Prince Albert’s younger sister Stephanie was born in Monaco on 1st February 1965. Her uncle John Brandon Jr was her godfather and the Baroness Elisabeth-Ann de Massy is her godmother.
Stephanie attended the Dames de Saint-Maur School in Monaco, and then continued her studies at Dupanloup college in Paris. She received her Baccalaureat degree in 1982. As expected from a princess, during her school years Stephanie studied ballet, played piano and learnt foreign languages. She is now fluent in English and Italian.
Just like the other members of the Princely family, Stephanie was passionate about sport. While studying in Paris, she competed in gymnastics and won the Grand Prix de Gymnastique de la Ville de Paris in 1978 and 1979. Always curious to discover new things, Princess Stephanie has an impressive list of hobbies: swimming, water skiing and downhill skiing.
In the mid-eighties, she started her musical career and released her first single called “Ouragan” in both French and English. “Ouragan” became one of the most popular songs at the time and one of the best-selling singles in France, with 2 million copies sold. In 1986, Stephanie released the full album “Besoin” and the video for “Ouragan”, which was considered a bit daring for royalty. The single “Fleur du mal” from the same album, dedicated to Paul Belmondo, son of the famous actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, was a real success.
Fashion is another field where Stephanie succeeded as a designer. The Princess had an internship at Christian Dior atelier under the direction of Marc Bohan in 1983. She also launched her first swimwear collection called “Pool Position”.
Today Stephanie is head of several institutions, including the Monaco Youth Centre, Princess Stephanie Activity Centre, she is a Honourary Board member of the Princess Grace Foundation U.S.A. In 2003, the Princess founded the association “Femmes face au Sida”, known as “Fight Aids Monaco”.
Since 1985, she has been the President of the Organising Committee of the Princess Grace Theatre and the Jury of the Monte-Carlo Magic Grand Prix. She has also been the President of the Organising Committee of the International Monte-Carlo Circus Festival. Stephanie has always participated in different areas of Monaco’s cultural life.
On 10th November 2005, Princess Stephanie was granted the Order of Grimaldi. Her brother, Prince Albert II, awarded Stephanie for her contribution to the fight against AIDS, her participation in humanitarian actions and her support of circus arts through the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, created by her father Prince Rainier III.
Here are some more achievements of Princess Stephanie. In 2006, the Princess visited the United Nations high-level meeting on AIDS in order to present the report on Monaco’s contribution to the fight against the disease. Later this year, she was appointed Special Representative for UNAIDS. Today she is a Goodwill Ambassador for this institution.
Four years later in the presence of Albert II, she launched, an ambitious project, “The House of Life”, inspired by her trip to New York four years before. The establishment aims to support people living with HIV/AIDS in their daily lives and ensure psychological assistance.
Stephanie married Daniel Ducruet, her personal bodyguard, on 1st July 1995. The couple had two children: Louis Ducruet (1992) and Pauline (1994). A year later, the new member of the Grimaldi family was caught by paparazzi in the arms of a young beauty Muriel Mol-Houteman, bearing the glorious title of Miss Bare Breasts of Belgium 1995. However, Princess Stephanie did not seem desperate and in 2003 married a Portuguese acrobat. But the marriage ended in divorce on 24th November 2004.
Stephanie’s third child, Camille Gottlieb, was born on 15th July 1999. Though Stephanie did not identify the father’s name, it is widely believed that Camille’s father is Jean Raymond Gottlieb, a former bodyguard of the Palace.
A sharp turn
Unfortunately, Stephanie was in the passenger seat when Princess Grace lost control of her Rolls-Royce on the way to Monaco and the car drove off a cliff. In fact, Kelly did not like to be at the wheel but that day she gave her driver a day off, so she could speak with her daughter in private. The subject of the conversation? Princess Stephanie refused to study at the Paris School of Design, but Grace put every effort into arranging her daughter’s studies. On 13th September, Grace was taken to hospital in critical condition. She died the next day due to the injuries she sustained. Her family took the difficult decision to turn off the life-support system.