The Grimaldis were once a common feature of the court at Versailles. Princes of Monaco, in their capacity as the Dukes of Valentinois, along with their significant others, joined the ranks of the nobility of France basking in the glow of the "Sun King" Louis XIV. Alas, with the French Revolution it seemed those days were gone forever -and so far they have been. Yet, last Monday the magnificent palace at Versailles was again graced by the presence of a Grimaldi in the person of Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline. In her capacity as president and founder of the World Association of Children's Friends (AMADE) Princess Caroline attended the 18th La Nuit Internationale de l’Enfance (International Night of Childhood) charity gala. It was only fitting that the Princess chose this venue to help raise money for children in need as it is a cause close to her heart and caring for children (particularly orphans) is one of the primary goals of Princess Caroline's charity AMADE which she is so devoted to.
In all there were about 700 guests at the event, organized by Anne-Atmone Giscard d'Estaing, former First Lady of the French Republic, who is also president of the Foundation for Children. There cocktails in the stone gallery followed by a tour of the royal apartments and the Hall of Mirrors. For those of us who are history fans it is impossible not to imagine Princess Caroline walking through the same rooms and hallways that famous ancestors of hers, such as Princess Catherine-Charlotte de Gramont, Prince Louis I, Prince Antoine I and Princess Marie de Lorraine also walked through, lived in and carried out their own dramas around the King of France. After the tour there was entertainment at the Versailles opera house by Arielle Dombasle. A good event for a good cause but, aside from the presence of Princess Caroline, how many people around the world would have ever heard of it? The glitter and glamour of this events would be so much greater, and thus so much more effective in their benevolent goals, if Princess Caroline, who would also have her own place in the French nobility as the granddaughter of the Duc d'Polignac, was the rule and not the exception and if, instead of a former First Lady, the gala was organized by the Queen of France.