Inside Rob Lowe's Short-Lived Romance With Princess Stephanie Of Monaco

Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie of Monaco seemed like the ideal couple in 1986 — a princess and a rising star, both with sparkling blue eyes and a penchant for partying. Both Lowe and Stephanie were somewhat infamous for having many lovers in the '80s, which weirdly made them seem like a perfect match for one another.

Prior to dating Stephanie, Lowe was involved with fellow actor Melissa Gilbert but was also rumored to have cheated on her several times, most notably with his "The Hotel New Hampshire" co-star Nastassja Kinski. Stephanie, meanwhile, had a slew of ex-boyfriends by the time she turned 21, including Anthony Delon (son of French actor Alain Delon), Alain Prost (a married race car driver 10 years her senior), and actor Christopher Lambert, among others.

When Lowe and Stephanie got together, the press ate it up — Hollywood's heartthrob and a real-life princess! And the pair gave the media lots to talk about, with public displays of affection and plenty of rumors. Let's take a throwback look inside the whirlwind romance between Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie of Monaco.

Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie were crushing on each other before they ever met

Back in the mid-1980s, decades before smartphones and social media, even celebrities had to do things the hard way. Although they lived on separate continents, Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie had to find a way to let each other know they were smitten. According to a 1986 article in People, Lowe told Joan Rivers on "The Tonight Show" that Stephanie was his dream date and Stephanie responded via the French magazine Globe saying she thought Lowe was cute.

In Lowe's 2011 memoir, "Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography," he wrote that a friend whose company worked security for the Grimaldi family offered to introduce him to Stephanie. Years prior to their meeting, Lowe suggested that Stephanie play opposite him in "Oxford Blues." "The film deals with a cocky American who has a crush on a European princess and schemes to meet her. I suggest we try to get Princess Stephanie of Monaco for the role. It would require little acting on her part, or mine either, since she's a real princess and I have a crush on her from afar," Lowe wrote in his memoir. Apparently, someone had reached out to the princess, but they never heard back, so Lowe was lucky he had a friend who was willing to make the introduction.

They had a steamy affair in Paris

When Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie of Monaco finally met in person, sparks flew. The pair connected in Paris where small talk led to a dinner date that then escalated quickly into more. "By the time the entrees arrive, she is sitting on my lap. By dessert, neither of us is interested in anything other than getting the hell out of there and back to her apartment," Lowe revealed in his memoir.

The intensity of their connection was such that Stephanie excused herself during dinner and arranged for her butler to move her current boyfriend's belongings out of her apartment so that Lowe could take his place.

In his book, Lowe spoke about life with Stephanie in Paris, describing waking up late, exploring the city together, shopping, drinking, and partying until dawn. The lifestyle didn't seem to be sustainable, especially for a working actor, but when you're in love it feels like anything is possible!

Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie went public with their love

When Rob Lowe returned to the states with Princess Stephanie by his side, the two began making headlines with their romance. They were spotted at a dinner party at famed Hollywood restaurant The Ivy, making out amid a group of Lowe's friends. The couple had officially captured the attention of the public, but that did nothing to curb their wild-child behavior and PDA-filled date nights.

A week after the dinner party at The Ivy, they appeared together in Dallas at the Princess Grace Foundation junior gala. Apparently, Lowe and Stephanie showed up to the event an hour and a half late, opting to go out for dinner with friends and take their time. "Princess Stephanie and Lowe sat next to each other and hugged and kissed throughout their courses ... Between kisses and food, they smoked a lot," The Dallas Morning News reported.

When the pair finally showed up to the gala, they were so caught up in each other that they ended up ignoring the people who had spent $125 apiece for a chance to mingle with royalty. Maybe it wasn't the most courteous thing to do, but fans ultimately didn't seem to mind. Lowe and Stephanie's youth, beauty, and star power made them glamorous and captivating to the public.

They met each other's very different families

Despite their spark and similarities, Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie came from starkly different backgrounds. Stephanie was born into royalty, while Lowe spent much of his childhood in Dayton, Ohio, the child of a teacher and a lawyer. Suffice it to say there was a bit of culture shock when the two met each other's families.

Lowe wrote in his memoir that when he brought Stephanie home to meet his mother, his mother was amid what he called a psychotic break, having just come off the drug Halcion. Lowe described Stephanie sitting in the living room as he tried to console his mother (she was convinced she had been poisoned). "I should have sent the princess packing, called the family into a room, and gotten to the bottom of all the insanity," Lowe wrote.

When it came time for Lowe to meet Stephanie's father, things were less chaotic but still icy. Stephanie hadn't introduced Lowe to her dad, Prince Rainier, while in Paris, but they all attended the Princess Grace Foundation gala in Dallas. The Prince seemed very uninterested in meeting Lowe. "He's glancing at me from time to time, but it's clear he has no intention of saying hello," Lowe wrote. Eventually, Lowe walked up and introduced himself, saying, "I'm Rob Lowe, I'm hosting this event and dating your daughter. Welcome to the United States." The bold move left the prince and onlookers agog.

Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie broke up rather quickly

While Princess Stephanie had a reputation for being a heartbreaker, it was Rob Lowe who ultimately ended their relationship. It turned out her jet-setting, hard-partying lifestyle was just too much for the actor (and he was a member of the Brat Pack). Also, Lowe was put off by the way Stephanie and her friends didn't seem to really do anything, while he was a working actor.

Lowe spoke about the end of the relationship on "The Jess Cagle Show," explaining, "[T]he lifestyle of sleeping till 1 o'clock in Paris, and then going to nightclubs, and having dinners with no less than 15 people every night. I was like a kid who needed to work." Of course, it was obviously a good time while it lasted, and Lowe said of the relationship, "It was really super fun. ... It kind of feels like a dream." Alas, perhaps it was too much fun, and the actor and the princess went their separate ways.

Where are they now?

These days, Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie of Monaco lead very different lives indeed. In July 2023, Lowe celebrated 32 years of marriage to his wife, Sheryl Berkoff. The couple share two sons, Matthew and John who are 30 and 28 years old respectively. In 2023, Lowe celebrated yet another milestone — 33 years of sobriety. The actor shared an Instagram to mark the occasion, writing, "My life is full of love, family, God, opportunity, friends, work, dogs, and fun." Lowe continues to be a working actor with an impressive resume and recent roles in series such as "Unstable" and "9-1-1: Lone Star."

Princess Stephanie's life after dating Lowe continued to be wrought with scandal (as was her family's) and ill-advised relationships. She was married twice and has three children. In April 2023, she welcomed her first grandchild. Also in 2023, Stephanie and her siblings revealed plans to commemorate their late father's 100th birthday.

There is no reason to believe that Lowe and Stephanie have kept in touch over the years, but it seems they are both thriving, albeit in different ways. While they may no longer have anything in common and the relationship might seem like a long-forgotten dream, it's fun to remember they were once the couple of the moment!