Handsome, rich, royal, golden-haired and loaded with bags of European style and charm, Pierre Casiraghi looks as though he just stepped out of a Bugatti commercial. Has the grandson of Prince Ranier III and former film star turned princess, Grace Kelly, got it all?
On the face of it, it certainly seems so, despite having had to grow up without his biological father. Pierre was named after his Great Grandfather, Prince Pierre of Monaco and he the son of Princess Caroline and Italian, Stefano Casiraghi, who was killed in a boating accident in 1990, when the young prince was just three years old. After Casiraghi's death, the family lived primarily at a farmhouse Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in Southern France, 12 miles or so from Avignon.
The Principality of Monaco
Monaco is a tiny place off the luxurious Côte d'Azur, otherwise known as the French Riviera, playground to the nauseatingly rich. It's area is 1.98 square km's and it has small a population of around 35,00, said to be no bigger than London's Hyde Park. Monaco has been under the rule of The House of Grimaldi since 1297, except for a brief period when it fell under French control from 1789 to 1814. Until 1911, when a constitutional monarchy was established, the Grimaldi Princes were absolute rulers.
Polished to Shiny
Casiraghi is fluent in several languages is an accomplished saxophonist. Of course, why wouldn't he have skills and accomplishments, since he has had a privileged, top rate education? Nor could he have wanted for much by way of material comfort and travel opportunities.
Pierre studied economics at Bocconi University in Milan, during which time he reputedly led an opulant and indulgent lifestyle. His name was linked to several young women, which is hardly surprising - being a rich handsome prince (though technically he doesn't have that title) does tend to make a chap popular. Since then his name has been consistantly linked with Beatrice Borromeo, from the 'ancient aristocratic House of Borromeo'.
The Prince and his rich, aristocratic cohorts lead the sort of existence most people could hardly imagine. It's a world of beautiful people, exotic travel, rich food, exquisite clothes, fabulous houses and extravagant parties. A little fascinating..and a little sickening. In many ways it's extraordinary that a concept as atavistic as 'royalty'..which is based soley upon extraordinary privilege by birthright, can even exist int he 21st Century. There is no special, intrisic value to individual members of royalty other than happenstance..they are esteemed and revered by something as flimsy as convention. But hey, they sell magazines and are good for tourism right..?
Third in Line to the Throne
Pierre is third in line to the throne, after his mother and older brother Andrea. The 24 year old is the majority shareholder of his father's company, Engeco, which deals with construction in Monaco, such as the new clubhouse for the yacht club.
The Grimaldi's are fabulously wealthy, but Monaco's financial dealings have always been somewhat murky. French investigative journalist Roger-Louis Bianchini, has written about the secretive, shadowy business world of Monaco, and according to him: "The whole of Monaco's prosperity depends on its banking rules which allow money to flow in from doubtful source". Is it money laundering that keep the coffers of Monaco in such healthy condition?
While it's very unlikely Pierre Casiraghi will ever have to face the inconvenience of being Prince of the Principality, his pretty looks, excesses and romantic shenigans will probably ensure him a permanent place in the European tabloid press.
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