Upstairs Downstairs shame in the House of Grimaldi
Published 27/04/2003 | 00:11
SHE married her bodyguard, fell in love with her ski instructor, moved in with a circus-owner and even romanced her father's butler. It seems Princess Stephanie of Monaco just can't get enough of below-stairs relationships, and at this point she has truly earned a reputation as a modern-day Lady Chatterley.
Now she has gone one step too far by bedding the head gardener - a move that has enraged her father Prince Rainier so much that he has thrown her out of his palace.
Sources close to the Grimaldis say that Princess Stephanie's dalliance with the gardener was too much for her 78-year-old father, who exploded with rage and told his wayward daughter to get out of the royal home.
One said: "Prince Rainier's patience snapped when he discovered she had been having a bit on the side with the gardener. He was particularly angry considering that, just last year, she had been having an affair with his butler.
"The liaison with the gardener was just the last straw. He has all he can take of her constantly cavorting with the staff.
"A lot of the wives of male staff working at the palace were worried that their own husbands could become her latest prey." The source added: "If her relationship with her father was at breaking point before this happened, it is certainly beyond repair now."
Prince Rainier has already demonstrated his anger at his youngest daughter by redrafting his will to leave her a relatively "mere" ?28 million in his ?5.7 billion will.
News of her eviction soon spread around the tiny principality and shortly afterwards, the princess, 37, and her three children were seen checking into the ?800-a-night suite at Monaco's swish Columbus Hotel. Onlookers said her eyes were "reddened with tears" when she arrived at reception with her son Louis, nine, and daughters Pauline, seven, and Camille, five.
The hotel - owned by the Princess's friend, racing driver David Coulthard - was full, but unable to leave a royal out on the street, staff there fixed her up in the luxurious suite with stunning views of her father's own palace.
The gardener is only the latest in a long line of flings that Stephanie - daughter of Princess Grace Kelly - has enjoyed with butlers, barmen and bodyguards.
It all began in the mid-Nineties when she shocked her father by having two children before marriage by her personal minder, Daniel Ducruet.
They wed soon after, but the marriage only lasted until photographs were published of Ducruet cavorting with a model who also carried a title - Miss Bare Breasts of Belgium.
Then the princess began a relationship with Jean-Raymond Gottlieb, her ski instructor, and in 1998, she gave birth to baby Camille, but refused to name the baby's father on the birth certificate. During the ensuing hullabaloo, she moved from Monaco to the quiet ski resort of Auron, where she met barman Pierre Pinelli.
They were so much in love that Stephanie was even seen waiting tables at the restaurant where he worked.
In 1999, she embarked on a year-long affair with Swiss circus owner Franco Knie, who left his wife of 14 years to be with her.
She shamed the House of Grimaldi even more when she was photographed outside her circus caravan wearing a grubby dressing gown and with a cigarette hanging from her lips.
During a trip back to Monaco, she fell into bed with her father's butler Richard Lucas and circus-owner Knie was said to be heartbroken. But she was to break his heart even more by the hooking up with one of the acrobats at the Knie circus.
And last year, she was seen on a date with Philippe Junot, the 63-year-old ex-husband of her sister Caroline.