Princess Stephanie of Monaco, was keen for her daughters to "blossom away from prying eyes".And her elder girl, 17-year-old Pauline Ducruet, has done just that, transforming into a beautiful young woman and emerging as the new star of the principality.
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Pauline took centre stage as she headed the jury at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival last month. And in an exclusive interview with HELLO!, the young beauty said her appearance wasn't just a case of stepping out of her "mother’s shadow", rather something she "wanted to do herself". The mother-daughter duo were full of tender praise for each other in the joint interview.“My relationship with Pauline is special,” said Stephanie, as she told of the unbreakable bonds that unite them. “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’.”
And doting mum Stephanie is often seen cheering on Pauline at diving events.The young royal has taken part in several high profile competitions including the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore.She's 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. The two welcomed Pauline two years after her brother Louis was born - and married in 1995, but divorced a year later. Stephanie went on to have another child, daughter Camille in July 1998 with former palace bodyguard Jean-Raymond Gottlieb - although the Monegasque royal has never confirmed he is the father.