Princess Caroline Is Content in Charlotte's Web, Despite Rumors of a Troubled Marriage

updated 08/18/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/18/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The additions continue to the worldwide roll call of royals. Just 11 days after the Windsors heralded their latest fairytale princess with pomp and ceremony as 300 million people watched, the tiny principality of Monaco issued its welcome—a three-sentence press release—to 6 lb., 8 oz. Charlotte Marie Poméline. She is the daughter of Princess Caroline, 29, and her 25-year-old husband of 2½ years, Stefano Casiraghi.

Princess Caroline passed the last 10 days of her pregnancy in Roc Agel, a Grimaldi family home six miles up the mountain from Monaco. She went into labor on Sunday, Aug. 3, and at 6 p.m. Stefano and her father, Prince Rainier, 63, rushed her to Princess Grace Hospital. Less than an hour later, without benefit of anesthesia, Caroline gave birth.

Charlotte was born with a minimum of fanfare. Two hours after her arrival, Stefano and Rainier attended a championship boxing bout, their fellow Monegasques unaware of what had transpired up the road. The press release announcing Charlotte's arrival was issued at 9:15 p.m. The next day it was business as usual for Casiraghi, who competed in the Monaco-St. Tropez powerboat race. (Stefano finished fifth, while Charlotte's Uncle Albert came in first.)

Charlotte's birth comes along at the same time as rumors about a possible rift in her parents' marriage. While Caroline has grown into her role as Monaco's First Lady, she often appears at ceremonies without Stefano, escorted instead by her father or brother. When her husband does attend an official function, he seems bored. Casiraghi's positions as president of a construction firm and a powerboat company require a lot of travel. "Their marriage has always been rather strange," says a close friend. "They lead almost completely separate lives."

There was some disappointment in Monaco that the child wasn't named after her late grandmother, Princess Grace. Instead, Charlotte is named after Prince Rainier's mother. Caroline has expressed a desire for four children (which would make gaga Grandpa very happy), depending on what happens in her marriage. She's already got a son, Andrea, 2, and as she showed with Charlotte, childbearing is not a problem for Caroline. Says a friend, "She drops them like dumplings."

From Our Partners