Princess Grace Foundation reinvents itself to battle Covid-19

CHU Chambéry 2018
CHU Chambéry 2018

Founded in 1964, the Princess Grace Foundation annually contributes considerable help to humanitarian projects which benefit children and also helps students through cultural projects. In the midst of the health crisis, the foundation has adapted its efforts to continue working for the young people who depend on it.

“Since going into lockdown, children have not necessarily been the most affected by the crisis so many housing projects for the parents of sick children (« Maisons des parents »)* have had to close,” explains Caroline O’Conor, Director of the Princess Grace Foundation. “Parents therefore have to find other accommodation which is close to the hospital. Usually they have to fall back on hotels which are unfortunately much more expensive.”

€80,000 extra for parents’ hospital accommodation

Due to the difficulties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the foundation has had to adapt its methods in order to continue helping hospitalised children and their families.

“In Lyon, practically all paediatric intensive care units have been repurposed to receive adults in intensive care,” highlights Caroline O’Conor. “The children who would normally be cared for there were transferred to Necker Hospital in Paris, forcing people to go to the capital regardless of all the financial constraints that go along with it such as transport and accommodation.”

The foundation thus donated €80,000 to help ease the toll placed on the families most in need.

An unprecedented crisis

Created by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1964, the foundation initially focused on cultural missions, helping artists and craftsmen to make a living from their work. In 1982, after the Princess’s death, her daughter Princess Caroline of Hanover took over and decided to redirect the work at humanitarian aid.

In 1990, the foundation became a partner of Necker–Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris before expanding its reach across the country.

“Today the charity work and humanitarian aid is where the majority of the foundation’s donations go,” explains Caroline O’Conor. “We are partners with roughly 62 hospitals in France.”

Postponement of the Rose Ball

Although the foundation operates mainly on its own funds, it also benefits from certain donations including those related to the Rose Ball**. It is one of the largest fundraisers of the year, organised by the Monte-Carlo SBM, where a ticket costs roughly €800.

“Unfortunately, the Ball did not take place this March. We will see if it can be postponed until later this year but it’s clear that the Rose Ball brings in vital funds to the foundation.”

If the event were to be cancelled, the Princess Grace Foundation would have to significantly reduce its budget. “We normally finance paediatric medical research by supporting laboratories. This year we are going to have to adapt.”

* Due to long-term hospitalisation being stressful, hotels being often too expensive and medical facilities being not suitable solutions for accompanying hospitalised children, « Maisons des parents » offer a warm and friendly environment to ensure the children’s well-being. The Foundation contributes financially to the construction, renovation and maintenance of « Maisons des parents » throughout France.

** Le Bal de la Rose (The Rose Ball) was established by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1954. It is organised in March every year by the Monte-Carlo SBM group in the glamorous Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting Monte-Carlo.

Princess Grace Foundation: 2018 in figures

Paediatric research

  • €3.17m for equipment in the new paediatric ward of Monaco Hospital
  • €637,793 to help 2,307 children in 62 French paediatric hospitals
  • €420,000 to paediatric medical research labs
  • €150,000 to build and renovate two accommodations for parents of sick children (out of a total of €1.5m in 16 years)
  • €24,500 to local charities at Christmas time
  • €10,000 international charity projects

Cultural projects 

  • €132,530 in grants for young student artists
  • €24,000 to artists recognised by the Prince Pierre Foundation
  • €192,369 to Princess Grace Irish Library
  • €231,933 to independent shops in Monaco

Significant budget

The Rose Ball, which takes place every spring, is the major source of funds for the Foundation (€468,449 raised in 2018). Individual donations accounted for €139,884 in 2018. The Foundation has always donated 100% of its donations each year to charity projects which benefit children and young people.

To make a donation: by cheque in the name of the Princess Grace Foundation, BP 520, MC98015 Monaco Cedex; by bank transfer to CFM Indosuez Wealth, IBAN MC49 1273 9000 7001 2497 4000X02 – BIC CFMOMCMXXXX. More info: –