Windsors Aren't Only Royals With Scandals

ByABC News

July 26, 2001 -- Diana, Princess of Wales, may have been the queen of hearts, but she was also queen of the tabloids. Publications all over the globe chronicled everything to do with her, from her fashions to her unhappy marriage to her tragic death. But Diana was not the only royal to struggle with the glare of constant publicity. Here's a look at some of the other princes and princesses who live in the spotlight.

Britain: Sophie, Countess of Wessex

When commoner Sophie Rhys-Jones married Prince Edward, the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II, she vowed to keep her life as normal as possible — which included running her own PR firm. But earlier this year, Sophie fell victim to a tabloid sting. She made indiscreet comments about the royal family to a reporter posing as an Arab sheik and potential client. The countess also hinted that her royal connections were good for business. The debacle sparked a debate about whether outside careers posed a conflict of interest for royals.

Bottom line: Sophie bears a resemblance to the late Princess Diana, but has none of her star power. But from now on, she'll probably be more careful.

Norway: Crown Prince Haakon Magnus

The future King of Norway raised a lot of eyebrows in December 2000 when he announced his engagement to his live-in girlfriend. Not only is Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby a commoner, but she has a young son who was born out of wedlock and an ex-boyfriend who has been convicted of drug charge. The bride-to-be, now a student at the University of Oslo, previously worked as a waitress and a strawberry picker. Haakon will one day be head of the state Lutheran church, so his choice of an unwed mother as the future queen has caused some controversy.

Bottom line: Because so many Norwegian couples live together and have children without getting married, Haakon's future subjects aren't likely to remain fazed for long.

Sweden: Crown Princess Victoria

The stress of always being in the public eye has taken a toll on Victoria. The press criticized the pretty, wholesome-looking brunette for being too plump, with one magazine sniping that the princess looked as if she had "eaten too many hamburgers." The press at first exulted as Victoria slimmed down, but the public became concerned when she grew gaunt and almost skeletal. In late 1997, her parents, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, released a statement acknowledging the 20-year-old heir to the throne had an eating disorder and was getting professional help.

Bottom line: Victoria, now 25, will never escape the limelight. The royal family is very popular in Sweden, and one day Victoria will ascend the throne in her own right. The public is naturally very curious about her, and who she will eventually choose as her husband and consort.

Netherlands: Crown Prince Willem-Alexander

The heir to the Dutch throne earned the nickname "the Prince of Fun" for his love of the nightlife, and his romances have been highly publicized. There was Yolande Adriaansens, a Dutch commoner, but her romance with the prince ended when she moved to New York City and nasty rumors circulated that she supplemented her income by working for a telephone sex line. And the prince's mum apparently wasn't too pleased with Frederique van de Waal, an underwear model. The Dutch press also blamed Queen Beatrix for putting the kibosh on her son's relationship with Emily Bremers, daughter of an orthodontist.

Finally, Willem-Alexander announced his engagement to Maxima Zorreguieta. This time the problem is not the future bride herself, but her father. He was a member of Argentina's former junta, a repressive regime blamed for torturing and killing thousands. Some politicians even said Willem-Alexander should renounce his right to the throne if he insisted on marrying Zorreguieta.

Bottom line: Since then things have calmed down. Zorreguieta's parents won't be coming to the royal wedding, and she's taken care to distance herself from her dad's past. She has also been studying Dutch, which should endear her to her fiancé's future subjects.

Denmark: Crown Prince Frederik

He's certainly no melancholy Dane. Frederik, 33, is a favorite with the ladies, but apparently his mother, Queen Margarethe II, hasn't considered any of them marriage material. Among Frederik's gal pals: a Danish pop singer, an underwear model (yep, princes seem to like underwear models), and a young lady who was unwise enough to be photographed topless while boating with the prince.

Bottom line: He's handsome, athletic (this spring, he went on a dogsled trek in Greenland), and the most eligible bachelor in Scandinavia. And he's got some time to play the field before he has to settle down and produce an heir. His younger brother, Prince Joachim, is married and has a young son, which takes some of the pressure off Frederik.

Crown Princess Masako

There has never been a hint of scandal attached to Crown Princess Masako, but she has suffered from the intense pressure to produce an heir. Masako, a Harvard-educated diplomat, married Crown Prince Naruhito in 1993. She became pregnant in 1999 but suffered a miscarriage — which palace officials blamed on the intense media scrutiny. Early this year, the entire nation celebrated when the palace announced that the 37-year-old princess was again expecting.

Bottom line: Masako still feels the heat — to produce a son. Under the Japanese constitution, women cannot ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Monaco: Prince Albert

Such a little country, such a lot of scandal. When American movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainer III, it seemed like a fairy tale. But since the death of Princess Grace, her children have been never been out of the tabloid headlines for long.

Albert, the heir, now 43 and bald, apparently likes being playboy prince, and there has been a lot of speculation as to why he hasn't settled down yet. The prince has denied rumors that he's gay.

He certainly seems to enjoy female company: He's been linked with the likes of supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Angie Everhart. In 1992, the prince was hit with a paternity suit filed by a California woman who claimed Albert is the father of her daughter, Jazmine Grace Grimaldi. (Albert denied it.)

Bottom line: Albert may be the heir, but his father shows no signs of wanting to step down early. And he's often overshadowed by his elder sister, who has acted as first lady of Monaco since the death of Princess Grace.

Monaco: Princess Caroline

Caroline's personal life has been tumultuous, to say the least. When she was just 21, she married Philippe Junot, a much older French playboy. Her parents didn't think the marriage would last, and they were right. The couple divorced in 1980, after two years of less than wedded bliss.

In 1982, Caroline suffered the loss of her mother, Princess Grace, in an auto accident. The next year, Caroline married an Italian, Stefano Casiraghi. Their son Andrea was born six months later. They had two more children, Charlotte and Pierre. In 1990, Casiraghi was killed in an accident during a speedboat race.

The widowed Caroline was in shock for some time, but in 1991 her romance with French actor Vincent Lindon became public. In 1995, Caroline took up with a married man, Prince Ernst of Hanover. Ernst's wife eventually asked for a divorce. Caroline — already pregnant, according to the gossips — married Ernst. She gave birth in 1999 to Princess Alexandra of Hanover.

But that didn't mean the end of scandal for Caroline, thanks to her husband. In June, he was fined $440,000 by a German court for yelling over the phone at an editor of a newspaper that printed pictures of the prince urinating in public. The prince was earlier fined in connection with the beating of a disco owner on a Kenya island and for injuring a photographer in Austria.

Bottom line: Caroline may or may not tire of her hubby's churlishness. Meanwhile, she continues to fulfill royal duties in Monaco. And if for some reason her brother Albert doesn't marry, one of Caroline's children could eventually inherit the title.

Monaco: Princess Stephanie

Princess Stephanie seems never to have recovered from the trauma of the auto accident that killed her mother. For many years, rumors have persisted that it was the underage Stephanie who was at the wheel. But it seems that Princess Grace was driving, and lost control of the vehicle when she suffered a small stroke. Reportedly, she had been arguing with her daughter about Stephanie's boyfriend just before the accident.

Since her mother's death, Stephanie had a string of highly publicized romances and dabbled in careers as a model and pop singer. But the scandal sheets had a field day when the princess became pregnant by her bodyguard, Daniel Ducruet. Stephanie gave birth to Louis in 1992 and Pauline in 1994 before Prince Rainier finally gave his daughter permission to marry Ducruet. But the marriage didn't last long. Ducruet was caught on camera cavorting with a lady who bore the distinctive title of Miss Topless Belgium. Stephanie headed to divorce court.

When she gave birth to her next child, daughter Camille Marie Kelly, the princess declined to name the father. Gossip identified him as another of Stephanie's bodyguards.

But Steph's next exploit topped all her previous antics. She ran away with the circus. More specifically, a circus ringmaster and elephant trainer.The romance became public when the object of her affection, a Swiss named Franco Knie, announced plans to divorce his wife. Meanwhile, Stephanie and her children moved into a mobile home and started traveling with the circus.

Bottom line: The British tabloid The Sun summed it up in one pithy headline: Trailer Park Princess.

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