From L-R: Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Finola O’Mahony, head of Europe,Tourism Ireland,Rory Montgomery irish ambassador to France and Fiona Fitzsimons Eneclann Director and Expert researcher.
Eneclann have researched and prepared a family tree tracing Princess Charlene’s descent through her paternal grandmother back an amazing sixteen generations all the way back to the 1520’s
On Tuesday 29th July, at the invitation of Tourism Ireland, renowned genealogist Fiona Fitzsimons met Princess Charlene of Monaco to discuss the exploits and personalities of her Irish ancestors – the Fagans of Feltrim (co. Dublin) and later of Killarney (co. Kerry). The Princess was also presented with a Certificate of Irish Heritage by HE Rory Montgomery, Irish Ambassador to France, at the palace in Monaco, which was also attended by Prince Albert.
Research commissioned by Tourism Ireland and carried out by genealogy researcher Fiona Fitzsimons of Eneclann has revealed that Princess Charlene’s ancestors can be traced all the way back to the 1520s and to a prominent Dublin family called the Fagans.
From 1524, over 16 generations, the Fagans were involved in key events in Irish History and left an indelible mark in the Irish landscape – including Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College and the Phoenix Park.
In the 1500s the Fagans became immensely wealthy through international commerce. They reinvested their profits in lands close to the capital, and provided finance to the Irish crown government. By the early 1600s the Fagans controlled more than 5000 acres in Dublin County, including the city’s deep-water port at Bulloch Harbour in Dalkey.
Fiona Fitzsimons said: “I met with the Princely couple in the Palace, and described how the Princess’s Fagan ancestors made their mark on Irish history. They received the presentation with great enthusiasm and asked many many questions. Princess Charlene is delighted that Ireland has claimed her as their own”
“It’s a great story about the Irish Capacity to adapt in extreme circumstances and reinvent themselves”
The Irish Heritage Certificate is an initiative, which was introduced in September 2011 and is open to anyone born outside of Ireland with an Irish ancestor. It is an official recognition by the Irish Government of those who are proud of their Irish ancestry and heritage.