Meet Pauline Ducruet, Grace Kelly's Olympic-Diving, Circus-Performing, Gender-Fluid Fashionista Granddaughter
Pauline Ducruet, the 27-year-old daughter of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, is 16th in line to the Monégasque throne, but she's no stranger to the spotlight.
Ducruet's royal status is only one of the many impressive achievements on her remarkable resume — she has an Olympic diving background and is a designer of her own gender-fluid fashion line.
As the eldest daughter of Princess Stephanie and the granddaughter of Princess Grace of Monaco (a.k.a. Hollywood style icon Grace Kelly), it's no surprise that fashion runs in Ducruet's blood. Kelly has an Hermès handbag named for her after all and wore gowns still referenced today, including the one she wore to her fairy-tale wedding ceremony in 1956 to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco!
The House of Grimaldi, the royal family in which Ducruet resides, has been making headlines for decades — since Francesco Grimaldi founded it in the 13th century. (Most recently, attention has been focused on Princess Charlene, who has separated from her husband — and Ducruet's uncle — Prince Albert II and 6-year-old twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, for months due to health issues.)
Ducruet says that she's unfazed by the nonstop attention. "I know what's happening," she told The Telegraph. "So I don't need to look in the magazines to know what's going on. Every time that the spotlight is on the family, I know what it's for, so it's not surprising any more."
Keep scrolling to learn more about Pauline Ducruet's royal background, her unconventional upbringing, her time in the circus and everything in between.
Who are Pauline Ducruet's parents?
Ducruet is daughter of Princess Stephanie and her ex-husband (and former bodyguard) Daniel Ducruet, who began dating in 1992. Prior to their relationship, Stephanie had spent the 1980s dating big names including actor Rob Lowe and race car driver Paul Belmondo, and had experimented with a fashion career and a music career of her own.
Stephanie and Ducruet welcomed son Louis in 1992 and daughter Pauline in 1994, before but marrying in 1995 at the Monaco town hall. Shortly thereafter, photos of Daniel poolside with a former Miss Bare Breasts of Belgium hit the tabloids, and the two filed for divorce in 1996.
Ducruet told The Telegraph, "When we grew up, my mom and dad were really close. Even though they got divorced really early, they always made a point for us to grow up with two parents."
Where did Pauline Ducruet grow up?
Ducruet was born on May 4, 1994, at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre in La Colle in Monaco. She attended primary school in Auron, attended Collège Charles III de Monaco and received a baccalaureate from Lycée Prince Albert I de Monaco.
Sounds typical? In 2001, Stephanie entered a relationship with a married elephant trainer in a Swiss traveling circus and moved her children (which by then included her third child, Camille, with Raymond Gottlieb) into the circus caravan.
At that point, Pauline's life took a twist (and a flip): She began performing in some of the acts. She stayed with the circus throughout her mother's 14-month marriage to Adans Lopes Peres, a Portuguese acrobat she met in the caravan.
After the marriage ended and the family returned to the palace, Ducruet decided to become an acrobat herself: "I wanted to wear leotards with sparkles," she confessed.
How did Pauline Ducruet become involved in the fashion industry?
Her grandmother Grace Kelly wasn't the only fashion influence on the royal designer. Her mother was quite the fashionista as well, apprenticing for Dior, designing a swimwear line and serving as a model.
"I saw my mum getting ready for galas in gowns with diamonds on her head, but the next day she'd take us to school in destroyed jeans and big boots," Ducruet told The Telegraph, explaining that the tried to channel that luxe/rebellious vibe in her own gender-neutral fashion line Alter.
Armed with those fashion genes, Ducruet attended the Instituto Marangonis in Paris where she studied styling, then took on professional experience within the fashion industry
Prior to becoming a designer, Ducruet held internships at American Vogue and Louis Vuitton. She also received a degree in Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design. These experiences have taught her that "it's not all glitz and glamour … it's a really hard-working industry and it takes all your heart, sweat and tears."
Her first design on the global stage was creating her sister-in-law's wedding dress. When her brother Louis married Marie Chevallier, she worked with Atelier Boisanger to create a romantic off-the-shoulder gown with full lace veil.
Her Alter designs has a large following, showing at Paris fashion week and getting a feature in Vogue. In 2020, she told Vogue her line was inspired by "the idea of alternating pieces already in our closets, updating staple items like leather and jean jackets, simple shirts. It's also about the idea of equality between sexes and playing up alter egos."
Did Pauline Ducruet play any sports?
"Athleticism" is also a theme for Monaco royals. Similar to Princess Charlene, who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics for swimming, Ducruet was a competitive diver who competed in the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore.
That same year, she represented Monaco at the World Junior Diving Championships in Germany, and later competed in the European Junior Swimming and Diving Championships in Finland.
The accomplished diver was nominated for the prestigious "Sportsperson of the Year" award for the 2009–2010 season.
Does Pauline Ducruet have siblings?
Ducruet has an older brother named Louis and three half-siblings. Her half-brother Michael is son of her father and Martine Malbouvier. Her half-sister, Camille Gottlieb, is the daughter of her mother and Jean-Raymond Gottlieb. Her other half-sister, Linoué Ducruet, is the daughter of her father and Kelly Marie Carla Lancien.