Princess Alexandra of Hanover's transformation from cheeky child to belle of the ball

By Miriam Foley

Pretty, talented and sweet 16, Princess Alexandra boasts an impressive lineage that entwines the glamour of the Grimaldis with the august House of Hanover - and the young royal is making her own mark, too. Monaco's Rose Ball in March was her splashy debut, where the latest royal star arrived on the scene alongside her famously stylish mother Princess Caroline and big sister Charlotte Casiraghi.

Caroline's youngest, and the only child from her marriage to Prince Ernst of Hanover, Alexandra caused flashbulbs to pop when she arrived at one of the principality's most glittering events dressed in a baby pink organza dress and matching lightweight coat by Chanel.

But what proved most captivating at the Cuba-themed gala was her irresistible joie-de-vivre, as she posed smiling brightly next to her older siblings before hitting the dance floor.

TAP TO VIEW GALLERYPrincess Alexandra Princess Alexandra is the youngest child of Princess Caroline of Monaco

Alexandra's blonde looks and outgoing, relaxed nature had already made her a popular member of the Monegasque royal family, where she's been upping her profile recently by appearing at more public engagements.

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A budding fashionista, she attended the Chanel Métiers d'Art show in Rome last December with her mother, displaying a sense of chic very much in line with Caroline's own. Immaculately clad in classic monochrome, she'd added a touch of warm colour on her lips and had painted her nails dark crimson.

Princess Alexandra twirling at the Monaco Rose Ball The 16-year-old made her debut at the Monaco Rose Ball this year

If Alexandra is taking on the stylish mantle of the Grimaldi women, she is also carrying forward the family's sporting achievements. She has become a talented competitive figure skater, since, aged ten, she was given skates as a Christmas present, with what began as a hobby transforming into a true passion that sees her skate every day.

It's practice which is already paying off. Last year saw the Upper-Austria-born 'Ice Princess' take part in two figure-skating competitions at international level, representing Monaco at the 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival, and competing in the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

Speaking at the event to award-winning Czech figure skater Tomás Verner in her first-ever interview, the young princess showed that, when she's not doing pirouettes, her feet are firmly on the ice.

Asked if protocol should be followed when addressing her, Alexandra, who is officially styled as Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Hanover, and is a descendant of Queen Victoria and German Emperor Wilhelm II, replied happily: "You can just call me Alex."

Princess Alexandra figure skating Alexandra has become a talented competitive figure skater

The teenage royal, who is also a keen footballer and skier, also humbly revealed that she feels "really lucky" to be able to compete, "because Monaco is a small country and we're not very many skaters, so I do have the opportunity and the chance to be here."

She's spoilt for choice when it comes to family sporting idols, including two of Olympic stature – her uncle, Prince Albert, who participated in five Winter Games, and is a member of the International Olympic Committee; and her aunt, Princess Charlene, who represented her native South Africa as a swimmer at the 2000 Games.

But the person Alexandra most looks up to is Italian figure skater Carolina Kostner, an Olympic, World and European champion. "She inspires me," said Alexandra, who may well have her sights set on the Olympics herself.

Of course, only time will tell if this vivacious young princess will win herself another title, but it seems certain she'll have fun along the way.

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