The travails of minor European Royalty

When Monaco had required an heir to prevent the principality being swallowed up by Italy, Prince Louis II, Antoinette’s grandfather, recalled that he had an illegitimate daughter — Charlotte — by Juliette Louvet, a washerwoman with whom he had had an affair while serving with a French regiment in Algiers.

In 1919 Charlotte was legitimised, becoming Hereditary Princess of Monaco. The following year she married Comte Pierre de Polignac, a problematic union that was not helped by his being homosexual.

It appears that Caroline and Stephanie are not the only members of the family to have interesting love lives.

In the mid-1940s she embarked on a relationship with Alexandre-Athenase (Aleco) Noghès, a Monégasque-born lawyer and international tennis champion of Spanish descent. Three children were born out of wedlock: Elizabeth-Ann in 1947, Christian in 1949 and Christine in 1951 . Antoinette married Noghès in December 1951, but they divorced three years later .

All rather feminist actually: perhaps the only European royal family where the women carry on just as the men of so many of the others do.

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