|Princess Stephanie of Monaco|
The Princess has been spotted spending her holidays at the Swiss National Circus Knie currently performing in Bern, Switzerland, and the press officer of the circus Niklaus Leuenberger confirmed that Her Highness had spent a period of recreation there. He added that it was the third time this year that the Princess spent time with the circus. The Princess has a long association with that particular circus, one of the leading circus companies of Europe led by Switzerland’s foremost circus dynasty.
10 years back, the Princess and Franco Knie had been an item, though they managed to keep it fairly low key. They managed to pass of their frequent meetings at the time as being purely professional. As the Princess succeeded her father Prince Rainier of Monaco as president of Monaco’s world leading circus festival, her presence at various leading circuses all around the globe is part of her job. Franco Knie on the other hand has made it part of his job at the Swiss National Circus to be present at the Monaco Circus Festival where he routinely offers seasonal contracts to many of the prize winning acrobats and acts.
From that time stems a close friendship with Mary José Knie, the wife of circus director Fredy Knie. She therefore had spent some holiday almost every year at the circus without the public being aware of the fact. The circus provides the perfect cover for her to let her hair down and to disappear from the public eye. She doesn’t spend her time there in luxury either, but is accommodated in one of the circus wagons belonging to the Knie family.
In 2003, she was married to circus artist Adans Lopez Peres who at the time was performing with the Circus Knie. The marriage was no success (again) and they divorced in 2004. But at the time her elder daughter Pauline obviously had a lot of fun taking part in several productions at the circus.
As to her presidency at the Monaco Circus Festival, the Princess takes her job there very seriously and has managed to keep the event the foremost festival for circus artists from all over the world. Even just being invited means that the act is the cream of the crop. Receiving one of the bronze, silver, or even a gold clown in recognition from the hands of the Princess is more important than being conveyed a knighthood by the Queen. Which is only fair, considering how much more work circus artists put into their careers than any undeserving banker being knighted.
Remember, therefore, when you go to see the circus next that you might meet a real Princess among all the circus princesses.
Princess Stephanie is currently sixth in line to succeed to the Principality at Monaco following the exclusion of her aunt Princess Antoinette, Baronne de Massy and her descendants in constitutional changes implemented in 1995. She is followed by her son Louis and her daughter Pauline; her younger daughter Camille does not partake of succession rights. Obviously, following the marriage of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, her succession rights might become even more remote at any given time. Like her sister Caroline, Stephanie has declined any hereditary noble titles for herself or on behalf of her children.
The Title Conundrum of Monaco
Princes: Not All That Glitters