Monaco’s royal family has it all: the glitziest nation on Earth, fame, fortune, prestige...and if the conspiracies are true, a 700-year-old unbreakable curse on their marriages. Princess Caroline has lived a scandalous and tragic life that only adds more fuel to the fire.
1. She Has No Luck With Love
Princess Caroline was a poor little rich girl, if there ever was one. After a neglectful childhood, she went into the family business: Scandal-making and doomed romances. After every single marriage ended in either animosity or tragedy, people couldn’t help but wonder whether Caroline just has bad luck or if something more sinister is at play.
2. She Has Legendary Parents
Well-heeled marriages are a dime a dozen in European high society, but Caroline’s parents still stood out–and for good reason. In 1957, Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and Grace Kelly welcomed Caroline, their firstborn, into Monegasque and Hollywood royalty. But as gilded as this family tree is, dark conspiracies lurk underneath.
3. She Faces A Family Curse
The House of Grimaldi is best known not only for ruling Monaco, but for suffering from an infamous curse. According to folklore, a witch cursed the entire dynasty in the fourteenth century: “Never will a Grimaldi find happiness in marriage”. It’d be easy to treat this as fiction if it weren’t for their track record with love. And Princess Caroline is no exception.
4. She Was A Neglected Kid
Caroline’s childhood was special, and not in a good way. Growing up under a high pressure microscope is already bad enough. On top of that, she had parents who couldn't be bothered with parenting. Caroline confessed “we were probably closer to our nanny than to our parents”. Their nanny could barely go on vacation because they missed her so much.
In comparison, rumor has it the three Grimaldi kids didn’t—well couldn’t—eat dinner with their parents. They only got that privilege as teenagers. At that point, it was too late for Caroline and her mother to bridge the gap—and Caroline would pay for the price for this.
5. She Was Dismissed
Princess Caroline was too cool for school—according to her mother. Grace told Caroline that university wasn’t necessary. She meant well. But Caroline pressed on—even though she wasn’t always supported. One professor shamed Caroline for “taking the place of a deserving student”.
But Caroline got the last word, and the degree. However, it turns out that her graduation was the wrong type of ceremony.
6. She Felt Pressured
What do diamonds and royal brides have in common? They’re both made under pressure. Instead of walking across the stage to get a diploma, everyone wanted Caroline to walk down the aisle to get a husband. She admitted “Since I had been little, everybody wanted me to get married”. Caroline felt the pressure…and it led her down the wrong path.
7. She Fell For The Player
Enter Philippe Junot. He’s a French banker who flirted with women and the truth. Philippe is secretive about his totally royal ancestry, his totally real education, and his totally amazing career. No one knew what Philippe did during the day, but everyone knew what he did at night. When Philippe and Caroline met—at a club, of course—his first words to her were appalling.
8. Her Relationship Made Headlines
There’s meet-cutes, and there’s calling a princess “fatty”. On top of this incident, Philippe was 36 while Caroline was 19 when they met. Despite their meet-ugly, they soon became the it couple. The media followed their every move, even the private steamy ones. So Christmas came early when Philippe proposed. Except…Caroline’s parents didn’t exactly share their excitement.
9. Her Engagement Was Controversial
"What do you do, Lizzie, when you know your child is headed for disaster and you can't stop it from happening?" Grace begged her sister. She replied "You let her get hurt, Gracie. There is no other way. Then you just have to be there to pick up the pieces”.
Caroline’s even parents considered banning the couple from marrying in Monaco, but ultimately agreed to the union. They’d hoped for the best, but feared for the worst.
10. She Thought She Could Fix Him
Caroline’s parents saw her upcoming marriage as a rebellion—but the real story was far more complicated. The 21-year-old didn’t know how to feel about marriage. All she felt was pressure. She wasn’t blind to Philippe’s red flags either, but thought “I can fix him” and jumped in heartfirst.
European and Hollywood royalty came to the wedding of the year, while Caroline came to the realization that her parents were right.
11. She Immediately Regretted Marriage
It didn’t take long. “I started to wake up and wonder what I'd done while we were still on our honeymoon”—but no one could blame her. Philippe, being the romantic that he is, invited a photographer on their honeymoon and sold the photos. It was the beginning of the end.
Once Caroline and Philippe started arguing, they never stopped. Even if they were in public. And it gets even messier.
12. She Couldn’t Change Him
While Princess Caroline thought she could fix Philippe, he didn’t want to be fixed. Philippe wasn’t a womanizer, he was the womanizer. Silly things like vows and marriage couldn’t stop this man about town. It didn’t take long for people to spot him at club after club with other women. Caroline didn’t take this well—and people noticed.
13. She Moved Out
If the Grimaldi curse is real, this is where it first struck Princess Caroline. It didn’t take long for people to realize that they hadn’t seen the newlyweds together in a long time. However, what they did see was shocking. Not only did Caroline move in with her parents—Philippe moved around the world with his 25-year-old “secretary”.
It didn’t take a genius to connect the dots. Caroline endured this arrangement…until she couldn’t.
14. She Called It Quits
Despite their obvious separation, it was unclear whether Caroline and Philippe would actually divorce. Royals clinging onto crumbling marriages is nothing new. So it was a surprise to the public and media when the family spokeswoman announced the split after two years of marriage. Turns out, it was also a surprise to Philippe himself.
15. She Shocked Her Husband
Philippe was “surprised, to say the least”. Even though he shared that “Caroline has her own private life. Our marriage is no more than a formality. There is nothing holding us together”. According to Philippe, they agreed to an unofficial separation—not an official divorce.
If anyone thought they could split amicably, they thought wrong.
16. She Bribed Her Husband
It looked like a storm was brewing—but then, it abruptly disappeared. And the reason why was twisted. Rumor has it Philippe only cooperated in the divorce after Grace and Rainier III paid him off. Philippe denied the stories and insisted that he’s totally financially independent.
So, while Philippe may or may not have walked away with a payment—Princess Caroline definitely walked away with a hard learned lesson. She couldn’t change people, and Philippe continued proving this.
17. She Has A Petty Ex-Husband
Princess Caroline tried to move on, but Philippe wouldn’t let her. He continued sharing his side of their love story turned disaster. In an interview, Philippe blamed everyone—from the media to Caroline’s parents—for their divorce. Basically, anyone but himself.
Philippe claimed that she wanted revenge after he danced with an old flame. She responded by flirting with other men. Then, he took it too far.
18. She Has A Brazen Ex-Husband
There’s shameless, and there’s Philippe. When someone pointed out the hypocrisy in feeling jealous about Caroline flirting with other men, he had an infuriating response. Philippe defended his cheating “As far as fidelity is concerned, I think as long as the man respects his wife and doesn't make an affair obvious…”
It’s clear that losing Philippe was for the best, but Caroline lost so much more.
19. She Lost All Her Friends
Caroline’s marriage only lasted two years, but the pain lasted much longer. She lost all her friends after the divorce—but by choice. She couldn’t stand anyone pitying, empathizing, or trying to understand her. Caroline admitted “I have the feeling of being used, sold like a soap”. Sadly, even more misfortune hurtled towards the House of Grimaldi.
20. She Lost Her Mother
In 1982, tragedy struck the Monegasque royal family once more. Grace and her youngest child Stephanie got into a catastrophic car crash. Stephanie survived, but Grace didn’t. The world mourned a fashion icon. Hollywood mourned their star. Monaco mourned their queen. But as for Princess Caroline, Stephanie, and Albert II? They mourned their mother.
In the midst of this grief, Rainier III gave our 25-year-old princess the biggest challenge of her life.
21. She Serves Her Country
Rainier III witnessed a “miracle” after Grace’s passing. Caroline didn’t just fill in as Monaco’s de facto first lady; she did it so well that the King saw Grace in her. Turning down her father’s request never crossed her mind because she “was raised with a sense of duty, obedience and…guilt”.
Caroline accepted "What I had to do always came before what I wanted to do”.
22. She Met The Love Of Her Life
Everything changed when Princess Caroline and Stefano Casiraghi walked into the same club one night. Stefano was an Italian heir, a champion boat racer, and Philippe’s polar opposite. He was also gorgeous. A year after the loss of her mother, Caroline’s luck looked like it was turning around. But there was a catch, and it was a huge one.
23. She Kept Falling Into Bad Relationships
Their meeting was right person, wrong time. Caroline was already dating Ingrid Bergman’s son, Robin Rossellini. Stefano was already engaged to a fellow Italian socialite. But he didn’t know if his fiancée was the one, while Caroline knew Robin was not. The cheating was a pretty big clue to her.
It didn’t take long for their respective relationships to fall apart, and for them to fall in love.
24. She Had High Hopes
A few months later, her family’s spokesperson made another surprise announcement. It was a happier one: Princess Caroline and Stefano married in a 20-minute, 20 guest ceremony. The family declared "Happiness has finally returned to a family which recently has had its share of personal tragedies”.
If there was a Grimaldi couple to break the curse, it was going to be Caroline and Stefano. That is, until tragedy came for them too.
25. She Ignited Rumors
But first came more gossip and scandal. The low-key and last minute wedding raised some eyebrows. Rumors of a secret pregnancy sprung up. Sure enough, Caroline and Stefano welcomed the first of three children into European high society months after.
When the tabloids attempted to dig up even more scandal about the newlyweds, they discovered something shocking.
26. She Chose The Right Guy
The media found…nothing on Stefano. Caroline joked they were perfect together because Stefano invested in a shoe company, and there were few things she loved more than shoes. In response, he had custom labels put into her shoes. Still, the best thing Stefano gave Caroline was his love.
But since Stefano never gave the tabloids anything to work with, they wound up plotting against him.
27. She Was In Love
Paparazzi were desperate to recapture the drama and scandal of Caroline’s first marriage—so they came up with a twisted scheme. They hired bikini-clad women to pose near Stefano while they snapped away. Their plot didn’t work because he was faithful and everyone knew it.
It’s no wonder Caroline cared more about her new family than anything else: "It wouldn't bother me at all if I weren't Princess Caroline of Monaco. I prefer to be at home with my husband and children”. Unfortunately, Stefano didn’t always feel the same.
28. Her Husband Took Risks
No one is perfect, and Stefano is no exception. While Stefano easily resisted the temptation of partying or other women, he couldn’t stay away from thrill seeking altogether. The adrenaline junkie got his kicks from racing speedboats. He did it well and often.
Unfortunately, his biggest passion—after his children and wife—was also his downfall.
29. She Didn’t Approve
There’s only so much a woman can take. Princess Caroline couldn’t just watch as Stefano risked his life for fun. Caroline, along with his parents, begged him to stop racing. They urged him to call it quits, and settle down. He agreed, but wanted one last season to defend his championship title. He didn’t know what a horrible mistake he was making.
1990 ended up being Stefano’s last season in more ways than one.
30. She (Almost) Had It All
Weeks before his last race, Stefano’s boat exploded. He survived it, and it was a sign from the universe if there ever was one. All Stefano had to do was win his last race, defend his championship, and retire. His family had been waiting for him and this day for years.
But no one accounted for the curse. The House of Grimaldi couldn’t catch a break.
31. Her Husband Took Risks
No good deed goes unpunished. During the race, Stefano and his copilot Patrice Innocenti stopped to rescue a fellow competitor from a boat on fire. But their heroism cost them precious time. On top of that, the waters and visibility only worsened. Each racer had to make the call for themselves.
As his fellow competitors dropped out of the race, his parents prayed Stefano would follow. He didn’t.
32. Her Husband Got Into An Accident
Stefano felt like he had too much at stake. It was not only his last race, his chance to defend his championship, but it was also a home race. So he stayed in the race and pushed, hoping to make up for last time. Tragically, his boat flipped over in a catastrophic accident. Patrice survived—but Stefano wasn’t so lucky.
33. She Was Too Late
Help arrived quickly—but it was already too late. Stefano never stood a chance. Sadly, Caroline was in Paris at the time of the accident. Though she rushed home, there was nothing for her to do except begin to plan the funeral.
She’d been truly happy, but it didn’t last long. The investigation into the family's most severe misfortune since Grace's departure only aggravated the situation.
34. She Was Devastated
Regardless of perspective, it was possible to avoid Stefano's demise. He could’ve dropped out of the race—or the sport entirely—earlier. Maybe he didn’t have to push so hard. And above all, his boat was unsafe. He likely would still be here if more safety measures had been in place.
Afterward, they implemented more regulations. As a result, Stefano may have saved lives—but that was little consolation for Caroline.
35. She Faced Conspiracy Theories
Soon after Stefano's departure, disturbing rumors began to circulate. Some of his friends revealed that they, along with his family, suspected foul play. They claimed that a week before the “accident”, Stefano confided: “I’m scared. Someone is out to get me. They won’t succeed, but I think they’ll make the attempt”.
They claimed this wasn’t just paranoia. And as it turns out, the case of Stefano’s accident might not be so clean cut.
36. She Had A Suspicious Husband
Stefano was a “frightened man”—and for good reason. He paid the price for shady business dealings. After provoking some influential and perilous individuals, he faced not only threats on his life, but a few terrifying near misses. His surviving race partner Patrice also joined in on the speculation.
Patrice said: “I don’t know what caused the boat to turn over. We've been racing this boat for four years in all kinds of seas—and it had never happened before.” With so much gossip in Monaco, Caroline had enough.
37. She Went Missing
By 33, Caroline already had many titles: princess, daughter, sister, wife, and mother. But now she had the one nobody wants: widow. Caroline left Monaco—and its gossip, scandals and drama—behind. Caroline took her kids and her broken heart to a French village. They disappeared from the spotlight for years.
When Caroline finally showed her face again, people were shocked by her appearance.
38. She Had A Shocking Haircut
Caroline had been known as a fashion icon—and when she re-appeared, she’d shaved her head down to a buzzcut. People discussed whether it was a bold choice or a sign of poor health. Unfortunately, it was the latter. But her brother reassured everyone that the problem “is only skin-deep” and “nothing serious”.
Albert went to a tabloid to insist “other than that, she’s fine”. Caroline proved his point by causing another scandal.
39. She Broke The Girl Code
Prince Ernst August of Hanover was married, a father of two, and her friend’s husband. Rumors of Caroline and Ernst’s affair caused a scandal. In 1997, rumor turned into fact. Ernst divorced his wife of 16 years to be with Caroline instead.
As it turns out, the palace once considered Ernst a potential match for the princess. They finally got a second chance.
40. She Moved On
Two years later, her family’s spokesperson made the surprise announcement that Caroline and Ernst secretly wed. Unlike past husbands, Ernst is a titled aristocrat. This makes Caroline the double princess of Monaco and Hanover. Naturally, their wedding generated gossip—especially when she gave birth to their daughter six months later. Unfortunately, their second chance romance only went downhill.
41. She Has A Terrible Husband
Turns out, Grace and Rainier III were right to reject Ernst as a prospect for Caroline—and the reason why is chilling. He may be a prince, but Prince Charming he is not. He has a temper, a drinking problem, and a wandering eye. In 2005, he paid the price for his heavy drinking and fell into a coma.
A day later, an even worse tragedy fell upon the family and Monaco.
42. She Had A Lot On Her Plate
The day after Ernst landed in the ICU, Rainier III passed from poor health. Caroline had no choice but to worry about a comatose Ernst, and mourn the father she’d grown closer to in adulthood—all at the same time. She couldn’t catch a break. Not that it mattered.
More than ever, Monaco needed their princess to go above and beyond.
43. She Was Almost Queen… Twice!
Despite Caroline’s service to her country, she’s always the princess, never the queen. When Caroline was an only child, she was the heir. This lasted just over a year until Albert II came along and swiped the throne from her.
Albert ascended the throne after their father, which made Caroline the heir again. But it wasn’t meant to be.
44. She Felt Shafted
In 2011, Albert married Charlene Wittstock, who usurped Caroline as first lady. They soon had twins, which knocked Caroline down the line of succession. Twice in one go. And she didn’t cope with this role and power reduction very well. It caused tension between Caroline and Charlene.
While the sisters-in-law don’t always see eye to eye, they have at least one thing in common: atrocious husbands.
45. She Has An Alcoholic Husband
Ernst has 99 problems, and drinking is definitely one of them. At the Expo 2000, he drank too much and urinated on the Turkish pavilion. This isn’t a good look for anyone who represents their country. Turkey agreed, and viewed it as an insult.
When Ernst mixed his drinking and temper together, the explosions he made were even worse than this diplomatic incident.
46. She Has An Angry Husband
When Ernst lost his temper, others paid the price. He once called emergency services to his home. Once officers arrived to help, an inebriated Ernst fought them. He ended up behind bars. Ernst also learned a lesson about intimidating his employees — and how it can lead to problems.
Did I mention that time he broke a cameraman’s nose with an umbrella?
47. She Has A Cheating Husband
Caroline learned the hard way that how you get them is how you lose them—but Ernst added insult to injury. Ernst doesn’t just have affairs, he has public ones. Caroline once again chose a husband who gives the press scandals to work with. A tabloid even published the headline "Monaco's First Lady Is Being Publicly Duped”.
There’s only so much humiliation and disrespect Caroline can take.
48. She Has Marital Problems
Caroline’s love life alone could sustain the lore of the Grimaldi curse. In 2009, Caroline moved out after discovering Ernst with a French socialite. Since then, they've separated in everything but paperwork. She went home to Monaco and never looked back.
Meanwhile, the tabloids and rumor mills follow Ernst all over the globe with his much younger “companions”.
49. She’s Private
But there’s still one unhealthy relationship Caroline can’t escape from: the media and paparazzi. She's even engaged in courtroom fights against the paparazzi, albeit with mixed results. It’s no wonder she rarely gives interviews. Instead, Caroline lets her charity work, public appearances, and scandals speak for themselves. And boy do they.
50. She’s Back In The Spotlight
Unfortunately, Caroline isn’t the only present day Grimaldi with the curse. Albert is doing even worse. Rumors are running amok about his crumbling marriage, infidelity, secret love children, and miserable wife. As Charlene disappears in and out of the public eye, Monaco still needs Caroline. And this is a call she always answers.