Princess Stephanie of Monaco denied suggestions yesterday that she was the illegal, under-age driver in the car accident that killed her mother, Princess Grace, 20 years ago.
Speaking publicly about the crash for the first time, Stephanie, 37, told the magazine, Paris Match: "I did not drive. That's clear." Speculation that Stephanie was driving the royal Rover 3500 when it plunged off a cliff on a mountain road near Nice, 10 miles from Monaco, has been revived recently by a book by the respected French investigative writer, Bernard Violet.
The book quotes the French police chief who investigated the accident as saying the Monaco authorities did everything they could to block a proper inquiry and steer suspicion away from Stephanie. But the book leaves open the question of who was driving.
The princess, youngest child of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, was 17 at the time of the accident. The minimum driving age in France is 18.
French and British newspapers reported 20 years ago that there was considerable evidence – including comments by a witness – that Stephanie was driving the car.
The princess told Paris Match she was speaking out now because "I can't take it anymore. When I read in the newspapers that I killed my mother, it is simply horrible."
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