Monaco & the House of Grimaldi

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I came very close to covering the recent wedding of Prince Christian of Hanover last weekend, but ended up skipping it. Then, lo and behold, we have more news coming out of the extended Monegasque Royal Family once more so here we go, let’s wrap it all up into a quick post.

First, the news: Charlotte Casiraghi announced her engagement to her boyfriend, Dimitri Rassam. Charlotte is 31 and has been dating Dimitri, 36, for a little over a year. Dimitri is a French film producer whose mother is Carole Bouquet, a well-known actress.

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So, who is Charlotte Casiraghi? She’s most famous for being the (beautiful) granddaughter of Princess Grace (née Kelly). Her mother, Princess Caroline, is the eldest daughter of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier. An equestrian, model and journalist, she has lived in Paris for years. It was there that she was involved with French actor and comedian Gad Elmaleh between 2011 and 2015. Together, the two have a son, Raphaël, who was born in December 2013.

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Charlotte is a private citizen these days, though she frequents Monaco and still carries out some charity work. More and more, though, the focus is on her uncle, Prince Albert, who is the reigning monarch of Monaco, and his wife, Princess Charlene. Albert succeeded his father in 2005, however his long-standing bachelorhood raised the distinct possibility that the position would end up passing to Caroline and her children.

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…And yet, in 2011, Albert married Charlene Wittstock, a South African former Olympic swimmer. Today, the two have twins – Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella – who were born in December 2014.

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So, the succession is secure. Caroline, in the meantime, has returned to Monaco after separating from her third husband, Prince Ernst August of Hanover (yes, that Hanover). With her is her fourth and youngest child, 18-year-old Princess Alexandra, the only offspring from her last marriage. There are no plans for Ernst August and Caroline to divorce, however the Prince is well known to suffer from severe alcoholism. He has been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning on a number of occasions, most recently this past weekend after celebrating at his son’s wedding in Portugal (more on that in a moment).

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Charlotte is one of three children from Caroline’s second marriage to Stefano Casiraghi, a French businessman and speedboat racer. The two married in 1983 and had three children – Andrea (b. 1984), Charlotte (b. 1986) and Pierre (b. 1987). Stefano died in a boating accident in 1990, while Caroline remarried to Ernst August in 1999. While married to Ernst August the family lived in Parisian suburb Fontainebleau, in a household which included Ernst August’s two sons from his first marriage, Prince Ernst August and Prince Christian.

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Christian and Alessandra this past weekend in Lima

Last weekend Christian married Portuguese fashion designer Alessandra de Osma in Lima. It was quite the to-do, featuring guests like his Monegasque step-siblings, Kate Moss and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

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Beatrice and Eugenie in Lima last weekend

Meanwhile, Charlotte’s engagement became apparent when she and Dimitri attended the Rose Ball in Monte Carlo. Caroline, far from ever being outdone, showed up on the arm of Chanel’s Karl Largerfeld.

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Her youngest son, Pierre, was there with his wife of two years, Beatrice Borromeo. They had their own Vogue-worthy wedding in 2015 on Isola Bella. Their first child, Stefano, was born in February 2017. They made their own splash at the ball when it became apparent that 32-year-old Beatrice was pregnant with the couple’s second child.

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As for Andrea, he married Argentinian socialite Tatiana Santo Domingo in August 2013 (the religious ceremony was held in Gstaad six months later). The couple live in London with their two children, Alexandre (b. March 2013) and India (b. 2015). Tatiana is currently pregnant with the couple’s third child.

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So, that is our cast of characters. Considering Princess Madeleine recently gave birth her third child, Princes Adrienne, a couple weeks ago, the Duchess of Cambridge is due next month, Eugenie is engaged and all of the Casiraghi weddings and babies on the horizon, 2018 is shaping up to be quite the royal year.

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