Princess Stephanie of Monaco defends circus animals, says backlash is 'going too far'

Princess Stephanie of Monaco, the daughter of princess and American actress Grace Kelly, defended animals being used in circuses, saying it’s become a “fashion” to criticize the shows and not acknowledge the change in the industry.

Stephanie told AFP that circus animals are part of the “cultural heritage” and that not all animals used in the shows were unhappy. She also supported greater industry regulation.

“The time has come to act! Not all circus animals are unhappy,” the princess said, according to People. “The circus was born with animals, horses at the start.”

She added, “This is part of our cultural heritage. It’s a whole, with clowns and acrobats.”

Stephanie, who is the President of the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo, said critics who attack circuses and issue “death threats against owners” are “going too far.” She added that those who attack the circus are “a minority who wish to impose their will upon others.”

Princess Stephanie of Monaco  (C) poses with circus artists and a giraffe during a photocall for the presentation of the 42nd International festival circus of Monte Carlo in Monaco, January 16, 2018.     REUTERS/Eric Gaillard - RC18D2A4BB80

Princess Stephanie is the President of the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo.  (Reuters)

She also said critics are so stuck in their ways that they refuse “to negotiate…[or] see how the industry has evolved,” according to People.

“It’s become a fashion,” she told AFP. “It’s like being vegetarian, vegan.”

“When you see the numbers who come to the circus, you understand that we don’t get that by abusing animals,” she said.

Stephanie also launched a petition to have UNESCO designate the traditional circus as a world heritage site. The princess has been extremely involved with preserving the circus tradition. Her father, Prince Rainier III, created the Festival International de Cirque de Monte-Carlo, according to the festival’s website.

Stephanie, who also owns two rescued elephants, previously defended circus animals, telling People it is a “tradition” that “people remember form their childhood.” 

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam