Last Tuesday His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover and Her Serene Highness Princess Stephanie of Monaco issued a statement to the press regarding their unhappiness with the upcoming film, Grace of Monaco, and the article about the film that appeared in the French magazine, Paris Match:
Following the publication of an article in the weekly magazine Paris Match (#3319, pages 70-71), the Palais Princier de Monaco wishes to bring the following clarification:
HSH Prince Albert II, HRH the Princess of Hanover and HSH Princess Stephanie of Monaco have no alternative but to clear up any confusion resulting from incorrect statements made by the producers of a feature film, given the temporary or definitive title Grace of Monaco, which claims to be about their parents.
According to these statements, the ‘Palace [sic]’ is said to have been ‘reassured by the producers’ unwavering standards with respect to credibility” and ‘did not request any significant changes to the script [sic].’
Having in no way been associated with this project, Their Serene Highnesses were quite surprised when they received the script. The Palais had submitted many requests for changes to the producers of the film, not all of which were taken into consideration.
Consequently, the Princely family wishes to emphasize that this film is by no means a biopic. It recounts one page, rewritten and ‘glamorized’ for no good reason, in the history of the Principality of Monaco and their Family which includes both major historical untruths and a series of purely fictional scenes.
The Palais Princier de Monaco cannot accept that, today, for commercial reasons, the producers of this film imply that they have received Their Serene Highnesses’ support in any way whatsoever, this is not the case.
Days later, Grace of Monaco director, Mr. Olivier Dahan, spoke with the French newspaper, Le Journal de Dimanche, to share his thoughts regarding the mini-controversy. Here is what he had to say (rough translation):
What do you think of the latest development/statement made by the family of Monaco, it sounds like a denial?
I think there is a misunderstanding. The Paris Match article has been misunderstood. We never asked them to endorse anything. Three weeks after the start of filming, we met Prince Albert and Princess Caroline at the Palace. With respect we also sent them the script. They had made a few remarks. For those who have appeared relevant, we came back to them with corrections, but not all.
They wanted me not to put too much emphasis on feelings of anti-France Monaco at the time. The film takes place in 1962. France and Monaco were going through a political crisis since General de Gaulle wanted to recover taxes and taxes on French companies residing in the principality. It is a part of the background of the film. I could not respond positively to this type of change.
They also accuse you of having “rewritten and glamorizing” the history of Monaco.
It is not I who ‘glamorizes’ the principality. They [the principality] do that themselves. But, I do not want controversy. I just be regarded as an artist who claims his freedom and the right to fiction. Of course there are historical inaccuracies. General de Gaulle has never set foot at the ball of the Red Cross. But, I needed it to tell my story.
It is perhaps that is why they are precisely displeased …
I am not a journalist or historian. I am an artist. I have not made a biopic. I hate biopics in general. I did, in any subjectivity, human portrait of a modern woman who wants to reconcile her family, her husband, her career. But, who will give up her career and invent another role. And, it will be painful. When I met the Grimaldi family, that’s what I tried to explain and then I had the feeling of being listened to.
Perhaps more by Albert than Caroline. They are attached to the historical side of the story. Since May, we’ve only had good relations. They gave us filming permits. Today, they changed their minds. But, I understand their point of view. After all, it is their mother. I do not want to provoke anyone. Only say that it’s the cinema.