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Charlotte Casiraghi's cousin Pauline Ducruet holds court at the circus

18 JANUARY 2013

All eyes were on Pauline Ducruet at the opening of the Monte Carlo circus festival on Thursday. And no wonder, as Princess Stephanie's eldest daughter was a vision in an all-black ensemble complete with striking red lipstick.

Pauline is a known fan of black outfits, but this year the 18-year-old upped her fashion game from the more casual shirts and jeans, opting for a sleek jumpsuit with a sweetheart neckline and covered up with a black blazer.

 

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Whilst her cousin, Charlotte Casiraghi, is constantly hailed as one of Europe's most beautiful young royal ladies, pretty Pauline is fast blossoming into an equally attractive and poised young woman.

Striding alongside the elegant teen was her mother Princess Stephanie, uncle Prince Albert and his wife Charlene of Monaco who added a royal touch to the fun and games of the circus. The blue-blooded foursome laughed and applauded throughout the show which features impressive trapeze artists, juggling and clowns.

Charlene and Albert showed their fun side by donning the circus' brightly coloured scarves before the blonde beauty received a traditional 'rag bouquet' from one of the clowns.

An annual event, The International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo, is well loved by the Monegasque leaders who are invited to attend the opening night. The 10-day show, now in its 37th year, was founded in 1974 by Prince Rainier who was father to Albert and grandfather to Pauline.

Pauline is one of two children Stephanie had with her former bodyguard Daniel Ducruet. The princess fell for the dashing bodybuilder when he accompanied her on a tour to promote her music album in the early Nineties. Together the two welcomed a son named Louis and Pauline two years later. Whilst the couple married in 1995 they divorced a year later. Stephanie then went on to welcome another child, daughter Camille Marie Kelly Grimaldi in July 1998.

 

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Forty-seven-year-old Stephanie has spoken of the strong bond she shares with daughter Pauline. In an exclusive interview with HELLO! she said "My relationship with Pauline is special."

"She knows I will always be there to hold her hand. We have the same expressions and gestures. I tell her sometimes 'you are my mini me.'"

Stephanie has also commented she was keen to raise her children away from the spotlight, "to blossom away from prying eyes." As Pauline has grown up, however, she has been making a name for herself in the diving world.

Whilst her cousin Charlotte has undertaken an equestrian career Pauline's sporting prowess is more evident in the swimming pool.

In 2010 she took part in the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and was cheered on by Prince Albert, her parents and sister Camille. Then aged 16, Pauline struck up a friendship with British diving champion Tom Daley who went on take a bronze medal for Team GB last summer.