Monday, January 23, 2012

Royal Profile: HRH Princess Caroline of Hanover, Princess by birth of Monaco

Caroline Louise Marguerite Grimaldi (aka HRH Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite of Hanover, Heiress presumptive of Monaco) is the eldest of three children of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco and is presently first in line for the throne of Monaco after her brother, Prince Albert of Monaco. She was born on 23 January 1957 at the Princely Palace in Monte Carlo, Monaco, just nine months and 4 days after her parents got married in April 1956. From her birth to the birth of her brother she was heiress presumptive of Monaco, and again after her father’s death in April 2005 until present day, Caroline resumed her role as heiress presumptive of Monaco.She was educated at St Mary's School Ascot, and continued her studies at the University of Paris in Paris, where she received a diploma in Philosophy and minors in Psychology and Biology. She is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German and Italian.
Her first of three marriages was to Parisian banker Phillpe Junot, who was nearly eighteen years her senior and not well-received by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. The marriage took place civilly in Monaco on 28 June 1978, religiously on 29 June 1978 and divorced on 9 October 1980, without having had issue. In 1992, the Roman Catholic Church granted the princess a canonical annulment.
Her second marriage was to Italian business man Stefano Casiraghi, who is the father of her three older children on 29 December 1983. On 8 June 1984, she gave birth to their first son, Andrea Albert Pierre Casiraghi. Approximately 2 years, 1 month and 26 days later, she gave birth to the couple’s second child and only daughter, Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi. Another year, month and two days later, the couple’s second and youngest son, Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi was born. Tragically, Stefano Casirahi died in a boating accident in October 1990, leaving Princess Caroline to raise their three children, who were then 6, 4, and 3 years of age at the time, alone.
She and her three children moved out of Monaco, to Saint- Rémy-de Provence, France where the children were raised as “normal” children, and attended local schools until their middle school years when their lives changed once again.
Princess Caroline married a third time, this time to Prince Ernst -August of Hanover on her 42nd birthday in 1999. Upon her marriage to Prince Ernst August, Princess Caroline and her children with Stefano moved to Fontainebleau, France, about 40 minutes outside of Paris, in order to be closer to Prince Ernst August’s two sons from his first marriage who resided in London, England with their mother at the time. Approximately six months after their marriage, their only child, Princess Alexandra Charlotte Ulrike Maryam Virginia of Hanover was born on 20 July 1999. This marriage lasted until June 2009, when Princess Caroline moved back to Monaco with the young Princess Alexandra after Prince Ernst was seen with various women who were not his wife in inappropriate situations. Prince Ernst and Princess Caroline have not been seen in public together since the Monaco leg of the Global Champions Tour in 2009.
Upon her mother’s death in 1982, Princess Caroline became first lady of Monaco de facto, as her brother was not married. She took on many responsibilities’ in Monaco surrounding her mother’s death. In 1979, Princess Caroline was appointed by her parents to become the President of the Monegasque Committee for the International Year of Children. In 1981, she founded founded the association Jeune J'Ecoute. The association has set up a 'youth hotline' where troubled youngsters can talk about their problems on the telephone with qualified people trained in dealing with all sorts of problems that are facing kids today. In 1983, she became president of the Guides de Monaco, today that is known as l'Association des Guides et Scouts de Monaco. l'Association des Guides et Scouts de Monaco is equal to the Giirl or Boy Scouts elsewhere in the world. Princess Caroline participated in l’Association des Guides et Scouts de Monaco as a youth. Her father also appointed her president of Monaco’s garden club in 1983 and President of the Organizing Committee of the Festival of Monte-Carlo Arts and later renamed the Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo (Springtime Arts of Monte-Carlo) in 1984. Prince Rainier also appointed her president of the Princess Grace Foundation, which is benefited by the Rose Ball annually. In 1985, in a homage to her mother, Princess Caroline founded Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. Then on March 4, 1988 Prince Rainier III appointed Her Serene Highness by decree as the President of the Board of the "Prince-Pierre Foundation". She has also been the President of the Literary Board of the same foundation since 1988. In 1992 she was appointed the President of the Artistic Board of the Prix International d'Art Contemporain (International Contemporay Art Prize). In 1993 Princess Caroline was appointed the President of l'AMADE Mondiale (Association Mondiale des Amis de l'Enfance) or (Worldwide Association of Children's Friends), that was founded by Princess Grace in 1963 to protect children from physical and psychological abuse.
On December 2nd, 2003, UNESCO Director General Koïchiro Matsuura has appointed Her Royal Highness the Princess of Hanover as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of Her personal commitment to the protection of children and the family, and of Her contribution to the promotion of UNESCO's programs for the education of girls and women.
Today, Princess Caroline is still active in the principality, often appearing at events with or without other members of the family.

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