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  #401  
Old 04-06-2005, 03:35 AM
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Just saw on CNN International that Prince Rainier passed away this morning, Monaco time. God bless his soul.
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  #402  
Old 04-06-2005, 03:35 AM
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Prince Rainier is passed away this morning. I watched the breaking news from TF 2 (France)
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  #403  
Old 04-06-2005, 03:37 AM
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I can't believe it !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm soooooooo sad !
  #404  
Old 04-06-2005, 03:37 AM
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It has been announced that HSH Prince Rainier passed away this morning at around 6:30, Monaco time.
  #405  
Old 04-06-2005, 04:14 AM
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It really really sad.We losing two great men in 4 days time.May rest him in peace.
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  #406  
Old 04-06-2005, 04:19 AM
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I feel sorry for Crown Prince Albert and Princess Caroline,Princess Stephanie who losses parents

Sara Boyce
  #407  
Old 04-06-2005, 07:14 AM
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Monseigneur, je vous souhaite désormais de trouver le repos auprés de Dieu et de votre épouse tant aimée
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  #408  
Old 04-06-2005, 08:25 AM
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Now that Prince Rainier is at peace and has been reunited with his beloved wife, I hope Prince Albert, Princess Caroline, & Princess Stephanie grow closer & stronger than ever.
They are the future of Monaco and their unity is paramount.
  #409  
Old 04-06-2005, 08:56 AM
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Monaco mourns death of Prince Rainier


THIERRY BOINET

Associated Press



MONACO - Monaco plunged into mourning Wednesday, its famed casino closing its doors upon news of the death of Prince Rainier III, the long-ruling monarch hailed for modernizing the tiny principality once renowned as a "sunny place for shady people."

Rainier, whose marriage to American film star Grace Kelly brought elegance, glamour and world renown to what once was a Riviera backwater, died at 6:35 a.m at the hospital treating him for heart, kidney and breathing problems. He was 81.

Prince Albert, his son and heir, was at his side, after doctors called him just before 6 a.m. to tell him the end was near, the royal palace said. Albert, 47 and groomed from birth to succeed his father, had already taken over the royal powers - but not the throne - last week because Rainier was too sick to rule.

Rainier's body was transferred from the hospital back to his hilltop palace shortly after his death and will lie in state in the palace's Palatine Chapel so Monagasques can pay their respects, said an official close to the palace.

The Mediterranean enclave's famed Monte Carlo closed its doors Wednesday in a sign of respect.

"Each of us feels like an orphan because the principality has been marked by his imprint over the 56 years" of his reign, said Patrick Leclercq, head of government in the principality of 32,000 people.

There was no immediate official word on funeral arrangements. Rainier was expected to be buried alongside Princess Grace at the 19th-century Monaco Cathedral, where they wed on April 18, 1956. Beside her tomb is an empty slab of marble waiting to be engraved with the prince's name.

Tributes flooded in from European leaders and politicians who praised Rainier - who had been Europe's longest-serving monarch - as a reformist prince.

French President Jacques Chirac said Rainier "enabled his country to gain access to the international stage and gave it modern structures, all while preserving the traditional elements which, over time, forged Monaco's originality."

Rainier's stamp is everywhere, from Monaco's hilltop palace to the principality's yacht-filled harbor. His outsized ambitions and grandiose dreams jump-started Monaco's economy and sparked a construction boom.

Rainier was affectionately as the "builder prince." During his 56-year rule, Monaco expanded its territory by 20 percent with land reclamation from the sea, but the principality still remains no larger than New York City's Central Park.

A palace statement said Rainier died "as a result of the broncho-pulmonary, heart and kidney conditions that caused his hospitalization." Rainier had been hospitalized since March 7.

Flags, already lowered out of respect for Pope John Paul II, remained at half-staff. The two Monaco-based TV networks immediately interrupted programming with documentaries on Rainier's life and reactions to his death.

Odette Sainsaulieu, a 66-year-old Monegasque retiree, came to the hospital that overlooks the glittering port on learning of Rainier's death. She said she wanted to see his body and his family.

"I came to say a final goodbye," said Sainsaulieu.

She and other residents wondered whether what they see as a five-decade golden era under Rainier would survive him.

"It was a life, a way of living, of managing the principality," she said.

Didier Garofalo, a 44-year-old civil servant, said, "We all share the sorrow of the family. If Monaco exists, it is thanks to Rainier."

Rainier suffered recurring health problems in recent years. The silver-haired, portly prince underwent heart surgery in 1999. In 2000, he had two operations, including having a nodule removed from a lung, and was hospitalized in 2002 for fatigue and bronchitis.

Recurrent chest infections put him in the hospital on numerous occasions thereafter.

Rainier, hailing from one of Europe's longest-ruling families, the Grimaldis, was a 26-year-old bachelor when he took the throne of the Mediterranean country nestled between Italy and the French Riviera in 1949.

His romance with Grace Kelly captivated the world. She was a 25-year-old American movie star when they met in 1955 at the Cannes Film Festival, and their marriage in 1956 put Monaco on the world stage.

Princess Caroline was born 10 months later, followed by Albert and Princess Stephanie. The daughters' marriages, divorces and dalliances have made them a target for paparazzi. Albert has not married.

Rainier never remarried after Princess Grace's death in a car accident in 1982.

Rainier oversaw the building of a whole new port, an artificial beach, a sparkling culture center and an underground railway station. A new breakwater project to allow large yachts and cruise liners to dock in the main harbor cost $420 million.

Rainier could see his entire domain from the sandy-colored palace perched on a rocky cliff overlooking the sea.

Under Rainier, Monaco also worked to overcome a reputation as a haven for questionable financial transactions.

The principality came under fire in 2000, and its relationship with Paris came under strain when French official reports criticized its culture of banking secrecy and portrayed the principality as a shelter for drug barons, money-launderers and tax dodgers.

But last year, having enacted reforms in a series of sectors, ranging from electoral rights to money laundering, Monaco joined the Council of Europe, Europe's foremost human rights organization.

"Over the course of an exceptionally long reign, the prince was able to successfully combine Monaco's uniqueness with openness toward the rest of Europe," said Terry Davis, the council's secretary general.
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  #410  
Old 04-06-2005, 09:17 AM
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Monaco mourns

Polfoto 06-04-2005 Monaco palace's flag flies at half-mast, after Prince Rainier III of Monaco died following heart, kidney and breathing problems, Wednesday, April 6, 2005, in Monaco.



</SPAN>Guards with black fabric on their drums walk outside the Monaco palace during the guard change, Wednesday, April 6, 2005, in Monaco, after Prince Rainier III of Monaco died following heart, kidney and breathing problems. He was 81. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

A shopkeeper puts black ribbon on a portrait of Prince Rainier III and his late wife American actress Grace Kelly in a shop in Monaco, after Prince Rainier III of Monaco died.

</SPAN>A woman places a black ribbon on a Monaco flag In the Monaco palace square

</SPAN></SPAN>
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  #411  
Old 04-06-2005, 09:58 AM
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At this site there's a nice video of Prince Rainier with his 3 children. http://tv.reuters.com
  #412  
Old 04-06-2005, 10:33 AM
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Has someone got some news from Stéphanie ? She hasn't been seen for a while ! I hope she'll be able to cope with this loss, it will be very diffcult for her. Please if someone has some news, keep us posted.
  #413  
Old 04-06-2005, 10:34 AM
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Oh my god , i'm so sad about his death ! The prince Rainier and the Pope Jean-Paul II in almost the same week ...my condolences to his family and people :(
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  #414  
Old 04-06-2005, 10:50 AM
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the same here. :( my condolences.
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  #415  
Old 04-06-2005, 11:04 AM
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rainier died

:( Rainier died :(
Albert become Albert 2
  #416  
Old 04-06-2005, 11:13 AM
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This is indeed very sad news. Rainier was a great man. A good statesman, husband, father and grandfather and person. He made Monaco what it is today and his mark will be a constant reminder to all that while he is gone he will never be forgotten.

May he rest in peace.
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  #417  
Old 04-06-2005, 11:22 AM
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(slightly different from the story posted by Ianna)


Prince Rainier of Monaco Dies at Age 81
By THIERRY BOINET
Associated Press Writer




MONACO (AP) -- Prince Rainier III, whose fairy-tale marriage to Hollywood star Grace Kelly brought elegance and glamour to one of Europe's oldest dynasties, died Wednesday, nearly a month after he was hospitalized with a lung infection. He was 81.

Europe's longest-reigning monarch died at 6:35 a.m. from heart, kidney and lung problems at the hospital overlooking Monaco's glittering, yacht-filled harbor, the palace said. His only son, Prince Albert, was at his side, it said.

The body of Rainier, whose family dynasty took power in 1297, was moved to his hilltop palace where it will in lie in state, the palace said.

The Mediterranean enclave's famed Monte Carlo casino closed its doors Wednesday in a sign of respect.

"Each of us feels like an orphan because the principality has been marked by his imprint over the 56 years" of his reign, said Patrick Leclercq, head of government in the principality of 32,000 people.

Rainier's doctors had called Albert about 30 minutes beforehand to tell him the end was near, the palace said. The palace statement didn't say if Rainier's daughters, Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, were with him when he died.

With Rainier's death, Albert took the title of Prince Albert II.

The only son of Rainier and Princess Grace, Albert becomes Monaco's de facto ruler until a formal investiture expected after a mourning period. He took over the royal powers - but not the throne - last week after a royal commission decided Rainier was too sick to rule.

The unmarried Albert, who has no children, inherits a French-speaking principality smaller than New York's Central Park but renowned for its casinos and the annual Monte Carlo Grand Prix.

Monaco changed its succession law in 2002 to allow power to pass from a reigning prince who has no descendants to his siblings. Albert's sisters have children.

Rainier, who assumed the throne on May 9, 1949, had to endure the tragedy of his wife's death and relentless scandals - including international criticism of the principality's tax laws - that plagued the final two decades of his rule.

The leader of Europe's longest-ruling royal family, the Grimaldis, Rainier suffered recurring health problems in recent years. The silver-haired, portly prince underwent heart surgery in 1999 and had two operations the following year.

Recurrent chest infections put him in the hospital on numerous occasions. Most recently, he was hospitalized March 7. He was placed in intensive care two weeks later with heart and kidney failure and connected to a respirator.

Tributes flooded in.

"Prince Rainier remained dearly loved by his people and deeply respected by his peers as well as the world community," said U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

French President Jacques Chirac hailed the prince's "courage and tenacity" in the face of his failing health. German President Horst Koehler said he "fulfilled his duties as head of state with remarkable willpower until the end."

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sent a message of condolence to the family. Rainier's death means the queen, who acceded to the throne in 1952, becomes the longest-serving monarch in Europe.

Flags, already lowered out of respect for Pope John Paul II, who died Saturday, remained at half-staff.

Odette Sainsaulieu, a 66-year-old Monegasque retiree, came to the hospital because she wanted to see his body and his family. "I came to say a final goodbye," she said.

She and other residents wondered whether what they see as a five-decade golden era would survive.

"It was a life, a way of living, of managing the principality," she said.

Under Rainier's leadership, the Mediterranean coastal enclave nestled between Italy and the French Riviera partially shed its image as "a sunny place for shady people" and became a hub for the high-tech pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Rainier was known as the "builder prince" for his many infrastructure projects. He increased the size of his territory by 20 percent with land reclamation.

"I am like the head of a company," he once said.

In 1993, Monaco gained the political recognition Rainier sought for his principality with its entry into the United Nations.

But it was his April 18, 1956, marriage to Hollywood heartbreaker Grace Kelly that put Monaco on the world stage and defined the golden age of his reign. For many, her death in a car accident on Sept. 14, 1982, signaled the end of Monaco's halcyon days.

"She was always present and ready to do things either with me or for me if I couldn't do them," Rainier said in a 1983 interview. "Let's say the change is that we worked as a team and the team has been split up."

Rainier Grimaldi was the 30th descendant of Otto Canella, who founded the house of Grimaldi. Born May 31, 1923, the son of a princess born out of wedlock, Rainier was heir to a family with a stormy past - a harbinger of the scandals to come.

The marriage of his great-grandfather Prince Albert to Lady Mary Douglas Hamilton was dissolved in 1880. Albert's son, Prince Louis II, had a youthful romance with a French girl in Algeria that produced Princess Charlotte, Rainier's mother.

In 1920, Charlotte married Rainier's father, Prince Pierre de Polignac. Rainier was born three years later, shortly before his parents divorced.

Educated in England, Switzerland and France, Rainier undertook military service near the end of World War II. He became Monaco's ruler at age 26 when his grandfather died in 1949.

As a youth, Rainier had a long romance with French actress Gisele Pascal, became a keen fan of jazz and studied oceanography, later helping to finance Jacques Cousteau's Oceanographic Institute in Monaco. He also developed a love of fast cars.

He met Kelly in 1955 when he was 31 and she was the 25-year-old star attraction of the Cannes Film Festival. Kelly already had an Oscar from the 1954 film "The Country Girl," one of only 11 movies she made.

In January 1956, they announced their engagement and were married in April. Ten months later they had the first of their three children, Caroline. Albert's birth came the following year, on March 14. Stephanie was born Feb. 1, 1965.

Over the years, Rainier worked to consolidate his authority and expand Monaco's economic base as a tax haven for international millionaires who gambled at the territory's swanky casino.

New luxury hotels, towering high-rises and some of the world's most expensive real estate now hug Monaco's coastline. Gambling receipts account for only 3 percent of its revenues.

Rainier also won battles with France to keep his principality's ban on personal income tax and with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis for control of the company that operates Monaco's gambling operations and most of its luxury hotels.

In the years following Princess Grace's death, Monaco's royal family increasingly became grist for the world's tabloids.

Princess Caroline's rocky first marriage ended in 1980, and her second husband was killed in a boating accident in 1990. Her third husband, German prince Ernst August of Hanover, was ordered to pay more than $440,000 in 2001 for yelling at an editor of a newspaper that reported he had urinated in public.

Princess Stephanie was known for her tempestuous affairs. She had two children by a former bodyguard, then married him in 1995. The marriage lasted 18 months, ending after he was photographed cavorting poolside with a Belgian stripper.

She had a third child in 1998 and refused to reveal the name of the father. She later had a much-publicized romance with the director of the Swiss national circus.

Even Rainier's marriage to Kelly was a target.

A 1994 biography of Princess Grace claimed that the marriage had gone sour and that Rainier's "neglect" forced her to find solace in alcohol and younger men.
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  #418  
Old 04-06-2005, 11:28 AM
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Hello Magazine's headline story is on Rainier and a special photo tribute to him can be found here: http://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty...agina_1_1.html
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  #419  
Old 04-06-2005, 11:31 AM
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Gosh I am so heartbroken. I too hope Stephanie will be able to cope with her loss. I hope the family can put aside their differences and come together in this integral time. My condolences to all.
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  #420  
Old 04-06-2005, 11:44 AM
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I just found out this morning on the Canadian news. I am incredibly sad about the passing of this great man. But at least he is at peace now and reunited with his Grace.
My prayers are with his family in this difficult time.
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