LifestyleMonaco's Princess Caroline turns 66: A life marred by the 'Grimaldi curse' and marriage failures

Monaco's Princess Caroline turns 66: A life marred by the 'Grimaldi curse' and marriage failures

Karolina Hanowerska is the eldest daughter of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace.
Karolina Hanowerska is the eldest daughter of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace.
Images source: © Getty Images
5:23 AM EST, January 29, 2024, updated: 4:42 AM EST, March 7, 2024

Born Caroline Grimaldi, she is the eldest child of Prince Rainier III and Hollywood actress Grace Kelly. Currently third in line to the throne, Caroline is an exceptional woman, having completed her biology, philosophy, and psychology studies at the University of Paris and is proficient in five languages. Despite her achievements, her life has been anything but smooth, leading many to believe that she is under the family's reputed "Grimaldi curse".

First love and first divorce

While at university in Paris, she met Philippe Junot, 17 years her senior. Despite initial parental disapproval, she went on to marry him. The palace announced their engagement in 1977 and their wedding, attended by 800 guests including powerful European leaders, occurred a few months later. However, the marriage shortly ended in divorce when Junot was found with another woman. The formal divorce was declared in 1980 and the church annulment in 1992 when Caroline was already married to her second husband.

Caroline moved on after her divorce and fell in love with Italian businessman Stefano Casiraghi, whom she married in 1983. Because her previous marriage was not yet annulled, the couple had a civil wedding. They had three children together; daughter Charlotte and two sons, Andrea and Pierre. Unfortunately, their happiness was cut short by a powerboat accident where Casiraghi was killed in 1990.

Is the princess cursed?

Moving onto her third marriage, Caroline was hopeful. Five years after the death of Stefano Casiraghi, she started dating Prince Ernst of Hanover, Ernst Augustus V, whom she married four years later. She became Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Hanover, and gave birth to a second daughter, Alexandra. Yet, even this union had its share of troubles. The Duke, known for his infidelity and affairs, caused issues, and the couple has been separated since 2009, although they are not officially divorced.

Many speculate whether Princess Caroline is another victim of the "Grimaldi curse". The current belief stems from the fact that tragedies have been occurring in the Grimaldi family for generations, starting with Princess Grace Kelly, Caroline's mother, who died in a car accident.

Carolina and Philippe Junot's Wedding
Carolina and Philippe Junot's Wedding© Getty Images | Eric Ryan
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