Sunday, May 16, 2010

Princess Grace, the Mother

The Cross of Laeken has an excellent and informative post on the subject of Grace Kelly on Motherhood. Princess Grace was a very hands-on mother, though, like their father, they were also looked after by an English nanny, the large-and-in-charge Maureen King from the English Midlands. Nevertheless, Princess Grace did most of the motherly duties herself as any other mother would. She did most of the cooking, even if it was something as simple as making sandwiches for the children and their friends at their farm in the country. It was in that setting that the Grimaldis achieved the most “normal” domestic life, away from the protocol of the Princely Palace.

Doubtlessly Grace was influenced by her own mother, a strict German-American woman who ran a very tight ship. She was also extremely religious and Princess Grace carried her faith with her throughout her life. At the palace she would often be seen going to the chapel where she would sit in prayer and contemplation for an hour or more at a time. Of all her children, Princess Stephanie was the most work and got the most attention. Princess Grace once said, when asked about how she disciplined her children, that Princess Caroline occasionally needed a spanking whereas Prince Albert was almost never in trouble but Princess Stephanie required different methods. Princess Grace said, “I could have beaten her like a gong without making her give way”.

Whether Princess Grace was a strict or lax parent has been endlessly debated. Prince Rainier could be both indulgent and overprotective of his daughters but he left most of their upbringing to Grace while he focused on preparing Albert for his future role as sovereign prince. Princess Caroline stated that her mother was attentive and quick to advise but not controlling. According to her, Princess Grace knew that she could do no more than that, allowing the children to make their own choices, learn from their mistakes and move on. She may not have approved of all of their actions but she was always supportive, always ready to comfort and always ready to help. Above all, no one could doubt that she loved her children more than anything in the world and their wellbeing was her top priority up to the very moment of her tragic death.


  1. Thank you for linking to my post and for providing this additional information.

    One thing that stands out for me about this family is the number of forceful and determined women!

  2. That is true and throughout the centuries, reading about the Grimaldi dynasty, one thing that certainly stands out is how many times it was the Princess consort who stepped up in an emergency and really made a vital difference in the history of Monaco. Though sometimes overstated Princess Grace certainly had a major impact on Monaco, Princess Maria Caroline had a huge impact -she being the driving force behind the establishment of Monte Carlo, Princess Alice had a big impact in raising the 'tone' of the country and on and on. And of course the current crop show no signs of changing from that tradition. Princess Stephanie has said that since raising daughters herself she has a whole knew appreciation for what Grace went through with her.


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