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Grace Kelly: All About Princess Caroline, Prince Albert, and Princess Stéphanie

by Tasha Mayberry


After marrying Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in 1956, Kelly left Hollywood and became Princess Grace, transitioning to royal life and welcoming three children: Princess Caroline in 1957, Prince Albert in 1958, and Princess Stéphanie in 1965. In 1982, Kelly was tragically killed in a car accident while driving back to Monaco from the family’s country house. Her 17-year-old daughter Stéphanie, who was also in the car, sustained major injuries but eventually recovered.

In a 2014 interview with PEOPLE, Kelly’s son Albert shared that despite their glamorous life in Monaco, Kelly was a “hands-on” mom. “Our parents made sure it felt like a normal home. Not palace-y,” he recalled.

This commitment to normalcy extended to celebrating American traditions, with Kelly insisting the family celebrate Thanksgiving even in Monaco. “Turkey wasn’t common on European tables… It was virtually unknown in France and there was very little of it,” Albert told PEOPLE in November 2019. “But Mom insisted, and if we didn’t have turkey at the palace for Thanksgiving, we would have it at Christmas time.” Grace Kelly’s dedication to her family and her efforts to maintain a sense of normalcy for her children continue to be remembered and cherished by her loved ones.

Princess Caroline, 66

Princess Caroline was born in Monaco on January 23, 1957. According to the official website of Prince’s Palace of Monaco, she received her French baccalauréat degree (equivalent to high school) in 1974 with honors and then attended the Sorbonne in Paris, where she studied philosophy, psychology, and biology. Throughout her childhood, she also took lessons in ballet, piano, and flute.

Caroline was thrust into the responsibilities of royal life at a young age: following her mother’s tragic death in 1982, Caroline became Monaco’s surrogate first lady at 25. This work involved diplomacy and philanthropy.

In celebration of her 60th birthday in 2017, Caroline’s brother Albert told PEOPLE that she is “quite a remarkable woman,” noting her intelligence and good judgment. “What she’s done over the years, helping Monaco in various ways, on the cultural and charitable sides — she’s always there,” he continued. “She’s often the first person on board.”

In 1978, Caroline married Parisian banker Philippe Junot, but they divorced two years later and eventually had the union annulled by the Catholic Church. In 1983, she married Stefano Casiraghi, and the couple had three children together: son Andrea Albert Pierre Casiraghi in 1984, daughter Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi in 1986, and son Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi in 1987.Three years after Pierre was born, Stefano was killed in a boating accident. Caroline raised their three children as a single mother until 1999 when she married Prince Ernst August of Hanover, with whom she had her fourth child, Princess Alexandra of Hanover. Caroline is also a grandmother.

“She’s a very good mother, and probably an even better grandmother now if that’s possible,” Albert told PEOPLE in 2017. “She really raised her kids well. Without a father for many years, that’s important. I’m incredibly proud of her children and to have them turn out as they have — that’s a tribute to her.”

Prince Albert II, 65

Prince Albert II was born in Monaco on March 14, 1958. He received his baccalauréat “with distinction” at Lycée Albert Premier before studying political science at Amherst College in Massachusetts, per the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. He also represented Monaco at five Olympic games as a bobsleigh athlete between 1988 and 2002. Upon his father’s death in 2005, Albert became the sovereign prince of Monaco. The royal is a known environmentalist and established the Prince Albert of Monaco Foundation in 2006 in support of ecological preservation, renewable energy research, ocean conservation, and climate change prevention.

Albert talks about his mother often and remembers her fondly. “Many times during a day, a week, not only do I find myself thinking of her, but numbers of people still recall her to me. They remember her and that’s a great tribute to her and who she was — to what an exceptional human being she was,” Albert told PEOPLE in September 2022.In July 2011, Albert married South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. The four-day nuptials marked Monaco’s first royal wedding in 55 years, the last being his parents’ wedding in 1956. Charlene and Albert share two children: twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, born in 2014.

Albert has also acknowledged two other children he had before marrying Princess Charlene. His daughter Jazmin Grace Grimaldi was born in 1992 to American real estate broker Tamara Rotolo, while his son, Alexandre Grimaldi, was born in 2003 to former Air France flight attendant Nicole Coste.

Princess Stéphanie, 58

Princess Stéphanie was born in Monaco on February 1, 1965. She attended Dames de Saint-Maur in Monaco and Dupanloup in Paris, receiving her French baccalauréat degree in 1982, according to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. While in school, she studied classical dance, piano, and gymnastics.

In 1982, when she was 17 years old, Stéphanie was involved in the tragic car accident that killed her mother. The pair were driving back to Monaco (with Kelly at the wheel) from their country house in France when their car fell off a cliff on the side of the road. Kelly died hours after the accident, and Stéphanie sustained serious injuries, including a concussion and a fractured neck vertebra. It took her nearly a year to recover physically, and she has said it took even longer to process the emotional trauma of the event.

“It’s only in the last few years that I’ve been starting to cope with it,” she told author Jeffrey Robinson for his biography Rainier and Grace: An Intimate Portrait in 1989. “I still can’t go down that road, even if someone else is driving. I always ask them to take the other road.”

In 2015, Stéphanie told France’s Point de Vue that she had finally come to terms with her guilt from the accident. “After I got over my anger, got past the sense of injustice that was inside me, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I said, ‘Wait! Logically, you should have died too.’ If I was kept alive it was for a reason. You have a place in this world. You have to find it.”

Following the accident, Stéphanie worked as a model and pursued a music career. She appeared in Vogue and Vanity Fair in the mid-’80s and released her first single, “Ouragan” — “Irresistible” in English — in 1986. She went on to make two albums until 1991.

In 1995, Stéphanie married Daniel Ducruet, her former bodyguard, with whom she already had two children — Louis, born in 1992, and Pauline, born in 1994 — though they divorced one year later. Stéphanie gave birth to her third child, a daughter named Camille Gottlieb, whom she shares with Jean-Raymond Gottlieb, two years after her divorce.

Stéphanie also enjoyed a brief romance with Franco Knie, an elephant trainer she met at Monte Carlo’s annual Circus Festival, an event founded by her father. She and her three children began to travel with Knie and the circus, where she met her second husband, Portuguese acrobat Adans Lopez Peres. Stéphanie and Adans wed in 2003, though they divorced after 10 months of marriage.

Since then, Stéphanie’s passion for the circus — specifically the animals — has remained strong. “Circus is what real life should be like,” Stéphanie told PEOPLE during the 40th anniversary of the Circus Festival in 2016. “It’s sincerity, feeling, emotions. All real. There are no lies in the circus. There are artists working together to give a smile. It’s a world where people help one another.”

In 2013, the Princess even adopted two retired circus elephants, Baby and Nepal, who were scheduled for euthanasia. She then gave them a place to live in the backyard of her brother Albert’s home in France, Roc Agel.

In 2017, Albert told PEOPLE that the elephants were a great source of comfort to his sister. “It’s given Stéphanie a different understanding of wildlife,” he said. “She was always interested in animals, always had a lot of dogs. Still does. Big dogs. But I think she needed this kind of project. I think it came along at a time in her life she needed something to occupy her energy after her kids had started to move out. It’s an empty nest syndrome.” Per Monaco Life, both elephants have since died — Nepal in 2018 and Baby in 2023.

Royal Romance: An Insight into Grace Kelly’s Husband, Prince Rainier of Monaco, and Their Life Together

In April 1955, Grace Kelly led the U.S. representation at the Cannes Film Festival. During her time in France, she participated in a photographic session with Prince Rainier III, the reigning Prince of Monaco. Despite multiple setbacks, she eventually met him at the Prince’s Palace on May 6, 1955. After a year of rational courtship, they married on April 19, 1956. Following Monaco’s Napoleonic Code and the norms of the Catholic Church, the couple conducted two ceremonies: one civil and one religious.

The brief civil ceremony commenced in the Palace Throne Room on April 18, 1956, attended by 3,000 Monégasque citizens and followed by a reception where Kelly’s numerous acquired official titles were formally recited. The following day, they had a religious ceremony at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, watched by millions of viewers worldwide. Their wedding was spectacular, with around 700 guests, including notable figures from Hollywood and European royalty such as Ava Gardner, Aristotle Onassis, Cary Grant, and David Niven.

After their marriage, Grace gave up her acting career to dedicate herself to her new responsibilities as a princess. She engaged in philanthropic initiatives, becoming the head of Monaco’s Red Cross and the patron of Rainbow Coalition Children, an orphanage established by Josephine Baker. During their marital life, Grace and Prince Rainier visited Ireland three times and purchased Grace’s ancestral home in Drimurla, near Newport, County Mayo, in 1976.

Grace established AMADE Mondiale, an internationally recognized non-profit organization, after witnessing the distress of Vietnamese children. Her devotion to the arts led to the formation of the Princess Grace Foundation in 1964. Through these efforts, Grace Kelly’s legacy as a dedicated humanitarian and cultural patron continues to inspire.