Princess Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth Grimaldi of Monaco was born on February 1st 1965 in the Monegasque kingdom in the South of France. She is the youngest daughter of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Princess Grace, who was famously known as the iconic actress Grace Kelly. Princess Stephanie is the youngest of three children – her sister, Caroline, is the Princess of Hanover and brother, Albert II, became Prince Regent of Monaco in April 2005. She’s also eleventh in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne.
Since childhood, Princess Stéphanie has always been attracted to artistic activities. When she was young she took classical dance lessons and learned to play the piano. She is also keen on sports such as gymnastics, swimming and water skiing. Stéphanie of Monaco is multi-lingual and is fluent in Monégasque, French, English, and Italian.
Stéphanie’s inclination for fine arts led her to start a career in fashion. After graduating from high school, she took a fashion design course at the official School of Couture Fashion in Paris and launched her own line of bathing suits – Pool Position – for which she also modelled. In 1986, Stéphanie opened a clothing store in Monaco, which specialises in denim clothing and she has even launched her own perfume – L’Insaisissable.
The Princess inclination for arts is also expressed through her musical career. In 1986, she recorded and released her first song “Ouragan”, in both French & English. Her first album became rapidly popular, some of them appearing in the Top 50 of French most popular songs. However, the failure of her second album put an end to her singing career. Among her many songs, “Winds of Change” is a touching tribute to her mother, who memorably passed away in a tragic car accident in 1982.
Since this tragedy, Stéphanie has strived to honour the memory of her mother. She became a patron for the World Association for Children’s Friends (AMADE), a charity that was founded by Princess Grace of Monaco. Her other philanthropic activities include the presidency of the Theatre of Princess Grace, the International Festival of Amateur Theatre, and the Monaco Youth Centre and the Princess Stéphanie Activity Centre.
One of her major philanthropic enterprises is her active work in raising Aids prevention. In 2004, she combined Monaca Side and Femmes face au sida into one association – Fight Aids Monaco – which she has chaired ever since. For that very association, Stéphanie came out of retirement as a singer and performed once again with a number of famous French singers including Jennifer, Emma Daumas and Amel Bent as part of a special fundraising event. In 2010, she managed to raise enough funds to build La Maison de Vie of Capentras, which is a center designed to allow HIV-positive people to take a break from their daily lives and receive the support they need.
On a more personal note, the Princess is a mother of three. During her first marriage with Daniel Ducruet, she gave birth to two children – Louis (Robert Paul) Ducruet and Pauline (Grace Maguy) Ducruet. Both are whom are included in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne. In 1998, Princess Stéphanie gave birth to Camille (Marie Kelly Gotthlied), whose father is J-R Gotthlied. Since Stéphanie and J-R were never married, Camille does not hold a title to be in the line of succession. The princess and her now teenaged children are currently living in the Villa Clos Saint-Martin in Monaco.
Despite its tiny territory, the royal family played a major influence in building the city’s luxurious reputation. Located on the French Riviera, Monaco is home to several five-star hotels, yachts clubs and casinos. On the international scene, the city is also known for hosting international championship events like the PokerStars Championship or the Formula One GP Monaco. For Princess Stéphanie, life under the spotlight has never been her choice. Although she was born a princess, Stéphanie of Monaco confessed that she has always wanted to be independent, stating that she has “an unusual career path for a princess”
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