Prince Louis II of Monaco, King Gustav V of Sweden, and Princess Ghislaine of Monaco in 1947.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Keystone-France.

In 1946, Ghislaine Marie Françoise Dommanget (1900-1991) married Prince Louis II of Monaco (1870-1949). Before her marriage, Ghislaine was an actress. She had been married once before her union to the grandfather of Prince Rainier. The Dowager Princess of Monaco weighed in on what it was like being the consort of the Monegasque sovereign in an interview she gave in 1962. In 1964, Princess Ghislaine published her memoirs; a move that did not go over well with the princely family. The Dowager Princess of Monaco resided in Paris after the death of Prince Louis. She died there in 1991.

Following are some of the recollections of Princess Ghislaine on her experience of being the Princess Consort of Monaco:

“I can understand why Princess Grace wants to return to motion-picture work. It’s no fun to be the reigning princess of Monaco. Life as I lived it and as Princess Grace must be living it now in the Grimaldi Palace is often stuffy and frequently painful. Most of the time I dreamed of the day when I would leave there. I recall a morning soon after my marriage to Prince Louis when I woke with a high fever. I told my husband that I wouldn’t be able to attend a state lunch that had been planned.” Louis II’s reply was straight to the point: “‘Madame, one doesn’t become ill here until after lunch.’ I can understand what she’s going through. A few weeks of movie work would be such a relief from her terrible bondage of rank and position. What a heartbreak to have a contract in your hands and then have to give it up or put it off.” 

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