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Old 06-09-2003, 04:59 AM
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The Grimaldi Ancestors

What not a lot of people know...... The grandfather of Prince Rainier did marry in his life......In 1943 he married the french actress Ghislaine Domanguet, so she became the stepgrandmother of Prince Rainier.

The Prince and the Princess didn't get along very well.....

Here's a picture of the princess in the late 1950's..

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Old 07-22-2003, 05:18 AM
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No they didn't get along. Rainier actually cut of Princess Ghislane's funds.
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Old 07-26-2003, 12:58 PM
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Her Serene Highness Princess Ghislaine, Princess Dowager of Monaco, widow of Prince Louis II and step-grandmother of the reigning Prince Rainier III, has died at the age of 90. Born at Rheims on 13 October 1900, she died in Paris and by her own wish, was buried at Passy.

The Princess Dowager's husband, Prince Louis, was the only child of Albert I, Prince of Monaco, and his first wife, Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton, only daughter of the eleventh Duke of Hamilton.

Through his maternal grandfather, Prince Louis was related to the British aristocracy and through his maternal grandmother to the Royal Families of Belgium and Romania. He was born on 12 July 1870; his parents the victims of an arranged marriage, separated four months before his birth! Their marriage was both annulled and dissolved in 1880, when Louis was ten. Lady Mary married a Hungarian Prince the same year, lived happily with him and bore him more children.

Prince Louis's father, Prince Albert, married secondly, Alice, widow of the Duc de Richelieu, and an American by birth, in October 1889, seven weeks after his succession to the Principality. Unlike the second marriage of Lady Mary, this union was not a success and the couple were judicially separated in 1902 after less than 13 years of marriage.

Doubtless because of the irresponsible behaviour of his parents, Prince Louis, who served with distinction in the French Army showed no wish to marry--until the end of his life! On 30 September 1898, his mistress, Marie Juliette Louvet, a single woman who was nine years his senior, bore him an illegitimate daughter, Charlotte, in Algeria.

On 16 May 1919, Prince Albert legitimized his granddaughter and created her Duchess de Valintinois. On 19 March 1920, the Duchess was married to Count Pierre de Polignac, who had been allowed to assume the name of Grimaldi and was created a Prince of Monaco on his marriage. On 28 December 1920, Princess Charlotte gabe birth to a daughter, Princess Antoinette.

Prince Albert died in June 1922, just seven weeks after the death of his divorced first wife, Princess Mary, and their only child, now nearly 52, succeeded to the Principality as Prince Louis II. On 31 May 1923, his daughter, Princess Charlotte, now heiress presumptive to the Monegasque throne, gave birth to a son, Prince Rainier.

As far as Prince Louis II was concerned, the succession was satisfactorily settled. Unfortunately the marriage of Princess Charlotte and Prince Pierre was breaking down and on 20 March 1930, the day after their tenth wedding anniversary, they were judicially separated in Paris. Six months later, Charlotte's mother, Marie Louise Louvet, died in Paris on 24 September 1930. Her daughter divorced Prince Pierre on 18 February 1933.

However, a divorced woman born out of wedlock was hardly a suitable heiress to a Roman Catholic Principality. Princess Charlotte recognised as much and on 30 May 1944 she resigned her succession rights to her son, whose 21st birthday and majority fell on the following day.

It was at this point that Prince Louis II married Ghislaine Marie Francoise Dommanget, the daughter of a French Colonel of Cavalry, Robert Joseph Dommanget, and his wife, Marie Louise Meunier.

The marriage took place at Monaco on 24 July 1946, twelve days after the bridegroom's 76th birthday, while the bride was within three months of her 46th.

After a conventional education, the new Princess had been a moderately successful actress. By a former lover, Andrew Brule, she had an illegitimate son and she had also been briefly to Paul Diey. It was declared that any children born to the Princely couple, including sons, would succeed after Prince Rainier. Predictably, there were no children. The marriage lasted less than three years, for Prince Louis II died on 9 May 1949.

After her husband's death, Princess Ghislaine, now 48, lived mostly in Paris. In accordance with the settlement of 1944, Prince Rainier succeeded to the Principality, assuming the title of Rainier III. On 31 May, he celebrated his 26th birthday.

Seven years later, on 19 April 1956, Prince Rainier III married Grace Kelly. A close friendship grew between the new Princess Grace and the Princess Dowager, as it was now proper to style Princess Ghislaine, which was probably based on their shared theatrical backgrounds.

The tragic death of Princess Grace on 14 September 1982, meant that Princess Ghislaine, no longer Princess Dowager, was once more officially the First Lady of Monaco, although in practice Princess Caroline took on many of her late mother's duties. Princess Ghislaine, now nearly 82, attended the Requiem mass for her step-granddaughter-in-law, where her elegance, grace and stately bearing, created a most favourable impression.

Princess Ghislaine was the last surviving Princess Consort of Monaco. With her death, Princess Caroline becomes unquestionably the First Lady of the Principality and will remain so unless or until her brother Prince Albert marries.

This article was taken from Royalty Magazine (July 1991). It was written by Bill Samuels.
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Old 07-26-2003, 01:47 PM
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Thanks so much for the article, Mybags. :) An interesting tidbit!
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Old 09-05-2003, 05:28 PM
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Does anyone have any information or know anything about Mary Douglas-Hamilton, the great-grandmother of Prince Rainier and the wife of Albert I of monaco? Ive read that she was a scottish aristocrat and her father was a duke. Does that mean that she was related to the british royal family in any way?
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Old 09-12-2003, 01:36 AM
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Hi sandee,

Sorry I am so long in replying.

Princesse Marie-Victoire (Lady Mary Victoria Douglas Hamilton), the daughter of the late 11th Duke of Hamilton and Princess Marie of Baden, was very wealthy. The Hamilton family had homes in Scotland, Paris and Baden. Princess Caroline, Prince Albert's grandmother, was anxious for her grandson to make such an illustrious alliance. By Albert marrying Mary Victoria he would become, by marriage, a cousin to Emperor Louis Napoleon. Despite the fact that Lady Mary Victoria was considered to be a very lovely young woman Albert found her to be rather "empty headed". Mary Victoria, while finding Albert to be handsome, did not particularily like him. However, they were forced into marriage. They were married September 21, 1869.

In January of 1870 Mary Victoria, no longer able to cope with morning sickness and the gloominess of the palace, decided to leave Monaco with her mother, the Dowager Duchess, for
Baden-Baden. It was there that Mary gave birth to her son Prince Louis-Honore-Charles-Antoine on July 12, 1870. She and Prince Albert were never reconciled.

Biographical information on Mary Victoria's father:

William Alexander Anthony Archibald, 11th Duke of Hamilton
British, 18 Feb 1811 - 15 July 1863

William Alexander Anthony Archibald Hamilton was the son of Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton and 7th Duke of Brandon, by his wife, Susan Euphemia Beckford. His succeeded his father as 11th Duke in 1852. William served as Lord Lieutenant for county Lanark. On 23 February 1843, he married Princess Mary of Baden [d. 1888], youngest daughter of Charles Louis Frederick, reigning Grand Duke of Baden, and the cousin (3rd) of the Emperor Napoleon III. They had two sons and a daughter; son William Alexander Louis Stephen succeeded his father as 12th Duke of Hamilton and 9th Duke of Brandon, upon the elder William's death in Paris in 1863.
It's clever, but is it art? ~Rudyard Kipling
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:36 AM
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Thanks for the information Julia, thats very interesting to know! I guess she wasn't related to the british royals..i just thought she might have been. It's really hard to find information about Prince Rainier's ancestors and past rulers of monaco, but its really easy to find info on other royal houses like britain. It's nice to find out this kind of information :)
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:43 AM
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You are most welcome, sandee. :) I am actually going to post a long list of Rainier's relatives. I hope it's not too daunting because it's terribly long!
It's clever, but is it art? ~Rudyard Kipling
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:07 AM
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She was related to them, the german royal families had many intermarriges. Don't forget that the British monarchs were also electors/kings of Hannover. By that marriage the house of grimaldi became related to many other royal houses. There was a previous one who was also very important, I think her name was Hypollite or something (or maybe it was one of her parents don't remember right now), she was a descendant of Hugh Capet and also of various english kings. Other than those two, the grimaldis had marriages more to their level. They have a very diluted family tree or family connections. I think Ranier is a 7th cousin of Elisabeth II and is because of that marriage.
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Old 09-26-2003, 11:05 PM
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The Grimaldi Ancestors

Does anyone have any more pictures of Prince Rainier's mother Princess Charlotte? There doesnt seem to be many out there, so if you find any please post them :)
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Old 09-26-2003, 11:39 PM
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Thanx Julia :) They look so much alike!
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Old 10-27-2003, 07:31 PM
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From East News Agency...

It's clever, but is it art? ~Rudyard Kipling
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Old 11-10-2003, 01:54 PM
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I have a beautiful signed picture of Princess Charlotte. If I ever get my scanner to work again and someone tells me how to post pics I can show you all. I also have a great photo of Prince Rainier and Princess Antoinette with their father (they were kids) - signed by all 3....P Antoinette signed with her family nickname "Tiny" and Rainier signed between 2 lines, in pencil. I am sure it is practically unique.
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Old 11-10-2003, 02:03 PM
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That would be a marvelous treat, brian! Thank you!
It's clever, but is it art? ~Rudyard Kipling
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Old 11-23-2003, 10:47 AM
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Hello again. I have scanned my signed picture of Princess Charlotte and also the one of Prince Pierre and his children. How do I upload them to the site? Also the Pr Pierre one is on its side.....not sure how to turn it round......
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Old 11-23-2003, 05:18 PM
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You can post the pictures by replying to this msg and you go down the page to the File Attachments section. There you'll be able to upload the pictures. Hope this helps.

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Old 12-29-2003, 03:39 AM
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could someome post some histoty facts about the monovo family, how thwy "Grimaldi" become the family to rule Monaco and twll us some about the princes and princess from the past.
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Old 12-29-2003, 04:26 AM
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Monaco - Centre de Presse

The Centre de Presse is the official distribution channel for information and photographs of the Principality of Monaco.

"From the Paleolithic Age to the Grimaldi's
The region of Monaco was inhabited by man since the end of the Paleolithic age, some 300 000 years B.C.. The region of the Ligures was established around year 2000 B.C..

The oldest existing references to Monaco are found in the writings of Hecatee de Milet in his Periegese, Monoios Polis Ligustike (Monaco, Ligurian city).

From the time of the Diocletian persecutions, a young Corsican Christian named Devote, was executed by order of governor Barbarus. Devote's body was placed at the bottom of a boat destined for Africa. However, contrary winds brought the boat drifting back to Monaco's shores, to the river outlet of the small valley Gaumates. At this site, a church was erected in dedication to Saint Devote who became Patron Saint of the Principality.

After the barbarian invasions of the Middle Ages, and the Muslim pirate raids, the Republic of Genova stretched its authority throughout the Ligures. The emperors Frederic Bareberousse and Henri VI successively recognized the Genovese power stretching from Porto Venere to Monaco, where in 1215, the Genovese began the construction of the four towers and the ramparts which still today delineate the perimeters of the Princes Palace.

At the end of the XIIIth century, on January 8, 1297, following a battle won by the Ghibellines in Genova , the Guelf Francois Grimaldi, (a.k.a. Malizia), seized the citadel of Monaco, from which he was chased four years later. Francois Grimaldi is a cousin of Rainier I father to Jean I, first Lord of Monaco (see Grimaldi's genealogical tree).

At the service of Philippe le bel, Rainier I conquered the dutch at Ziriksee. This victory earned him the title of Admiral to France. He is considered the founder of the Monaco Grimaldi dynasty.

The Lords of Monaco
Charles I, son of Rainier I, participated in the battle of Crecy as well as in the siege of Calais, died during the siege of Monaco at the hand of the doge of Genova, Simon Boccanegra. Monaco fell back into the hands of the Genovese.

Rainier II, son of Charles I, succeeded in preserving Menton and quickly recuperated Roquebrune. His three sons, Ambroise, Antoine and Jean soon came to rule Monaco sharing the Lordship of Monaco until Jean I was declared sole Lord.

Prisoner of the Duke of Milano who threatened Jean I s' execution if Monaco was not released to his power, Jean I asked his wife Pomelline to resist against the opponent. Her tough and courageous attitude was catalyst to his release.

His son, Catalan, reigned for only three years during which he concluded an alliance with the king of France, Charles VII. He chose a husband for his daughter Claudine, his own cousin Lambert, a marriage to be consummated as soon as she was to turn fifteen years of age. Fourteen children were born from this union.

Lambert an excellent diplomat, was designated counselor and chamberlain to the king of France, Charles VIII. It is from his letters in which he often used the expression, which has become the Princes of Monaco's motto, "Deo Juvante" (With the aid of God)

Jean II, Lambert's oldest son, pursued the wise politics of his father. He died in a quarrel with his brother Lucien. Murder or accident ? Historians have opted for the latter theory. Lucien I, at any rate, proved his heroism during the siege he upheld for one hundred days before making the Genovese retreat from their attempt to capture the citadel. After receiving letters from Louis II revering the "Lordship of Monaco is held in the hands of God and by the sword", he was assassinated by the partisans of Andrea Doria, the famous Genovese admiral and condottiere.

His brother, Augustin, bishop of Grasse, succeeded Jean II as Lord of Monaco for life. To mark his opposition to Andrea Doria who was allied with France, Augustin signed 'from principal to principal' the Burgos and Tordesillas treaties with Charles Quint, which placed Monaco under the protectorate of Spain. This alliance lasted for over a century, between 1525 to 1641.

At the death of Augustin, the son of Lucien, Honore I was still a minor. His tutor, Etienne, (a.k.a. the Gubernant) while scrupulously respecting the alliance with Spain, began planning procedures to consolidate and regained the Lordships autonomy.

Honore I had a relatively calm reign. His sons, Charles II and Hercule I pursued the Gubernant's politics and consecrated themselves to the administration of the fiefs that Charles Quint had given to them in the south of Italy, amongst which was the Marquisat of Campagna. Hercule was assassinated by conspirators. Honore II, his son was yet a minor and was placed under the tutelage of Prince Frederic Landi de Valdetare.

Highly cultured, Honore II renovated the Princes palace which he enriched with luscious furniture, masterpiece paintings and objets d'art. He pressed money coins and took the title of Prince. After having signed a treaty in Peronne in 1641 in alliance with the king of France Louis XIII, he expelled the Spanish garrisons. In compensation for lost territories in the south of Italy, the king of France bestowed him with various fiefs and received him at court in great pomp. Louis XIV became the godfather to his grandson Louis.
The Princes of Monaco
Louis I, son of Hercule (accidentally deceased) succeeded his grandfather Honore II. Husband to Catherine-Charlotte de Gramont, he followed his wife to the courts of France. It is he who built the monumental gates of the Palace and the horseshoe stairways of the Cours d'Honneur. He published the statutes of Monaco (the legislative codes remarkably liberal in nature)

At the time when the question of who was to succeed to the throne of Spain, Louis XIV named him his Ambassador to the Holy See. After accomplishing his mission with both ostentation and dedication, Louis I dies in Rome in 1701.

The son of Louis I, Antoine I, who frequented the high aristocratic society, distinguished himself by engaging in the military. His size and courage in the battlefields of Fleurus, Mons and Namus earned him the nickname Goliath. He threw magnificent parties in the palace which he restored and fortified. A distinguished musician, he conducted his orchestra with the conductors stick bequeathed to him by Lully. He kept up a rich correspondence with the great composers of the times : Couperin, Destouches...

His eldest daughter, Louise-Hippolyte, married Jacques de Goyon-Matignon. She reigned but for a few months. Following her premature passing away, her husband became Prince of Monaco under the name of Jacques I. However, it was not long before he abdicated in favor of his still minor son Honore III.

After a brilliant military career, during which he participated in the battles of Fontenoy and of Raucoux, Honore III enjoyed a long period of peace and economic prosperity leaving the reigns of governing in the hands of the man who had been his tutor, the Knight of Grimaldi. His long reign which had started in most opportune conditions and happy auspices, sadly ended up in exile. The French revolution erased the Principality from the map of Europe and was renamed Fort-Hercule. The palace was pilfered, and Honore III was incarcerated in Paris. His daughter-in-law, Francoise de Choiseul-Stainville was guillotined at the age of 27. She was amongst those in the last cart with Andre Chenier.

Honore III died without recovering his rightful authority. His son Honore V, retrieved his sovereignty only after the first Treaty of Paris. Whiles ill, Honore III delegated his sovereign powers to his son Honore V, who after the second Treaty of Paris, was faced with great financial difficulties to re-establish Monaco, and was also faced with the supposed claim by the king of Sardegna as new protector of Monaco.

Florestan I, succeeded his brother Honore V. His reign was tainted by the relinquishing of Menton and Roquebrune which due to the French revolution of 1848, declared themselves as "free cities, placed under Sarde protection". This disguised annexation, in 1860 resulted in their reattachment to France at the time of the plebiscite organized by the Savoie and the county of Nice.

The Principality, amputated of nine-tenths of its territory, experienced a formidable expansion during the reign of Charles III. Efficiently helped to begin with by his mother, the Princess Caroline, Charles III signs on February 2, 1861, a treaty with Napoleon which addressed the Menton and Roquebrune issues, planned for the construction of the Moyenne Corniche, and for the placement of the railway tracks through Monaco on the Nice-Genova railway links, and above all, the creation of a customs union between Monaco and France to facilitate the liaisons between the two countries.

Prince Charles III renewed the economy, created the required infrastructures to launch tourism, urbanized the Spelugues quarters to which he gave the name Monte-Carlo in 1866 (in Italian, the Mount Charles), inaugurated the coastline road and the train stations of Monaco and Monte-Carlo, created the Post and Telegraphy Office, assured religious independence of the Principality by creating the bishopric, opened legations and consulates abroad, instituted the Order of Saint-Charles, pressed gold coins and printed the first Monegasques stamps.

Prince Albert I already had a long naval career and pursued scientific research at the time he succeeded his father, Prince Charles III. Without abandoning the work he was committed to, particularly in the field of oceanography, of paleontology, anthropology and botany, he favored international encounters, created the International Peace Institute, reformed the institutions, granted a constitution to the Monegasques, developed diplomatic relations and was patron to the arts in a period of brilliant and intense artistic life marked by the great operas at the Monte-Carlo Opera and by the establishment in Monaco of the famous Russian Ballets.

The Oceanographic Institute of Paris, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, the Human Paleontology Institute of Paris, the Prehistoric Anthropology Museum of Monaco, the Exotic Gardens, the International Hydrographical bureau, are the major testimonies of Prince Albert I's endeavors.

Prince Louis II succeeded his father in 1922.

During World War I, he enrolled as a voluntary in the French army. He was cited at several occasions for his heroic conduct which later merited him with amongst others, the War Cross, and the grade of Division General. During the challenging period of his reign which began at the end of World War I, and ended at the end of World War II, Prince Louis II was successful despite the world economic crisis which plagued the 30's, and despite the two periods of foreign occupation, to safeguard and complete the endeavors of his predecessors.

Prince Rainier III, grandson of Prince Louis II on his mothers side, Princess Charlotte and son of Prince Pierre, Count of Polignac, succeeded his grandfather on May 9, 1949. "

Significant Dates in the History of the Principality

1297 : Francois Grimaldi and his Guelph partisans seize the fortress of Monaco

1346 : Charles Grimaldi acquires Lordship over Menton

1355 : Charles Grimaldi acquires Lordship over Roquebrune

1489 : King of France, Charles VIII recognizes the independence of Monaco

1512 : Monaco's independence is confirmed by king Louis XII

1515 : King Francois I recognizes the independence of Monaco

1524 : Augustin I places Monaco under the protectorate of Spain

1614 : Honore II takes the title of Prince of Monaco

1641 : End of Spanish protectorate. Honore II signs the Treaty of Peronne with Louis XII, which assures the Principality of "France's protective friendship". In compensation for the loss of the advantages consented to by the Spanish, the Prince of Monaco receives fiefs in France. During his reign, Prince Honore II engages in the restoration and decoration of the palace.

1662 : Prince Honore II dies ; his grandson Prince Louis I succeeds to the throne

1698 : Louis XIV assigns Louis I the Ambassadorship to the Holy See

1701 : Louis I dies ; is succeeded by his son Antoine I, married to Marie de Lorraine who is related to the throne of France. During his reign, the Principality is endowed with new fortifications.

1731 : Antoine I dies leaving no male heir to the throne. His daughter, Louise-Hippolyte succeeds him, but dies barely a few months later. Her husband, Jacques de Goyon, Sire of Matignon, becomes Prince of Monaco

1733 : Jacques I abdicates from the throne leaving it to his son, Prince Honore III who is 13 years of age

1793 : The Principality is absorbed into French territory under the name of Fort Hercules and becomes the major Canton of the Alpes-Maritime, then turns to being a simple commune.

1795 : Prince Honore III dies in Paris

1814 : The Grimaldi's of Monaco re-established their Sovereign powers and rights (renewed enforcement of the Treaty of Peronne)

1815 : The Treaty of Paris (20 November 1815) places the Principality under the protectorate of the king of Sardinia.

1817 : The Treaty of Stupiniggi (8 November 1817) places Monaco under the protection of Sardinia

1841 : Honore V dies; his bother Florestan I becomes Prince of Monaco

1848 : Revolution in Menton and Roquebrune, proclaim themselves free cities

1856 : Florestan I dies; his son Charles III succeeds him

1860 : With the Treaty of Turin, King Victor-Emmanuel II of Italy cedes the Savoie and the county of Nice to Napoleon III

1861 : Charles III cedes his rights over Menton and Roquebrune to France by signing a treaty guaranteeing the independence of Monaco

1863 : Foundation of the Societe des Bains de Mer operating the Casino and several hotels in the 'Spelugues' sector of Monaco

1866 : The sector known as the 'Spelugues' changes its identity to Monte-Carlo

1889 : Prince Charles III dies; accession to the throne of his son Prince Albert I whose discoveries in oceanography and paleontology earn him high recognition in the scientific field worldwide.

1911 : Prince Albert I promulgates the first Constitution

1922 : Prince Albert I dies, he is succeeded by his son Prince Louis II, French army General

1949 : Prince Louis II dies ; succeeded by his grandson HSH Prince Rainier III (born in 1923)

1951 : Signature of the Franco-Monegasque Convention of good neighbor policy and reciprocal administrative support

1956 : Prince Rainier III marries Miss Grace-Patricia Kelly

1957 : Birth of HSH Princess Caroline

1958 : Birth of HSH Hereditary Prince Albert

1962 : Promulgation of the new Constitution

1963 : (May 18) New conventions are signed in Paris. The founding texts which constitute the agreements between France and the Principality are the treaties of February 2, 1861; July 17, 1918; the conventions of April 14, 1945 and the agreements of May 18, 1963

1965 : Birth of HSH Princess Stephanie

1966 : Monte-Carlo's Centennial. The State becomes the major shareholder of the Societe des Bains de Mer. A significant incident impacting the activity of its enterprises and employment

1974 : 25th anniversary of the reign of HSH Prince Rainier III

1981 : HSH Hereditary Prince Albert places the cornerstone of the Fontvieille construction

1982 : Princess Grace dies

1989 : 40th anniversary of HSH Prince Rainier III's reign

1993 : Monaco becomes member of the United Nations (May 28)
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Old 12-29-2003, 04:28 AM
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Also from the MCP.

"The Origins of the Grimaldi's in Monaco : 8 January 1297

The Grimaldi's, one of the most influential Guelf families of Genova, were twice chased away from their city by the Ghibellines. In 1270, they retorted by seizing Ventimiglia, Menton and Roquebrune. After the insurrection of December 1270, the defeated Guelfs retreated to Provence, where Rainier Grimaldi, who was head of the family, began arming his fleet to retaliate.

On January 8, 1297, Francois Grimaldi took power of the Monaco fortress. In the book, "Monaco, its Origins and History", the indisputable authority on Monaco's history, author Gustave Saigne relates the details of this paramount turning point in the history of the Principality : "During the night of January 8, 1297, a monk appeared at the gates of Monaco. Inconspicuously, Francois Grimaldi was let through. Barely having entered the enclosed grounds, the imposture monk threw himself over the guards, apparently few were holding watch, and a full pledged attack was launched as the large Guelf troops, which had been hiding closely behind concealed by the obscurity of the night, forced the gates before the guards could react."

By his actions, Francois Grimaldi forever engraved the family name on the flanks of Monaco's rock. Until that moment, its situation had remained precarious as events of the years preceding 1297 witnessed:

- the political fall down of the Saintly Roman-Germanic Empire.

- the internal disarray in many Italian cities fallen prey to the gutting wars between the rivaling Guelf and Ghibellines families.

- the indecisiveness of Charles II of Anjou, Count of Provence.

The rock belonged to Genova since 1215. To seize it was a clear act of war, but also a symbolic act with respect to the Ghibellines, who remained in power in their home land.

Francois Grimaldi in monk frock, by fooling his adversaries and seizing the fortress, avoided a siege which would have been costly in terms of means and lives. Seizing the strategically located harbor and fort also gave him the best chances by which to reconquer Genova. The Grimaldi's and their partisans maintained their position on the rock for just over four years, during which time, they pursued a merciless chase of the Ghibellines fleets and trade ships sailing between Italy and the ports of Languedoc.

Throughout this period, Charles II of Anjou was digging himself deeper into an increasingly difficult situation facing the accentuating threats of the Aragons territorial claims. He needed support which he was hoping to receive from Genova ,to reinforce his fleet of ships.

Recognizing the value of the circumstances, Rainier Grimaldi deployed his naval forces and put his maneuvering talents into action. It was no longer a matter of fighting solely for his personal interests, but to offer his forces to serve a Prince who would one day know how to compensate him well. He did the same with the King of France, Philippe le Bel, for whom in 1304, he brought back the victorious naval conquest of Zeriksee against the Flemish fleet, honoring him the title of 'Admiral of France'. Rainier displayed unique comportment and model behavior, the tradition of which the Grimaldi's have continued : recognition as a force that a powerful neighbor will appreciate, and find in its own interest to take advantage of, under the reciprocated conditions of obtaining aid and protection, towards the common interest of political emancipation.

Under the benevolent initiative taken by Charles II to return Monaco to Genova, the Grimaldi's conducted negotiations with perseverance and shrewdness commanding respect for their conditions. Past were the days of surrender and being treated as defeated, now transformed to the pursuit of discussions with regard for one another as equals.

The restoration of Monaco to the heart of the Republic of Genova, which was for many at the time, considered a return to the former situation, although not considered so by the Grimaldi's. However, Rainier, leader of the dissidents, preferred to retreat to Provence, demonstrating his desire for independence. He was the historical instigator of Monegasque independence. "
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:50 AM
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I don't know if everyone has heard about the Grimaldi Curse? Well the story says that once there was this witch who disguised herself as a not very good looking woman and presented herself to a Grimaldi prince. The prince rejected her and she got very mad. Due to this, the witch launched a curse to the prince and all of his descendants: that they'll never have a happy life and happy marriages.

Also I once read that Monaco is a principality by a typo error because around the 16th Century a Spanish officer wrote in a document that Monaco was a principality and it's rulers were Princes (when they weren't) and thanks to that typo the Grimaldis are Princes and Serene Highnesses.
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