You’ll have to be careful next time picking a little husband, chère princesse,” sneers the female terrorist in Rien ne va plus (Nothing Is Working Anymore), a fanciful novel about terrorists who kidnap Princess Caroline and family to turn their pristine principality into “the Socialist Republic of Monaco.” The book has little in common with reality except that it, too, touches on a preoccupation of princess-watchers the world over: Who will be the gallant prince to save Caroline’s fairy tale from an unhappy ending?
Since Caroline, 24, and Philippe Junot, 41, got their civil divorce a year ago (her request for an annulment may be considered by the Catholic Church next year), the world’s gossips have been working overtime trying to link her with a new love. The most popular candidate is Robertino Rossellini, 31, the love child of Ingrid Bergman and director Roberto Rossellini and a real estate adviser who lives in Monaco. The couple has been seen hanging out in Monte Carlo, skiing in Austria, weekending in Rome and even checking out—separately—the same apartment in Paris (though palace spokeswoman Nadia Lacoste says the pied à terre would be just for Caroline).
Is it love? “Everybody wants to know what it is about me and Robertino,” admits Caroline. “I can say Robertino is a dear friend and he helped me a lot during my divorce.” Friends say he is a cross between a chaperon and a cover, a faccia pulita (“clean face”) who escorts her around Europe. The official palace line is ambivalent. “Since her divorce,” says Lacoste, “Caroline has seen a lot more of Rossellini than anyone else. I cannot say this is the love of her life. Maybe one day it will be.”
And now rumors are flying faster than the jet set itself that Caroline and Junot are becoming chummy again, in spite of Prince Rainier’s supposed ban on communication between the two. “Caroline and I are speaking and we have met,” London gossip Nigel Dempster quotes Junot as saying. “She is someone who counts very much for me. We are human beings who have spent four years of our lives together.”
Caroline, who has also been linked to childhood friend Robert Sargent “Bobby” Shriver III, is living by herself for the first time. She has completely redecorated the 10-room villa near her parents’ palace that she shared with Junot. Now her only roommate is an Alsatian guard dog named Onyx. Devastated at first by the divorce, she is gradually resuming her royal duties (appearing this week in Nottingham, England at a benefit for the handicapped, to please an old nanny) and hopes to put together a collection of short fiction.
Junot also seems to have rebounded. He has moved to a bourgeois duplex apartment on Paris’ chic Right Bank (a contrast to his bachelor pad on the Left) and thrown himself into work as managing partner of a Montreal business he co-founded five years ago. Though he says his social life is slowing down—”I don’t have a different woman every night”—Junot has hardly abandoned his high living. Shortly after gossips tied him with Marisa Berenson—a report she denied—he was seen having his earlobes nibbled by California model Marcy Schlobohm, 18, at the July premiere of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in Paris. The Marin County native is a 1980 graduate of Indiana’s posh Culver Girls’ Academy. Since then they have vacationed together in Ibiza, where she helped him judge a beauty contest. “I think Philippe is changing for the better,” says Marcy. “I don’t think it’s because of me. It’s because of him.”
Junot may be a changed man, but he still loves to party. “It’s like smoking,” one friend explains. “Sometimes it’s easier to keep doing it than quit.” Or as Philippe himself puts it: “I love women, that’s all.”