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Monaco

The birth of Princess Caroline: the media frenzy that surrounded a royal baby


By simone.brunozzi - originally posted to Flickr as Princess Caroline, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8662585

Exactly nine months after a wedding that captured the attention of the globe, the small principality on the Mediterranean was once more at the centre of media focus. 

Monaco’s Sovereign Prince Rainier III had married American actress Grace Kelly in April 1956, and the new Princess was an already popular figure in magazines and newspapers. The fact that she would give up such an amazing career to become the wife of a Sovereign Prince in the world’s second-smallest country was a surprise to most. 

And yet, there she was, now Princess Grace of Monaco, and, in January of 1957, she was ready to give birth to the couple’s first child. 

As it is still traditional, royals don’t announce the sex of the baby, even if they happen to know it. And because Monaco still enforces male precedence, the world watched anxiously to see if the principality was getting an heir to the throne. 

On the 23rd of January 1957, protected by the walls of the Princely Palace, Princess Grace gave birth. The world went crazy and swarmed the tiny principality with photographers and journalists, all ready to report on Grace Kelly’s new baby. 

It was announced that the baby was a girl, born at 8lbs 2oz and that she would be called Caroline Louise Marguerite; she would receive the title of Princess and was to be the heiress to the Monégasque throne.

She retained the title until her brother’s birth on the 14th of March 1958. And in those 14 months, the princely couple offered several photo opportunities to the world’s media, including the official presentation of the baby to the Monégasque population, a tradition that has been followed many years later by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene. 

Princess Caroline was christened on the 5th of March 1957, in Monaco’s Cathedral, with Margaret Davis and Prince George Festetics de Tolna as her godparents.