Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon dies at the age of 70

Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon dies at the age of 70

Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon, who owned the sprawling Château de Haroué estate in France, dies at the age of 70

  • French aristocrat leaves behind children Victoria, 37, and Sebastian-Marc, 36
  • Read More:  James Middleton reveals he ‘wrote letters’ to parents Michael and Carole to convince them to let him have a dog as a child

French aristocrat Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon has passed away at the age of 70.

The mother-of-two – whose title was merely honorific – was the owner of the Château de Haroué in Northeastern France.

The 18th Century building boasts 82 rooms and welcomed high-profile visitors such as the Queen Mother and Hubert de Givenchy over the years.

Minnie was born in November 1953 in the exclusive Boulogne-Billancourt neighbourhood of Paris and passed away on 12 May 2023 from an unnamed illness.

Her father Marc – who died of a heart attack in 1982 – was the last Prince of Beauvau-Craon.

Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon pictured with the late fashion designer Philippe Venet in 2012

The Château de Haroué in Northeastern France boasts 82 rooms and hosted the Queen Mother for eight days in 1979

The Beauvau-Craons were a French noble family who were descended from the princely title, Prince of Craon. 

The title was used by the family from 1722 when they were seen as Princes of the Holy Roman Empire.

King Louis XV of France formally recognised the family’s title in 1755. However, Princess Minnie’s title was only honorific.  

Following her father’s death, Princess Minnie inherited the magnificent château – which boasts 12 towers and its own moat – when she was only 29 years old.

Over the next 40 years, the aristocrat worked to transform the château into a cultural destination. 

Speaking to the New York Times in 2013, Minnie said: ‘When you inherit something, you owe some respect to your forbearers.

‘I’m determined to put life into Haroué. I want to put it in the map, to make it a destination.’ 

Although her father had first started welcoming members of the public to the family home in 1964, Minnie hosted a series of fashion events, art exhibitions and opera shows on the estate.

Philippe Venet, Minnie de Beauvau-Craon and Hubert de Givenchy pictured attending a gala together in February 2010

Princess Minnie de Beauvau Craon pictured receiving Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2012 at her family home in front of her children Victoria and Sebastian-Marc Botana de Beauvau-Craon

In 2010, Minnie hosted a fashion exhibition of couture eveningwear in the château – which had been curated by Hubert de Givenchy. 

Two years later, Minnie was awarded an Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her contribution to the arts. 

When the Queen Mother visited the estate for eight days in 1979, she reportedly brought her own entourage with her.

In his 2009 book Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The Official Biography, William Shawcross wrote: ‘The Queen Mother’s hostess was struck by the fact that, along with her police officer, her dresser, two chauffers, a footman and a page (whose main task appeared to be mixing extremely dry martinis), she brought a hairdresser with a broken arm.

‘This, [Minnie’s mother] gathered, was because Queen Elizabeth wanted him to see France.’  

Philippe Venet, Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon and Hubert de Givenchy pose together at Chateau d’Haroue ahead of a joint fashion exhibition  

Left: Princess Minnie de Beauvau Craon (right) with her sister Princess Diane de Beauvau Craom in March 2013. Right: Princess Minnie de Beauvau Craon in 2015

Minnie married her first husband art broken Duncan Hugh McLaren in 1978. Eight years later, she tied the knot with Javier Botana. 

The couple – who later separated – share their two children Victoria, 37, and Sebastian-Marc, 36.

In 2021, Minnie opened up about her life’s work in the a book about the château published by her daughter.

She explained in the book Château d’Haroué: The Home of the Princes de Beauvau-Craon: ‘The attachment I now feel to Haroué cannot be explained in any rational way; it is beyond reason.

‘It is not emotional nor is it quantifiable. Is it my life, my soul and my anchor. This house is a part of me.’  

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