The Irish Family History of Princess Charlene of Monaco

By now you have probably heard that "New research has traced Princess Charlene of Monaco's ancestors back to the 1520s and a prominent Dublin family called the Fagans1."

There is a wonderful two-part series from Eneclann's own Fiona Fitzsimons, found in the issues of Irish Lives Remembered, detailing the Fagan Family (and Princess Charlene of Monaco's connection)...

From "The Irish Family History of Princess Charlene of Monaco" Part I. The Fagans of Feltrim: By Fiona Fitzsimons2, Eneclann:

"It's a truth universally acknowledged that a family in possession of a good fortune has the winds of history behind them. In Ireland, the Fagans were one such family. They arrived in Ireland shortly after the Norman Conquest, and established a landed base in County Meath. In the early 1500s, a branch broke away from their conventional background as landed gentry and became merchants based in Dublin city. At a time when America was newly discovered, and Ireland was still a remote island on the edge of Europe, the Fagans sailed across seas and oceans to trade in iron, wines, spice, jewels, timber, animal hides and provisions.

Even as the Fagan family amassed a huge fortune, their influence in their adopted city grew. They served as Dublin Mayors, and were key figures in the foundation in 1592 of Trinity College Dublin, and in 1660 of the Phoenix Park. In the early 1600s a dynastic marriage of second-cousins concentrated all wealth within the family, and established a dynasty that survived 500 years to the present day.

The Fagan's enormous wealth attracted envy and skulduggery, and my research revealed many stories of how they 'dodged a bullet' to live another day. I discovered many tales, some of them hair-raising, some poignant, including a confrontation with pirates; a young heir cheated out of his inheritance by a corrupt government official; an illegitimate girl born in the Paris Opera whose descendants became a Queen; and of course and Olympian who became a princess.

Through it all, the Fagans survived the tumult of history, because of their ability to build connections and to establish communications linking people across continents.

Part 1 can be found here, and part 2 here.


1 Pól Ó Conghaile.Princess Charlene of Monaco's Irish ancestry revealed. Independent House, Dublin, 30 July 2014. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.
2 Fitzsimons, Fiona. "The Irish Family History of Princess Charlene of Monaco." Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy Magazine. November/December 2014. Irish Lives Remembered Ltd., Nov.-Dec. 2014. Web. 01 Sept. 2015.