“This is my first interview, my first time going public…I’m ready to step out and share my story.”
“The eldest daughter of Prince Albert II, Jazmin lives in New York, where she attended Fordham University and is now embarking on a career as a singer and actress. She’s calling, though, from the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, where she’s visiting for the baptism of her twin baby half-sister and -brother. Theatrically, she describes the majestic living room where she’s sitting, its pastel walls adorned with portraits of the late Princess Grace as she’s more traditionally remembered: demure Hollywood ingenue, elegant wife of Rainier III, and muse to fashion houses from Hermès to Christian Dior before she was killed in a car crash in 1982, at the age of 52.
Another of Jazmin’s favorite spots in Monaco’s sprawling, 235-room historic fortress on the French Riviera is the late princess’s dressing room, where many of her keepsakes are permanently enshrined. Jazmin, who shares her grandmother’s creamy complexion and is currently growing out a blonde pixie cut, was introduced to Kelly through her films. “One of my first and fondest memories involving my grandmother was watching High Society,” she says of the 1956 musical, in which Kelly starred alongside Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. “It was the first time I realized we had a connection. I’m passionate about acting, singing, and dancing,” adds Jazmin. “I saw that in her in this movie. It was a real goose-bumps moment for me.”
Grace’s grand mystique owes much to her ability to navigate disparate worlds, which is something Jazmin has been forced to do in her own life. As Jazmin weaves together an understanding of her grandmother, she is also working to build a relationship with her father. Jazmin’s mother, Tamara Rotolo, met Prince Albert in 1991 while vacationing on the Côte d’Azur. The pair had a brief relationship but never married, and after Rotolo became pregnant with Jazmin, she decided to raise her daughter away from the intense spotlight of royal life. Like Grace, Jazmin grew up in the U.S. Born in Palm Springs and raised in Palm Desert and Orange County, she had a childhood characterized by a conspicuous normalcy: She got straight A’s through Catholic school, played the forward position on her middle school’s basketball team, and, also like her grandmother, displayed an early appetite for the stage, performing with her church choir and in school plays. But she didn’t connect with her father until later on, and just over a decade ago, at the age of 11, she visited Monaco for the first time. The trip marked a turning point that would redefine their relationship. “I wanted that moment to connect with my father, to get to know him, and to have him get to know me,” Jazmin says. “Not having had that figure around, I missed that. It’s wonderful that it happened when it did, and we’ve been enjoying a great relationship ever since.”
The fact that she was the prince’s daughter was never a surprise to Jazmin; her mother, with whom she is close, was always honest about her lineage, and communicated occasional messages from her father over the years. “It’s just what it was,” she says. But having developed a tendency toward privacy, Jazmin didn’t delve into her “situation” with friends, and while rumors had been brewing in Europe, they were slow to cross the Atlantic. Only once the media pieced together Jazmin’s story, and the prince formally acknowledged her as his daughter in 2006, did the less appealing trappings of royalty enter her life. In Jazmin’s case, that meant the arrival of the paparazzi—just in time for puberty, she notes. “I was 14, getting ready to go to high school, when it hit the media that my father had a daughter, and it was me,” Jazmin remembers. “It’s a difficult time for any young adult, and it was an adjustment to have that attention. But I knew it was going to come someday.” She adds candidly, “This is my first interview, my first time going public. It’s delicate, but I think I’m ready to step out and share my story a little bit further.”
Jazmin has since been welcomed warmly by the prince and his wife of four years, Princess Charlene (formerly Wittstock), and has traveled to Monaco many times, sometimes accompanied by Rotolo. On this most recent trip, Jazmin has plans to attend one of the principality’s most extravagant annual events, the Grand Prix, but her main focus is on spending time with her new siblings, Gabriella, Countess of Carladès, and Jacques, Monaco’s heir apparent. “I can’t wait to be a sister to them and watch them grow up,” she says dotingly. “They have these beautiful, big blue eyes—and they are both already so well behaved!” Jazmin is also cultivating a relationship with her 11-year-old half-brother, Alexandre Coste, the prince’s son from another relationship. (As Monegasque law requires an heir’s parents to have married, neither is in line for the throne, though both are eligible for a portion of their father’s estate.) “We like to share family meals, have barbecues, go to the beach, everything a normal family does,” Jazmin says of a typical visit to Monaco. “Except with heavy scheduling.”
Jazmin has struck up a particularly close friendship with her cousin Pauline Ducruet, 21, who also lives in New York. In Monaco, they recently lodged together with Pauline’s mother, Princess Stéphanie, and Jazmin’s other cousins Louis and Camille. In New York, the girls attend film premieres together, brave sample sales, and—both foodies—dine out as often as possible. Jazmin spends much of her time immersed in the arts, whether at Cinema Society screenings or music venues like Le Poisson Rouge and the Village Vanguard.
She has also been finding her own voice, so to speak, which, it turns out, is operatically trained and pairs marvelously with an upright bass. After singing with a friend’s band in college, she launched her solo career with a cabaret-style showcase, Fall in Love With Jaz (“The pun is intended,” she says wryly), at Manhattan’s Duplex Theatre last February. Backed by her twangy four-piece band (and citing inspirations from Sia to Freddie Mercury), Jazmin performed soulful takes on musical standards and is planning a follow-up show this fall. At the same time, she has her eye on a graduate degree in international relations, and—having studied business at Fordham and worked for the U.N.’s World Food Programme—hopes, down the line, to marry humanitarianism with the arts professionally. At the ripe age of 14, she founded the Jazmin Fund, an ongoing philanthropic project currently focused on bringing basic classroom and medical supplies to Fijian villages. Jazmin’s long-term goal with the fund is to return to Fiji and build a community center where local children can engage with music and other arts.
Draped in the season’s most elegant gowns, Jazmin personified Old Hollywood glamour while sitting for the pictures in this story, shot by Michael Avedon, whose late grandfather Richard Avedon photographed Grace Kelly. Smiling, she remembers just how early her flair for the dramatic took hold, beginning with her school roles as Belle and Cinderella. “How funny,” Jazmin says, “that I would play the ingenue.” HARPERS BAZAAR
BY | M A R I E J O L I E