Charlotte Casiraghi’s path to love has been anything but conventional

By Peter Mikelbank and Erin Hill
March 27, 2018 03:09 PM

Charlotte Casiraghi’s path to love has been anything but conventional.

The equestrian and model – whose grandmother is the late American actress-turned-princess, Grace Kelly – confirmed her engagement to film producer, Dimitri Rassam, at the annual Bal de la Rose in Monte Carlo last weekend.

The granddaughter of Grace Kelly and the son of Carole Bouquet (a former Bond girl) share similar backgrounds. Both are graduates of the Sorbonne University in Paris, and each have children from previous relationships: Charlotte, who is ninth in line to Monaco’s throne, has a 4-year old son, Raphael, with comedian Gad Elmaleh, and Dimitri has a 7-year-old daughter from his marriage to model Masha Novoselova.

Dimitri Rassam and Charlotte Casiraghi
| Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/ SC Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Before she found love with 36-year-old Rassam, Charlotte, 31, made headlines when she began dating Elmaleh in late 2011. With a 16-year age gap, Charlotte – whose mom is Monaco’s Princess Caroline – and the comedian were an unconventional and extremely private couple. After meeting at a party, the pair embarked on a discreet relationship that quickly went from whispered affair to tabloid favorite.

Their coming-out was a public appearance together in March 2013 alongside members of the Monaco royal family at the Bal de la Rose – but they continued to maintain a quiet profile, even as Casiraghi prepared to give birth to their son in December that year.

Celebrity Sightings During Pierre Casiraghi And Beatrice Borromeo Wedding
Charlotte Casiraghi and Gad Elmaleh
| Credit: JacopoR/PierreS/GC Images

The couple, who never tied the knot, split their time largely between France and Los Angeles. Their backgrounds and interests were wildly divergent: Casiraghi is a competitive horse jumper and former Gucci model. Elmaleh is a Moroccan-born, French stand-up comedian and actor who appeared in 2011’s Midnight In Paris. He has a 15-year-old son, Noé, from a previous relationship with French actress Anne Brochet.

Charlotte Casiraghi and Lamberto Sanfelice
| Credit: Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Corbis/Getty; Chad Hurst/Getty

Shortly after her split from Elmaleh in 2015, Charlotte moved on with Italian director Lamberto Sanfelice after they met at a film festival. But the couple split towards the end of 2016.

Sources previously confirmed to PEOPLE that Charlotte and Rassam quietly began seeing each other in Dec. 2016 after being introduced by friends over dinner.

The couple is set to wed in the summer. A source tells PEOPLE they became engaged three weeks ago while on a family ski vacation with Princess Caroline in Austria.

In the newly released book, Albert de Monaco: L’homme et le prince (Editions Fayard), Prince Albert of Monaco describes his oldest niece as an “independent’ woman.” When asked if his nieces and nephews would have to formally ask his permission before marrying such as in other royal families, he responded: “It’s a little more relaxed. I mean they did, the boys. They talked to me about it before. Charlotte’s a little more independent. I’m used to independent women in our family, so it’s okay.”