20 January 2016

Grace's Gorgeous Granddaughters

By Metro Goldwyn Mayer
via Wikimedia Commons
The late American-born Princess Grace of Monaco was well-known for her poise and, well, grace. Before marrying her prince, she had already had a successful career as an Oscar-winning Hollywood actress, as beloved for her beauty as for her talent. As her older granddaughters come of age, it is easy to see that several of them have inherited her gorgeous genes. Unfortunately with her early death at age 52 in a car accident, Grace never met any of her six granddaughters or five grandsons. [UPDATED March 10, 2019]


Charlotte Casiraghi
Now age 32, Charlotte is the second grandchild but the oldest of the granddaughters. She is the daughter of Princess Caroline and her second husband Andrea Casiraghi, who was killed in a speedboat accident when Charlotte was barely four years old. Well-established as a competitive equestrienne, with experience in fashion and magazine publishing, she is the official equestrian representative of the Gucci brand. Still unmarried, she has a two-year-old son, Raphael with French actor-comedian Gad Elmaleh. Charlotte's second child, Balthazar, was born in October 2018. Sources have reported that she is engaged to Balthazar's father, French film producer Dimitri Rassam, but that has not been confirmed. Although you can see traces of Grace in her, I think she very strongly resembles her mother's paternal grandmother, Princess Charlotte of Monaco, for whom she was named. (See my post 2010 post, Timeless Beauty: The Face of Monaco.)

Jazmin-Grace Grimaldi
Raised by her American mother in southern California, 26-year-old Jazmin was not officially acknowledged by her father Prince Albert until she was 14 years old. Her mother met the prince during a vacation in Monaco with her then-husband in 1991. Jazmin now spends some time with her father and half-siblings. She has not generally been included at official family events, but she did appear at the Princess Grace Awards with Albert and his wife Charlene a few years ago. As an illegitimate child she has no claim to the Monagesque throne but one imagines she will have a substantial financial inheritance. She graduated from Fordham University in 2014, and is pursuing a career in modeling, acting and music. Although Prince Albert initially denied his paternity of Jazmin, her genes clearly show with a strong resemblance to the grandmother who died a decade before she was born.

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Pauline Ducruet
The second child of Grace's youngest child Princess Stephanie and Stephanie's former body guard, Pauline was legitimized when her parents married a year after her birth. They divorced two years later. Like most of her family, Pauline is a competitive athlete. Her sport is diving and she competed as a teenager in the World Junior Diving Championships, the European Juniors, and the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics. Now 24, she studied at Instituto Marangoni in Paris and at Parsons The New School for Design (well known to fans of the reality show Project Runway) and living in New York, where she appeared to spend a good bit of time with her cousin Jazmin. She also completed an internship at Louis Vuitton before launching her own fashion company, Altered Designs. I think she favors Grace, but also shows her descent from the late Princess Charlotte.


Camille Gottlieb
Princess Stephanie has never officially named the father of her youngest child, but Camille has acknowledged him as Jean Raymond Gottlieb (another of Stephanie's body guards) and the two have been seen spending quality father-daughter time together. Because the couple never married, Camille is not in the line of succession, like her cousin Jazmin and Jazmin's younger half-brother Alexandre Coste. At age 20, Camille has shown an interest in pursuing a career in photography and actively campaigns against drinking and driving. As a young girl, she showed a remarkable resemblance to her mother and certainly has inherited Stephanie's square jaw but she has inherited the same delicate nose as her sister, Pauline. At the right angle, you can also see Grace in her face.

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Princess Alexandra of Hanover
As the daughter of Prince Ernst August of Hanover, 18-year-old Alexandra is the only member of her family to have been born a Royal Highness--the Grimaldis are a princely family, so they are Serene Highnesses. Ernst August is a distant cousin of the British Queen, and is descended, like her from the Kings of Hanover. At the time of Queen Victoria's accession in 1837, the personal union between the British and Hanoverian crowns was severed because Hanover did not permit female succession. If Britain had also banned women from the throne, Ernst August would now be the King of England with Princess Caroline as his consort, although Caroline has been separated from her philandering third husband for several years.  Alexandra is 13th in line for the throne of Monaco and was 405th for the British throne, before she removed herself from that list by joining the Catholic Church. She is a competitive figure skater, who competed most recently at the 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival. (BTW, Uncle Albert was an Olympic bobsledder and Aunt Charlene an Olympic swimmer.) In recent years, Alexandra's chin, mouth and nose appear to be leaning more toward her Kelly or Grimaldi genes, but her eyes are definitely from her father's side of the family.


Now a grand four years old, Princess Gabriella is a little doll. At this stage, I don't think she looks much like her twin brother Prince Jacques, the heir to their father Prince Albert's throne. In many photos, Jacques looks like their grandfather Prince Rainier, but either of the twins may yet display characteristics of their mother Princess Charlene's Wittstock family in southern Africa. In fact, Charlene's features are somewhat similar to Princess Grace's, so it may be years yet before we can differentiate which of her forebears Gabriella most resembles. At the time of her birth, Gabriella was also granted the title of Countess of Carlades. We now see her regularly at festive events in Monaco, including the Christmas celebrations and the circus.
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  1. In the paragraph on Charlotte Casiraghi, you refer to Princess Charlotte as "her paternal grandmother." Charlotte's paternal grandmother would be Stefano Casiraghi's mother, and Princess Charlotte is her great-grandmother.