Stephanie of Monaco was at the side of her brother Albert II, at the airport of Nice, to welcome Charlene at her return from South Africa. And appeared serious during the national holiday of Monaco, this Friday, November 19. The princess, who knows what is a life full of trials, is able to understand Charlene.
Because she is a former top sportswoman, we thought from the start that Charlene of Monaco was a rock. Indestructible. We did not imagine that she could be sensitive, fragile. Both physically and morally. “Charlene has the stature, the potential to take her place with my brother and play a very important role for our country. She is a strong woman, perhaps because she is a high-level sportswoman…”, declared Stephanie of Monaco in Paris Match, in 2001.
Princess Stephanie added however: “But she is also very sensitive. I try to reassure her, to help her, because I love her very much, we are very close. I can be a bit of a big sister at times, because it’s important that she feels supported, that she has someone to trust. She’s already counting her real friends on the fingers of one hand and it’s going to get worse. I think she’s already figured that out! All of a sudden, she’s going to have many, many friends, but real ones, that’s more complicated…”. Stephanie already knew.
So it’s not surprising that Albert II’s sister was there on Monday, November 8, alongside her nephews Gabriella and Jacques, to welcome Charlene on her arrival at Nice airport, after the latter had spent many months in South Africa. She has always been the first of the Grimaldi family to come to the rescue of suffering souls. The first to extend a hand, without judging. No doubt because she herself paid a high price for an unchosen fame, as she once declared: “I recognize myself in [people’s] pain because I myself was a living target, wounded by the gaze of others, a gaze charged with misplaced pity.”
How “becoming a mom” helped Stephanie get her head above water
Following the accident that took the life of her mother, Princess Grace, Stephanie has known the media’s relentlessness since her early years. In addition to the physical pain, there was also the moral pain. She admitted that she often felt “bruised, torn”, adding that it was “becoming a mother” that had allowed her to really get her head above water. “Before being a princess, I’m also above all a human being,” she told our colleagues in Paris Match in 2002. Don’t think that everything is easy for us, we are like the common people, we also have the right to our secret garden.”
Refusing to be a fairy tale princess, she even needed, at one point in her life, to get away from the Rock. To live in the peace and quiet of a small resort in the Alpes-Maritimes. As a child, her mother often told her: “Be true to yourself”. To put it into practice, Stéphanie fled her country, her roots, for a while. But she was able to come back, more serene.
“Life has taught me compassion. I know that no one is safe from anything and that no one is above anyone. If people lived the life of a princess, even for a week, they would dream a lot less. We are human beings like the others with our sorrows, our joys, our laughter, our tears… We suffer in the same way. Except that we always suffer in public. Through these words pronounced in 2001 in Paris Match, we understand how much Stephanie can today be an ally for a Charlene in turmoil.
Photo credits: JUNIOR / BESTIMAGE