Princess Caroline of Monaco celebrates her 57th birthday on 23 January 2014.
The Monegasque royal has even more reason to celebrate after becoming a grandmother twice in the past year. Her daughter Charlotte Casiraghi gave birth to her first child, Raphael, with boyfriend Gad Elmaleh in December, while her son Andrea and partner Tatiana Santo Domingo welcomed their son Sasha in March 2013.
To honour Princess Caroline’s birthday, ! Online has compiled a list of ten facts about the popular princess.
1. Born Caroline Louise Marguerite Grimaldi on 23 January 1957, the eldest child of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and American-born actress Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, is descended from historical French nobility on her father’s side and has German and Irish heritage through her mother’s family.
2. Her first marriage was to Parisian financier Philippe Junot in June 1978. Their lavish wedding ceremony was attended by guests including Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant. The couple, who had no children together, divorced two years later, and the Vatican later annulled the marriage.
3. Her second husband, Stefano Casiraghi was killed in a speedboat accident at the age of 30. The couple had three children together, Andrea, Charlotte and Pierre.
4. When Princess Grace was looking for suitable husbands for Caroline, her favourite was Prince Ernst August of Hanover, who she believed was a “stabilising influence”. Two decades later, Caroline and Ernst got together and their daughter Alexandra was born on 20 July 1999.
5. Elegant Caroline counts Chanel’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld as one of her closest friends and has chosen the designer’s couture dresses for many engagements, including the Monaco Love Ball in 2013.
6. Similar to her brother, Prince Albert, the Princess loves sport. She enjoys horse riding, running, swimming and water skiing.
7. After receiving her French Baccalaureat in 1974, the Princess went on to study at Sorbonne University in Paris where she graduated with a diploma in philosophy and minors in psychology and biology.
8. Caroline has been inducted into Vanity Fair’s International Hall of Fame for a style that “withstands the test of time”.
9. Like the Duchess of Cambridge, Caroline has lent her support to the Scouts. She is the honorary president of the Association des Guides et Scouts de Monaco.
10. The Monegasque royal met the late Nelson Mandela in 2007 on her first visit to South Africa. “You are a living example of what a human being should be,” she told him. “If there is one thing you have taught us all, it is to care and we will try humbly to follow the high standards you have set.”