September 12, 1977 12:00 PM

Bachelors all over the world may have felt a small pang of bereavement last week. Perhaps Britain’s Prince Charles or Duke Henri of Luxembourg or even the blissfully engaged Björn Borg mused wistfully on what might have been. But there was no changing the fact that this time, at last, the rumors of royal romance were well founded. Princess Caroline of Monaco was engaged to be married.

As reporters and photographers thronged a terrace outside the pink family palace by the Mediterranean, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace announced that next June, after her anticipated graduation from the Sorbonne, Caroline would become Madame Philippe Junot. The romance dates back to December 1975 when the princess, now 20, met the 37-year-old financial consultant at a dinner given by mutual friends in Paris. When her concerned parents intervened, Caroline agreed to a trial separation. But in the best storybook style, the separation only fanned ardor’s flames.

Although Grace may have worried about the lovers’ yawning generation gap and yearned not so secretly for a dynastic union, commoner Junot is hardly a washout. Bright, handsome and wealthy—if, alas, untitled—he is the son of a deputy mayor of Paris who is also the president of Westing-house in France. An athletic 5’10” (two inches taller than his comely fiancée), Junot is accomplished at scuba diving, tennis and skiing, and plays soccer for a Paris discotheque team.

Caroline’s betrothal, sealed by a bulging sapphire surrounded by diamonds, reduces the number of available Monegasque princesses by half. But despair not, bachelors. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Princess Stéphanie, age 12, is not yet spoken for.

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