Caroline, Princess of Hanover

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The Princess of Hanover is the eldest child of the late Prince Rainier III of Monaco and is currently heir presumptive to the principality's throne.

Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover (Caroline Louise Marguerite von Hannover, formerly Mme. Stefano Casiraghi, formerly Mme. Phillippe Junot and née Grimaldi, born 23 January 1957) is the eldest child of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and his American film star wife, Grace Kelly. She is the second wife of Prince Ernst August of Hanover and, since her father's death on April 6, 2005, has been heir presumptive to the throne of Monaco, bearing the additional title of Her Serene Highness the Hereditary Princess of Monaco.

The Princess of Hanover has one sister, Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and a brother, Albert II, the current Sovereign Prince of Monaco.


First marriage

Princess Caroline's first husband was Philippe Junot (1940), a Parisian banker. They were married on June 29, 1978 and divorced in 1980, a period of time that had been predicted by the bride's mother, who disapproved of Junot's age and his reputation as a playboy. In 1992, the Roman Catholic Church granted the princess an annullment.

Second marriage

Her second husband was Stefano Casiraghi (1960-1990), the sportsman heir to an Italian oil fortune who died in a boating accident. They were married on December 29, 1983, and had three children: Andrea Albert Pierre Casiraghi, Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi, and Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi. The two younger children are named for their maternal great-grandparents, Princess Charlotte of Monaco and Prince Pierre of Monaco whilst Andrea was named for a childhood friend of his father's.

Princess Caroline had a liaison from 1990 until 1995 with French actor Vincent Lindon.

Third marriage

Her third and present husband is Prince Ernst August of Hanover, the head of the House of Hanover. They married in 1999, after his divorce from the former Chantal Hochuli, and have one child, Princess Alexandra of Hanover, who was born six months after their wedding.

On June 24, 2004, the Princess obtained a judgment from the European Court of Human Rights condemning Germany for non-respect of her right to a private life. The seven judges who examined her request ruled that German jurisdictions have misunderstood this right by refusing to forbid publication of photographs depicting Caroline in scenes of her daily life.

Succession issues

The succession of Monaco has become a matter of concern recently given that Caroline's brother, Prince Albert has no legitimate children. An American woman, Tamara Rotolo, has insisted that Albert is the father of her daughter, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, born in 1992, a claim that has not yet been substantiated. Also, in May 2005, Nicole Coste, a Togolese flight attendant, alleged that her son Alexandre Coste was Albert's. Even if either of these claims were proven, however, an illegitimate child has no right to succeed under Monegasque law.

On April 2, 2002, Monaco passed Princely Law 1.249 which provides that if Prince Albert assumes the throne and then dies without a legitimate direct heir, the throne would pass to his siblings and their descendants under the rule of male-preference primogeniture. Before this change, the crown of Monaco could only pass to a direct descendant of the reigning prince, and Caroline would have become ineligible to inherit the throne upon Albert's ascension.

Unlike most other countries, not only the heir-apparent to the Monegasque throne is Hereditary Prince/ss, the heir-presumptive would also be the Hereditary Prince/ss. Thus, Princess Caroline is the Hereditary Princess.

Due to the fact that her brother remains unmarried and has no legitimate children, it is possible that Caroline will one day become the second Sovereign Princess in Monaco's history. Her ancestor Louise-Hippolyte Grimaldi held that title for a few months in 1731. There is precedent, however, for a Sovereign Prince to adopt an illegitimate child and thereby place that child in the line of succession, as was done with Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois.

Titles from birth to present

Caroline adopted her present title, Princess of Hanover, which outranks her title as a Princess of Monaco, upon her third marriage. However, among her styles, only Princess of Hanover is actually in common use in media reports and official Monaco palace press releases. Though the Hanover family titles are legally defunct as per German law, the title of HRH the Princess of Hanover is officially recognized in Monaco and used as courtesy elsewhere. None of the titles has been legally recognized since the end of World War I by any of the countries that once granted them: United Kingdom, Germany, and Ireland. Only her title as Princess of Monaco has legal standing.

Her title in German is Caroline Prinzessin von Hannover (lit. Caroline Princess of Hanover).

Preceded by:
Albert II
Hereditary Princess of Monaco
Succeeded by:
Current incumbent
Preceded by:
Line of succession to the Monegasque Throne
Succeeded by:
Andrea Casiraghi

Template:End boxde:Caroline von Hannover fr:Caroline de Monaco nl:Caroline van Monaco no:Caroline av Hannover pl:Karolina (księżna Hanoweru) sv:Prinsessan Caroline av Hannover


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