Princess Stéphanie's Daughter Pauline on Her Independent Life in N.Y.C.: 'I Can't Imagine Being Anywhere Else'

Grace Kelly's granddaughter is embracing life in the United States

Photo: PLS Pool/Getty

Monaco’s Princess Stéphanie was never one to follow royal conventions, and it seems that in a way, her eldest daughter Pauline Ducruet is following in her footsteps.

Ducruet, who is 22 years old and is the daughter of Stéphanie and her first husband, Daniel Ducruet, lives in New York City and studies at Parsons School of Design. In a new interview with the French newspaper Point de Vue, she says that living in N.Y.C. has allowed her to thrive as an individual.

Like her mother, Ducruet has worked in the fashion industry, interning at Vogue and working for Louis Vuitton for six months. In her younger years, Stéphanie worked as a model and for the fashion house Christian Dior. Now, Ducruet is studying fashion design and hopes to launch her own clothing line. Her mother has always been supportive, Ducruet says (Stéphanie even accompanied her daughter when she got her first tattoo at 17!).

“My father and my mother have both made me the young woman I am,” she said. “Mother has had a lot of influence over my view of things. We’re similar.”

But Ducruet insists that despite any similarities, she’s always been allowed to pave her own path.

“My parents never said to me, ‘You have to do this, or dress like that,’ ” she said. “They always let me do things in accordance with my personality. I’ve always been a little rock ‘n roll.”

Ducruet said she always knew that she’d leave home one day. Though she had a happy childhood, she said she felt somewhat isolated.

“As a child, I’d already said to Maman, ‘At 18, I’m leaving.'” she said. “As far back as my memories go, I wanted to see the world, meet others, live my life. I grew up surrounded by much love but I felt sometimes like I was in a bubble.”

Now, she lives in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. Her life consists of school, exploring N.Y.C., international travel and spending time with friends, according to her Instagram. She says that she’s in constant contact with her family, speaking to her mother on the phone daily and sending Snapchats to her siblings Camille and Louis.

“I have a neighborhood routine, my little habits, places I like, my restaurants, my boutiques, I do sports and some boxing as well in a little club close to my place,” she said. “There are museums everywhere, always new exhibitions and new places to discover. The energy of that city is incredible, you feel free and alive.

“And for the moment, in any case, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Of course, a love of America is in her blood: She’s the granddaughter of American actress turned Monegasque princess, Grace Kelly. Though Ducruet never met her famous grandmother, who died in a car crash before she was born, she says that her mother has shared many stories and memories of her late relative.

“When she recalls her memory, it is not as an actress or icon, but as a mom,” she said. “She talks about her mother as the person who has instilled essential values, respect for others and tolerance, which she transmitted to us in return.”

But while Ducruet’s life is undoubtedly thriving in New York, Monaco still holds a close place in her heart.

“Moving away allowed me to understand that Monaco is and will remain my home, the port to which I’m tied,” she said. “The country where I was born is my nest, my house, my cocoon, the place where I come to recharge.”

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