On a visit to Chicago this month, Princess Grace of Monaco, mother of three, came out firmly for motherhood-and against quite a few other things. Appearing at a convention of La Leche League, a women’s group organized to encourage breast-feeding, she urged other mothers to take up the practice, to be “happy in their role and aware of its importance”. She breast-fed each of her children for two months, starting with Caroline, born in 1957. “I couldn’t think of having a baby without feeding her myself”, she said.
The princess also advised breast-feeding as a means to help “combat the current wave of public indecency. Nothing is sacred anymore”, she said, “anything goes. Watch some of the commercials on television or listen to some of the songs. Everything is being debased, made cheap. But in the family, if a mother nurses her baby, the other children can see the wholesomeness of sex, the naturalness of it. And that helps prepare them for what they’ll see outside the home”.
A Roman Catholic, she is firmly against abortion, “any kind, legal or illegal”. She fended off questions on women’s liberation, but had little good to say about some of the movement’s goals —such as day-care centers. ‘‘It’s a pity”, she said. “There seems to be a great tendency to get rid of children, even among mothers who don’t work”.
The Princess, who presumably does not have any baby-sitter problems of her own. is opposed to mothers sharing the child-raising chores, even with fathers. “Why should they help?”, she asks. “It’s against nature. With animals you don’t see the male caring for the offspring. It is a woman’s prerogative and duty, and a privilege”.
This feminine uniqueness extends to the delivery room. In her own case, the Princess asked Prince Rainier not to attend. “I didn’t want him there”, she said. “I had to concentrate on the business at hand”.
Copyright © LIFE (July 30, 1971)