DCSIMG

Why Stephanie falls for the hired help

WITH a prince for a father and a Hollywood goddess for a mother, she was born to command the attention of rich and titled suitors from around the world.

But Princess Stephanie of Monaco has long preferred the opposite end of the social scale when it comes to love and romance.

Her "Lady Chatterley Syndrome" shows no signs of wearing off, amid reports that her latest romance involves the head gardener to her father, Prince Rainier.

The word in Monaco is that the prince is so angry at the upstairs-downstairs liaison he has thrown her out of Grimaldi Palace, the family home.

Reports of the latest scandal to hit the rebellious princess came to light in the French magazine, Paris Match.

The celebrity gossip magazine claims the youngest daughter of Prince Rainier and the late Princess Grace was spotted in the Columbus hotel, Monaco, on 8 April, accompanied by her children Louis, nine, Pauline, seven and Camille, five.

The princess’s eyes were "reddened with tears" and she was carrying suitcases, the magazine reports.

She was booked into an 500-a-night suite at the hotel. The magazine claimed: "Prince Rainier exploded with rage when he discovered she’d been having a bit on the side with his gardener.

"He was particularly angry considering that the year before she’d been having an affair with his butler, Richard Lucas.

"A lot of the wives of handsome male staff working at the palace had seriously begun to worry that their own husbands could become her latest prey."

The palace yesterday issued a statement rejecting "erroneous reports" that the princess had been "chasse du Palais" - chased from the palace. Insisting the princess is "still assuming her public and private duties", it went on: "With the utmost vigour, the palace denies these allegations, which are without any foundation and amount to an attack on the prince and his family."

But asked directly whether the princess was still living under Prince Rainier’s roof , Nicolas Saussier, the press secretary at the Grimaldi Palace, told The Scotsman: "I am not going to answer that question directly."

Pepita Dupont, the Paris Match journalist who penned the article, said: "I stand by my story. We are not naming the gardener in question, but this story is true."

The scandal of the princess and the gardener is just the latest upstairs-downstairs affair involving Stephanie, who was 17 when her mother was killed in a car crash on the Grande Corniche while Stephanie was travelling in the car. In the mid-90s she dismayed her father by having two children to her bodyguard, Daniel Ducruet, before they married. After the marriage ended Stephanie embarked on a relationship with Jean-Raymond Gottlieb, her head of security.

In July, 1998 she gave birth to Camille Marie Kelly, but refused to name the father on the child’s birth certificate. She then left Monaco for the ski resort of Auron, where she fell for Pierre Pinelli, a barman. After that ended she began a year-long romance with Franco Knie, a Swiss circus owner. However, she was then reported to have fallen into bed with Richard Lucas, her father’s butler.

Commentators suggest that the princess’s behaviour may be linked to the way her father brought her up.

Dr Jack Boyle, a leading psychologist, said: "Rich and famous people are often bad at parenting, indulging their fame and pleasure rather than tackling the time-consuming task of parenting.

"This can give a child low self-esteem, making it unable to form attachments.

"Most of us go for people who are similar in background, social standing, education, but Stephanie does not seem to do this.

"It may be that she does not feel her peers value her for the person she is, so she seeks intimacy elsewhere. But I wouldn’t blame the car crash, her problems probably started long before that."

Dr Boyle added: "I think Stephanie is doing the running. A servant would never dare make a move on a rich woman. But it could be that she is easily exploited by people who feel they can gain from her position.

"I do not think this is a woman looking for a bit of rough.

"Sadly, I don’t see things changing for her in the future."

DANIEL DUCRUET

DUCRUET was Princess Stephanie’s bodyguard and the first of the famous upstairs-downstairs romances.

The princess scandalised the Roman Catholic principality of Monaco by bearing his children, Louis and Pauline, before they were married in July 1995.

However the marriage foundered a year later, when the former police officer was photographed cavorting with a model who had the title "Miss Bare Breasts of Belgium".

JEAN-RAYMOND GOTTLIEB

SIXTEEN months after her marriage to Ducruet broke up, Stephanie was romantically linked with Gottlieb, a former Paris gendarme who became her head of security.

Gottlieb resigned as her bodyguard after the romance began.

Seven months after the liaison was first reported, Stephanie was four and a half months pregnant.

In July 1998, she gave birth to her third child, again out of wedlock. Camille Marie Kelly was named in honour of Stephanie’s screen actress mother Grace.

When Stephanie became pregnant, it was reported Gottlieb was the father, but this has never been publicly confirmed or refuted because the headstrong princess refused to put the father’s name on the birth certificate.

Ducruet, however, stated that the child was not his.

PIERE PINELLI

WITH Monaco and the world’s press agog over the paternity of her third child, Stephanie decamped to the French ski resort of Auron, to let the dust settle.

Although this took her out of the realm of most of her father’s employees, she stayed true to her proletarian preferences by starting a romance with Pinelli, a Corsican bartender.

First reported early in 1999, the affair foundered after six months - but not before it was reported that the Princess was spotted waiting table’s at Pinelli’s eatery.

About this time she was marginally linked to an underworld murder inquiry after a suspected drugs dealer and boyfriend of a friend was gunned down.

This caused Prince Rainier to redraft his will, stating that Stephanie would get just 20 million of his 4 billion fortune.

Prince Rainier was said to be furious at Ducruet, when the photos and a video were published around the globe, in one of the most embarrassing scandals ever to hit the Grimaldi family.

Although the princess initially appeared forgiving of her husband, in September 1996 the palace announced the couple were to divorce.

RICHARD LUCAS

FOLLOWING a reconciliation with her father, Stephanie repaid his kindness by becoming romantically linked to Lucas, Rainier’s butler.

The liaison was first reported in July last year when the couple were photographed strolling in Monaco. One palace insider was reported as saying: "The family and courtiers are trying to keep this one from Prince Rainier.

"He has a weak heart, and this could be the final nail in his coffin."

In February, it was reported that Lucas, 45, a married father-of-two, had ended the relationship, but it did not seem to affect his standing at the Palace Grimaldi.

He was promoted to major-domo - in charge of the internal running of the palace.

Meanwhile, his son, David, a valet, became maitre d’hotel, in charge of Rainier’s dining room.

 
 
 

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