The little girl leaving the Landeskrankenhaus clinic in the village of Voecklabruck, east of Salzburg, Austria, could hardly contain her glee. “The baby is marvelous,” she gushed. “She’s got black hair.” We’ll have to take her word for it. One of a group of 16 kindergartners from a local school, the child and her classmates were among the few nonfamily visitors allowed to meet Princess Alexandra, the first child of Princess Caroline of Hanover, 42, and her husband, Prince Ernst August of Hanover, 45. Born on July 20, the baby, Caroline’s fourth, is her first to be delivered outside of her homeland of Monaco, a decision that left many Monegasques feeling “abandoned,” said a local. Also a first: No portraits of the baby have been published. Paparazzi swarmed outside the clinic, but blinds were drawn, and security guards blocked entrances.
Three days later the extended family—including Caroline’s children by her late second husband, Stefano Casiraghi, Andrea, 15, Charlotte, 12, and Pierre, 11, and Ernst’s two sons from a previous marriage, Ernst August, 16, and Christian, 14—were reunited at the Hanover country estate in Auerbach, Austria. For Caroline, it was the latest bright spot in a life marred by the untimely deaths of her mother, Princess Grace, in 1982, and Casiraghi in 1990. But since they began dating in ’96, Caroline and Ernst have been inseparable. The couple, who plan to move this fall to a manor house outside Paris, in Fontainebleau, once owned by designer Karl Lagerfeld, a pal of Caroline’s, will no doubt closely guard their privacy (last year, although charges were eventually dropped, Ernst was fined $64,000 for accosting a cameraman). But since Alexandra’s arrival, says a friend, “Ernst is over the moon. I have never seen him so happy.”