Friday, July 16, 2010
Grimaldis Gather for Gala
HSH Princess Stephanie of Monaco welcomed her brother Prince Albert II and future sister-in-law Charlene Wittstock to the annual gala dinner for her foundation Fight AIDS Monaco today at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club. The annual event is held to raise money for the most prominent charity of Princess Stephanie who has devoted much of her life to combating the spread of AIDS and comforting those afflicted with the disease. Recently she has been making frequent radio broadcasts related to the foundation and opened a retreat house in France for those suffering from AIDS. She has stressed the need for respect for all human life as well as using "safe sex" methods. This puts the princess somewhat at odds with the Catholic Church, which is not only Stephanie's church but the official state church of Monaco, which maintains that abstinence before marriage and fidelity after marriage is the only "safe sex". Princess Stephanie, for those who look past the headlines, has long been known for being a very warm-hearted person and a very popular member of the Grimaldi family with the native Monegasque population and her concern for AIDS victims demonstrates this. The Princess herself attributed her attitude to the influence of her parents. As Princess Stephanie said, "Mom was generous and open to others, and this is how we have behaved. Dad did nothing but repeat to me: ‘The fact that you are born in this palace does not make you any better or more important’."