order of Saint-Charles, Hanoverian Princesses by Marriage, Hereditary Princesses of Monaco, House of Grimaldi, House of Hanover, Kelly Family, Living People, Monegasque People of American Descent, Monegasque People of English Descent, Monegasque People of German Descent, Monegasque People of Irish Descent, Monegasque People of Italian Descent, Monegasque People of Mexican Descent, Monegasque People of Scottish Descent, Monegasque Princesses, Monegasque Roman Catholics, People Educated at St Mary's School, Ascot, Sciences PO Alumni, Unesco People, Unicef People
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Caroline, Princess of Hanover

Princess of Hanover
The Princess of Hanover at the Monaco Media Forum Awards ceremony in 2009.
Born (1957-01-23) 23 January 1957
Prince's Palace, Monaco
Spouse Philippe Junot
(m. 1978; div. 1980)
Stefano Casiraghi
(m. 1983–90; his death)
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)[1][2][3]
Father Rainier III, Prince of Monaco
Mother Grace Kelly
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. Until the births of her niece and nephew Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques of Monaco in December 2014 she had been heir presumptive to the throne of Monaco since 2005, a position which she previously held from 1957 to 1958.

Caroline is married to George III of the United Kingdom.


  • Family and early life 1
  • Education 2
  • Official appearances 3
  • Personal and media life 4
    • First marriage 4.1
    • Second marriage 4.2
    • Third marriage 4.3
    • Defense of privacy 4.4
  • Succession issues 5
  • Titles, styles and honours 6
    • Titles and styles 6.1
    • Honours 6.2
      • National Honours 6.2.1
      • Foreign Honours 6.2.2
    • Awards 6.3
  • Ancestry 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Family and early life

Caroline was born 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. Christened Caroline Louise Marguerite, she belongs to the House of Grimaldi. She 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.[5][6]

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."[7] Princess Grace 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.


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.[8] She is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German and Italian.[9]

Official appearances

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 World Association of Children's Friends (AMADE),[10] the Princess Grace Foundation,[11] the Prince Pierre Foundation,[12] the Peter Le Marchant Trust and UNICEF. Her other patronages include the International School of Paris,[13] Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, which she also founded,[14] the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,[15] 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.[16][17] She regularly attends important social events in Monaco related to the Monegasque Princely Family, such as the National Day celebrations,[18] the annual Rose Ball,[19] the Red Cross Ball and the Formula One competition Monaco Grand Prix.[20]

Due to her commitment to philanthropy and arts, Caroline was named a Chanel head designer Karl Lagerfeld presented her the award.[23] 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.[24]

Personal and media life

Monegasque Princely Family

HSH The Prince
HSH The Princess

HRH The Princess of Hanover
HSH Princess Stéphanie

Caroline's personal interests include horse riding, swimming and skiing.[8] Since her youth, she has been considered an international fashion icon and as one of the best dressed women in the world.[25][26] In November 2011, an exhibition honouring Princess Caroline was opened at the National Museum of Monaco.[27]

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;[28] Henri Giscard d'Estaing, the son of former President of France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing; and French singer Philippe Lavil.[9] 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.[18]

First marriage

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.[29] Their lavish wedding ceremony was attended by some 65 guests, including Hollywood stars Ava Gardner, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.[30]

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

Second marriage

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.

Despite their parents' not having married in the Church as required for legitimacy under church law, they were legitimised by Pope John Paul II in February 1993, eight months after their mother's marriage to Junot was annulled in June 1992.

Third marriage

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.[4] From 1913 to 1918, his family ruled the sovereign Duchy of Brunswick.

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 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.[4]

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.[32] 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.[4]

In 2009, it was reported that Caroline had separated from Ernst August and returned to live in Monaco.[33][34]

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.[35]

Princess Caroline's residence is the Villa Clos St Pierre in Monaco-ville where she lives with her youngest child, Princess Alexandra.[36]

Defense of privacy

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".[37] 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.[38] 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.[39][40]

Succession issues

Princess Caroline was heir presumptive to the crown of Monaco until the birth of her brother's legitimate children.

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.[41] However, because of changes to the constitution of Monaco in 2002, this was no longer an option.[42]

Albert's lack of legitimate children until the 2010s 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.[42] 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

Titles and styles

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 – 10 December 2014: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover, Hereditary Princess of Monaco
  • 10 December 2014 – Present: Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover, 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 remained without legitimate issue, Princess Caroline remained first in line to succeed him on the throne. However, Albert's legitimate children displaced her in the line of succession.

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, which until December 10, 2014 was 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.[43]


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

National Honours

Foreign Honours



See also


  1. ^ de Badts de Cugnac, Chantal. Coutant de Saisseval, Guy. ‘’Le Petit Gotha’’. Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris 2002, p. 63, 70 (French) ISBN 2-9507974-3-1
  2. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XVIII. "Haus Hannover". C.A. Starke Verlag, 2007, pp. 23, 25. ISBN 978-3-7980-0841-0.
  3. ^ Schulze, Hermann. Die Hausgesetze der regierenden deutschen Fürstenhauser. Königleches Hausgesetz für das Königreich Hannover §3.d., volume I. Mauke, Jena, 1862. p. 491 (German).
  4. ^ a b c d "Monaco royal taken seriously ill".  
  5. ^ Jacobs, Laura (May 2010). "Grace Kelly’s Forever Look".  
  6. ^ Herzog, Buck (14 January 1956). Irish' Grace Kelly Is Half German"'".  
  7. ^ Hauptfuhrer, Fred (5 April 1982). "Aging Gracefully".  
  8. ^ a b c "H.R.H. The Princess of Hanover".  
  9. ^ a b Ward, Penny, Dowling, Kenny (30 August 1976). "Sweet Caroline".  
  10. ^ "H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover chairs the plenary assembly of AMADE".  
  11. ^ "28th annual Princess Grace Awards gala".  
  12. ^ "The Prince Pierre Foundation".  
  13. ^ "International School of Paris".  
  14. ^ "La compagnie".  
  15. ^ "Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo – Historique".  
  16. ^ "Princess Caroline of Monaco".  
  17. ^ "Princess Caroline of Monaco".  
  18. ^ a b "United and official: Charlene celebrates first National Day as princess".  
  19. ^ "Monaco Rose Ball, Moroccan Style".  
  20. ^ "Monaco Royals at the F1 Grand Prix". Royalty in the News. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  21. ^ "Princess Caroline becomes U.N. Goodwill Ambassador".  
  22. ^ "Princess Caroline visits Nelson Mandela".  
  23. ^ "Caring Caroline honoured for following in Princess Grace's footsteps".  
  24. ^ Caroline de Monaco, Retrieved 28 March 2012
  25. ^ Wohlfert, Lee (28 February 1977). "Here They Are Again, the World's Best-dressed Women—but Who Says So? and Why?".  
  26. ^ "The International Hall of Fame: Women".  
  27. ^ "Camaleónica, atractiva, misteriosa… Una exposición muestra a Carolina de Mónaco a través del objetivo de grandes artistas".  
  28. ^ "Caroline Kicks Up Her Heels in London, and Mother Worries Back Home".  
  29. ^ Iconic royal wedding gowns"'". Harpers Bazaar. 
  30. ^ "The turbulent love life and marriages of Albert's sisters".  
  31. ^ "Tatiana Santo Domingo and Andrea Casiraghi welcome baby - Hello Magazine". Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  32. ^ Velde, François (22 March 2006). "Monaco: The Treaties of 1861 and 1918". (in French). Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  33. ^ "Questions over Princess Caroline's marriage as Ernst of Hanover increasingly absent".  
  34. ^ Allen, Peter (12 September 2009). "Princess Caroline 'to divorce third husband', reigniting fears of a Monaco royal curse".  
  35. ^ Hall, Allan (8 January 2010). "Princess Caroline of Monaco hit by divorce rumors as husband is pictured kissing younger woman".  
  36. ^ "Monegasque Royal Residences". 
  37. ^ Hauptfuhrer, Fred (1 September 1975). "Princess Pains".  
  38. ^ "Case of Von Hannover v. Germany".  
  39. ^ "Case of Von Hannover v. Germany No. 2".  
  40. ^ "ECHR lowers the private life protection standard". 11 February 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  41. ^ Velde, François (22 March 2006). "Monaco: The Succession Crisis of 1918". Heraldica (in French). Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  42. ^ a b Velde, François (22 March 2006). "Monaco: The Constitution 2002". Heraldica (in French). Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  43. ^ Hubbard, Kim (8 February 1999). "Ernst Goes to Monaco".  
  44. ^ a b c d Palais Princier de Monaco. "Prince's Palace of Monaco". Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
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  61. ^

External links

Caroline, Princess of Hanover
Born: 23 January 1957
Lines of succession
Preceded by
The Countess of Carladès
Line of succession to the Monegasque throne
3rd position
Succeeded by
Andrea Casiraghi
Monegasque royalty
Title last held by
Hereditary Princess of Monaco
23 January 1957 – 14 March 1958
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Hereditary Princess of Monaco
6 April 2005 – 10 December 2014
Succeeded by
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