Fairy tale of an Italian knight and a princess
City Lights: by Andira Vitale
An Italian knight caught up with the legendary Princess of Monaco in her most difficult days and kidnapped her to the land of fairy tales. Carolina di Monaco and Stefano Casiraghi are the love at first sight we have always dreamed of. 29 December 1983 At the royal palace in Monte Carlo, Princess Caroline of Monaco marries the Italian entrepreneur and sportsman Stefano Casiraghi in a civil ceremony.
Caroline and Stefano Casiraghi, as long as they were together, lived a fairy tale. The Princess and the Italian entrepreneur have forever marked the years and our hearts.
At the time, the splendid Carolina was one of the most loved and followed royals in Europe; she is about to turn 27, and she is the most beautiful princess of her generation and has inherited her mother’s shining beauty by warming her; She has a degree in Philosophy from the Sorbonne. She is beautiful like her mother, Grace Kelly, but unlucky in love. Before Stefano, she was a Princess as beautiful as it was sad, fresh from a marriage that lasted just two years (from 1978 to 1980, finally annulled by the Court of the Sacred Rota in 1992) with the Parisian banker (and serial traitor) Philippe Junot. She is constantly at the centre of gossip, especially in her relationships. Her marriage to her first husband had just ended, and the English tabloids were discussing a possible flirtation with Prince Charles of England.
On the other hand, Stefano is the son of the Como textile entrepreneurs Fernanda Biffi and Giancarlo Casiraghi and comes from the Lombardy bourgeoisie. He has an angelic face and a gentle soul; he is 23 years old; he did not complete his studies at Bocconi but was already taking his first steps in the entrepreneurial world; he was now the betrothed of a girl from a good Milanese family, Pinuccia Macheda. He had been close to two showbiz women, Dalila Di Lazzaro and Marina Perzy.
The love between Stefano Casiraghi and Carolina di Monaco took place in the summer of 1983 between Sardinia and Corsica on the boat of their mutual friend Francesco Caltagirone. She was still crying for her mother, Grace, who died on 14 September 1982 in a car accident, and he seemed intent on giving her smile back. They look into each other’s eyes, and a great love is born between them. From that moment on, they no longer think or see anyone. It’s just the two of them and their passion.
Both of them were already busy at that moment. Stefano had been engaged to the Giuseppe above Macheda since 1978, while the Princess of Monaco had been together with Robertino Rossellini (son of Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman) since 1981, even if unofficially, with whom they formed a beautiful couple. It was the director’s son who introduced them on that cruise. When he looked at the Princess, the young entrepreneur forgot about his betrothed, who was waiting for him in Porto Rotondo.
The love escape
Once they landed in Sardinia, Stefano left Pinuccia with his parents and disappeared into thin air. Carolina, however, dumped Roberto Rossellini Jr. She also vanished from the radar. Carolina and Stefano fled together to Isola di Cavallo, the retreat with access limited only to homeowners. Their fairy tale began there. The two then left for New York and flew to several other cities.
Stefano Casiraghi took Carolina to Italy to introduce her to his parents and to announce his desire to marry her. When the news was made official, Giuseppa (Pinuccia) Macheda, who was 24 years old, told her story to the press: the entrepreneur had asked her to marry him (at his birthday party and even gave her a car) by the end of 1983. According to the young Macheda, they had already met at a dance the year before and had flirted lightly, without going any further, in front of her eyes. On a cruise, however, Grace Kelly’s daughter, already divorced from playboy Philippe Junot. The young entrepreneurs were introduced to each other by Ingrid Bergman’s son, and this time, thanks to the summer, they let themselves go. When the summer ended, Macheda showed up unannounced at Casiraghi’s house on Lake Como, where she found him with Carolina. On that occasion, she said goodbye to him for the last time. Unlike the Princess of Monaco (who remained friends with Robertino Rossellini), Stefano and Pinuccia never saw each other again. With People, Giuseppa complained that the one she swore was her boyfriend didn’t give her any explanation. “I still love Stefano. The years we were together were pleased. I always believed that Carolina would be an adventure and that he would return to me,” she said. Then, the magazine covers were filled with images of the new loving couple, and she gave up. “I forgive him because everyone has the right to love whoever they prefer”, finally declared the young Milanese who since then, after licking her wounds, preferred to disappear from circulation and start a new life without him.
With his charm and elegance, Casiraghi conquered the people of the Principality of Monaco. Still, above all, Prince Ranieri, who had complete trust in him, considered Stefano the right man for Carolina. “Stefano wasn’t used to letting his emotions show in public – said Stefano Brenna, one of his best friends and official photographer -. He was very measured because he was very well educated. He had a very lively intelligence that allowed him to absorb everything like a sponge. He knew how to be a team player; he was humble and supported by solid principles. Prince Rainier treated him like a son.” Stefano Casiraghi represents the perfect companion: a good guy with a good head on his shoulders, a strong entrepreneurial flair, a sports enthusiast and a big heart. This time, Carolina’s father has no doubts and approves of him unconditionally: he is the perfect husband for his daughter.
A few months after meeting on a cruise, their marriage is announced: A new immortal romantic chapter is about to be taken.
The one between Caroline of Monaco and Stefano Casiraghi was one of the most royal love stories. The princess is pregnant with Andrea, who will be born in June – but in the Principality, still saddened by the death of Grace the previous year, this happy event brings a smile to many faces, starting from that of the sovereign. On 29 December 1983, Carolina of Monaco and Stefano Casiraghi married civilly (only in February 1993 was the marriage legitimised by Pope John Paul II) in the Hall of Mirrors of Palazzo Grimaldi. A sober ceremony that sees the bride wearing a simple cream-coloured silk dress. Carolina, who wears a ribbon in her hair, is already waiting for Andrea. He will be born on 28 June 1984. Within four years, two more children will be born: Charlotte, born on 3 August 1986, and Pierre, born on 5 September 1987. Three blond and splendid children are born: Together, they are beautiful, very much in love, very sporty, shamelessly happy, a natural cover couple.
After his marriage to Carolina, Stefano Casiraghi was nicknamed Carolino, also due to the vital impulse he managed to give to the flourishing financial activity of the Principality of Monaco. In a short time, he managed to gain the full trust of his (father-in-law) Prince Rainier III, who came to adore him. All the tabloids are for him and the Princess. Their loving gazes illuminated their looks, eyes that met and spoke without saying anything.
But while Carolina always smiles in the photos, Stefano is immortalised sulking. In a 1986 interview, he said: “I’m shy, and it’s just another way to defend myself from people I don’t know. To each his shell. And then I don’t like talking about my private life.” For him, the family came first of all: in honour of his children, he gave Carolina the Pacha III, a prestigious vintage motor boat from 1931 whose name represented the acronym of Pierre, Andrea and Charlotte.
Then comes October 3, 1990. It’s a Wednesday; Caroline is in Paris, and Stefano has recently turned thirty and is involved in the Offshore Championship, of which he holds the world title. He says goodbye to his parents, Giancarlo and Fernanda, at the port of the Principality and leaves aboard his catamaran Pinot di Pinot. He pushes hard, perhaps even reaching 180, but the sea is rough, the sky dark, the air thick with sirocco. The boat hits a wave, rears up, then capsizes and disappears with the pilot still on board. When the body resurfaces a few minutes later, it already knows that Stefano is dead. Caroline, on the other hand, doesn’t know it yet. She’s at the hairdresser’s, where her father’s phone call reaches her. Carolina was terrified of that sport. It is said that he was seriously considering retiring for love.
A terrible accident off-shore brutally took him away in 1990. In addition to his beloved wife, Stefano Casiraghi left behind his three children. Stefano’s death upset Carolina’s life forever. There is no doubt that the only great love of her life is and will always remain Stefano Casiraghi. One day, they will walk together again.