Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco: the “philosopher princess” who is not technically a princess
Charlotte Casiraghi, the 35-year-old granddaughter of Princess Grace of Monaco, is hard to describe. Pauline Delassus of Paris Match the magazine calls her “serious, studious, persevering, competitive, low-key, intelligent and cultured” – terms that are not often associated with young royals.
But maybe that’s because Casiraghi has managed to transform these traits into a plethora of careers and part-time identities that have led to the creation of a fascinating life. Published author, magazine editor, film producer, model, equestrian, co-founder of a philosophical think tank and must-have Fashion Week, Casiraghi has also served as the muse of the late Karl Lagerfeld and is currently a spokesperson and ambassador for the Maison Chanel.
Despite all of these roles, one title Casiraghi does not hold is that of princess. “I am not a princess,” said Casiraghi, 11th on the Monegasque throne. Vogue Paris. “My mother is, not me. I am the niece of a head of state. And with this status, I have representation duties, nothing very restrictive or very exceptional.
This technicality has not stop the press to nickname Casiraghi the “princess philosopher” or to cover all his public movements. The paparazzi often catch her looking chic as she walks the streets of Paris with her children, Raphael and Balthazar. Her marriage to the producer Dimitri Rassam, son of actor and model Carole Bouquet, was the topic of conversation for summer 2019, with the bride wearing a Chanel haute couture dress and a Cartier necklace that once belonged to her famous grandmother.
While the Monegasque House of Grimaldi has often found itself in scandalous situations (including current strange saga of Prince Albert and his wife, Princess Charlene), Casiraghi managed to keep his head high above the fray. This may be due in large part to the actions of his mother, Princess Caroline, who would raise his children away from the rapid flash of Monaco.
Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi was born on August 3, 1986 to Princess Caroline of Monaco and Italian financier Stefano Casiraghi at the Princess Grace Hospital of Monaco. She was named after Princess Caroline’s beloved grandmother, Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois. “She was a very free and original woman. She was a nurse in the war, then ran [a rehabilitation centre for ex-convicts]. Totally unclassifiable ”, Princess Caroline Recount Madame Figaro in 2020.
Although Princess Caroline took over the role of first lady of Monaco after the tragic death of her mother, Princess Grace, in 1982, Charlotte and her brothers, Andrea and Rock, were able to grow up in relative anonymity.
“Most media views [Monaco’s ruling family] like frivolous entertainment. They are not members of the royal family, they are not part of Gotha – they have an ancient history but it is a territory so small that there are not many political and economic stakes, ”explains Delassus. “Most of the media are more interested in the British royal family.”
Sadly, another tragedy would put the young family back in the spotlight. On October 3, 1990, Stefano Casiraghi died when his speedboat tipped over off Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. According to Anne Edwards, author of The Grimaldi of Monaco, Princess Caroline was too devastated to tell her children. It was left to Prince Rainier to break the news to four-year-old Charlotte and her brothers.
“When I think of him, I remember his courage”, Casiraghi said from his father. “Everything he did reminds me of how brave he was. Losing someone, one way or another, makes you take that courage, to overcome the angst and fear that it causes. I could tell my dad gave me courage.
A distraught Princess Caroline retired for some time from her official duties.
“It was a privileged childhood in terms of wealth obviously. But Charlotte grew up in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a village in Provence. She went to public school and had a low-key daily life, ”notes Delassus. “Her father’s death was very traumatic for her and her brothers. Their mother wanted to protect them and raised them far from the Monegasque tumult. This is partly how she became a very good student and became interested in horseback riding. She was a serious teenager, never a party girl, even though most of her friends are from jet-set families.