On This Day: Monegasque Princely Family

If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
I am always startled and saddened to see how rapidly Rainier III seemed to age after the death of Princess Grace..:sad:

And how he never remarried despite all the rumours.

Thankfully he seemed to have made peace with his eccentric older sister too.
April 18 and 19 1956- civil (18th) and religious (19th) wedding of Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly.

The couple had met in 1955 at the Cannes film festival. Rainier made a trip to the USA to see Grace over Christmas and proposed to her. Their engagement was announced January 5, 1956 at her family home in Philadelphia. He proposed with a ring with diamonds and rubies, but told her he was having a ring custom made for her. A ball was held the day after their announcement at the Waldorf-Astoria in NY. She wore her actual engagement ring in the filming of her last movie 'High Society'.

Rainier returned home before filming ended in February, and Grace threw herself into wedding planning and closing up her life in the US. They next saw each other when she arrived in Monaco. With 66 members of her family, wedding party, and friends she set sail on the USS constitution. As well as her poodle Oliver and a puppy she got as a wedding gift from her brother Jack. The trip took 8 days and they arrived April 12, with Prince Rainier welcomed her, meeting her out on the water on his yacht. A plane owned by Aristotle Onasis was flown over head, and showered the couple with carnations in the colors of Monaco.

For their civil ceremony they had five witnesses
-Princess Antoinette of Monaco- Rainier's sister
-Peggy Kelly Davis- Grace's sister
-Count Charles de Polignac- cousin of Rainier
-Jack Kelly (Kell)- Grace's older brother
-Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Marie Ardan- good friend of the prince

For her religious ceremony Grace was attended by:
-Peggy Kelly Davis- maid of honor/sister
-Bettina Thompson Gray and Sally Parrish Richardson- Grace had attended the American Academy of Dramatic arts with them
-Maree Frisby Pamp: her friend since high school
-Carolyn Scott Reybold: lived in the same residence hotel when they were both starting out as actresses
-Rita Gam Lume: another friend from her early NY acting days
- Judith Balaban Kanter: the wife of Grace's agent Jay.

Rainier had the same three witnesses for both ceremonies. As well he had four 'spiritual advisors' at his religious wedding. One was an American priest named Father Tucker.

There were also four flower girls and two page boys:
-Meg and Mary Lee Davis: daughters of Peggy, Grace's nieces
-Christine and Elisabeth de Massy: daughters of Antoinette, Rainier's nieces
-Sebastian von Furstenberg- a cousin of Rainier
-Christian de massey- son of Antoinette, Rainier's nephew

Her wedding gown was designed by MGM costume designer and Grace's friend Helen Rose. The bridesmaids were in dresses custom made at Neiman Marcus, and the flower girls as well, whose shoes were from Jc Penny.

Guests included:
-Sir Guy Salisbury-Jone representing the BRF
-Conrad Hilton who represented the US President
-Aga Khan and his wife- he was in a wheelchair at the time
-former King Farouk of Egypt who was a personal friend of Rainier
-Randolph Churchill
-Aristotle Onasis who had showered the bride on her arrival in Monaco had of course been invited
-Barney Balaban, founder of Paramount, and his wife attended. They were the parents of bridesmaid Tina Katner
-celebrities included the likes of Ava Gardner

They had two ceremonies and two receptions. The reception after the civil wedding was in the courtyard of the pink palace with 3000 guests. A much more elaborate reception was held after the religious wedding.

The couple were married for 26 years and shared 3 children before Grace sadly died in a car accident. The couple now have 11 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Grace died before she became a grandmother, Rainier was alive for the birth of all but the twins though Albert didn't recognize either of his natural children until after the death of his father.

The European royal houses stayed away in droves,how very different it was for Prince Albert II.
July 12, 1870 birth of Louis II, Prince of Monaco.

His father was Prince Albert I of Monaco. His mother was Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton. His maternal grandparents were William Hamilton, 11th Duke of Hamilton and Princess Marie Amelie of Baden. His grandmother Marie Amelie was a cousin of Napoleon III and a friend of his wife Eugenie, and had often traveled with the couple. He was born in his grandmother's home of Baden-Baden. His parent's marriage had been arranged as Albert's mother had wanted her son to marry into the British royal family. Emperor Napoleon III knew Victoria would never allow such a marriage, and instead proposed his Mary instead. The marriage was an unhappy one, and produced only the one child Louis. Shortly after her son's birth Mary left Monaco for good, hating the country, having grown up in the hills of Scotland.

Louis was raised in Germany by his mother and his eventual stepfather, Prince Tasziló Festetics de Tolna (Mary married him in 1880 after her first marriage was finally annulled). His mother and stepfather would have four children, but only his half sister Countess Maria Mathild would be born before he had to return to Monaco. Maria Mathild married Prince Karl von Furstenberg making her grandmother to Ira and Egon von Furstenberg and Prince Karel Schwarzenberg (son of her daughter Antonie). A half brother Gyorgy, and two more half-sisters Alexandra and Karola followed. His stepfather was a count at the time, he was made a prince in 1911 By King Frances Joseph of Hungary. The couple's grandson Prince Georg is the current head of their house.

Louis was made to return home to Monaco at the age of 11 to start his education as the future sovereign prince. Albert was a very cold and distant man. As a ruler he had made Monaco the center of the arts and intellect. As soon as Louis was old enough he left Monaco to attend the French military college for four years and joined the French foreign legion. He joined the African light horse in Algeria.

His father had ascended as sovereign in 1889 after the death of his father Charles III. A month later his father remarried to Alice Heine. Alice was born in New Orleans to a father who was from a prominent Jewish banking family. After the US civil war brought the family back to France, Alice and her brother became fixtures at the French court, and Napoleon III and Eugenie served as her godparents. She had converted to catholocism to marry her first husband Armand Chapelle de Jumilhac, 7th Duke of Richelieu . She bore her first husband a son and daughter. She bore no children to Albert and like his previous marriage, this one didn't last. The couple were legally separated in 1902, but remained married until his death. She remained single after.

While in Algeria Louis met cabaret singer Marie Juliette Louvet. She had two children from her marriage to a French photographer. Because of her station his father refused to allow the two to be married. She bore him one child.

-Charlotte Louise Juliette Grimaldi: was born in Algeria. A law was passed in 1911 to adopt her and make her a legal heir to her father. Her grandfather bestowed upon her the title of Duchess of Valentois, the historical title for the heir. She married Count Pierre de Polignac and was mother of Rainier III and Princess Antoinette. On her son's 21st birthday with permission from her father, she ceded her rights to the throne to her son as long as he did not predecease her. Pierre and Charlotte were divorced in 1933 after separated for three years. Pierre was homosexual and Charlotte had affairs, making for an unhappy marriage, separated in 1930.

Louis served in the French army from 1895 to 1899 (his daughter born in 1898). He received the cross of the legion of honor. He returned to Monaco leaving his mistress and daughter behind. He re-enlisted in the army during WWI and served as a staff officer. He was made a Grand officer of the legion of honor and eventually made the rank of Brigadier general.

The issue of succession came up in 1911. If he had no heir, the throne passed to Wilhelm, Duke of Urach. Wilhelm was the son of Princess Florestine of Monaco and her husband 1st Duke of Urach. Florestine was Albert's Aunt, the younger sister of Charles III. Wilhelm would for a few months be the elected king of Lithuania.

Not wishing the throne to pass to a German noble, Albert passed a law in 1911 recognizing Charlotte as the legal heir of her father. It went against the earlier statutes so in 1918 a further law was passed where Charlotte was legally adopted by her father as heir to the throne. The adoption happened in 1919 when Charlotte became Princess Charlotte and was named Duchess of Valentois by her grandfather.

His father died June 26, 1922 and he ascended the throne as Louis II. His reign lacked the grandeur of his father but he left his mark. The Monaco football club and the Monaco Grand Prix were both started in his reign. The Monaco Opera was also formed. The football stadium was built as well.

Louis attempted to keep Monaco neutral during WWII despite his pro French leanings. Unfortunately much of Monaco was of Italian descent and were supporters of Mussolini. Monaco was occupied by the Italians until Mussolini fell, and then by the Germans. The Germans began deporting the Jews out of Monaco. Rene Blum, the man Louis had hired to start the opera was one of those deported and he would die at Auschwitz. Louis though gave secret orders to the Monaco police to warn people of the Gestapo, so they could flee before they were captured, at great risk to the police.

Prince Louis butted heads greatly with his grandson Rainier. Rainier was an active supporter of the allies and thought his grandfather should be more pro-active in the war.

By the time Monaco was liberated, Louis was 75 and had little interest in his country. It fell into severe neglect of leadership, with Louis spending more and more time in Paris.

July 27 of 1946 he married for the first time. His choice was 46 year old French actress Ghislaine Dommanget. She had been married once, and was in a relationship with actor Andre Brule when she met Louis. She was the first bride of Monaco to not bring any dowry to the marriage.

He and his wife called the Chateau de Marchais home, a home purchased by his grandfather. Despite this, when he died in 1949 he died at the Royal palace in Monaco and was buried St Nicholas Cathedral. His widow became the Dowager Duchess of Monaco, a title she held till her own death in 1991. Ghislaine died in Paris and was buried at the Passy cemetary.

Since Charlotte had ceded her rights to her son in 1944 when he reached 21, Louis was succeeded by his grandson Rainier III.

His former mistress and mother to Charlotte, Marie Juliette died in 1930.
I often wondered if the Duke of Urach ever contested the 1911 succession law?
I often wondered if the Duke of Urach ever contested the 1911 succession law?

I don't believe he did. In 1924 he gave up his succession claims willingly (other adult members of their branch had discussed it as well). He was third in line for the throne behind Louis and Charlotte. The claim then passed to the counts de Chabrillan after Charlotte.

There would be some question with the French-Monaco treaty if he was eligible as it limited it to people of Monaco/French nationality. Wilhelm was born in Monte Carlo, and after his father died when he was four, he and his brother were raised by their mother in Monaco. But he was a Wurttemberg national and spent his adult life in his family estates in Germany (the family own Lichtenstein castle).

There is some evidence one of his sons attempted to. In March 1930 the Chicago Tribune reported that his third son Albrecht was speaking to the French foreign office trying to convince them of his rightful claim as heir. He claimed the adoption of Charlotte could only be legal if all members of the family approved it, and the Urach branch never did.

Wilhelm was married to Duchess Amalie in Bavaria. Amalie was the older half-sister of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium (she was the only child of Karl-Theodor of Bavaria's first marriage to Sophie of Saxony. Elisabeth was one of five children by his second wife Maria Josepha of Portugal).

Wilhelm and his wife had 9 children. Albrecht was their seventh child and third son. His father's title was inherited by his second brother Karl Gero as the eldest brother Wilhelm made a morganatic marriage. Albrecht also made morganatic marriages, so he was ineligible to inherit his family lands. Karl Gero was succeeded by the sons of the 4th brother Eberhard.

The current duke of Urach is Eberhard's second son Wilhelm Albert who succeeded his brother when his brother married a commoner. Eberhard's wife was Princess Iniga of Thurn and Taxis. Iniga was a granddaughter of Albert, 8th prince of Thurn and Taxis making her first cousins with Johannes, the father of the current head of the family Albert and his sisters.

When Wilhelm renounced his claim, the nearest line after Urach was the counts de Chabrillan. They were an even more remote female line of the family then the Urachs. They were descended from a daughter of Prince Joseph of Monaco and Marie Thérèse de Choiseul who was executed during the reign of terror. Joseph was a son of Honore III and younger brother of Honore IV. Honore IV was the great-great grandfather of Louis II.

Respecting Wilhelm's renunciation of succession, the heir after Charlotte would have been Léonor Guigues de Moreton, comte de Chabrillan.

Last edited:
There would be some question with the French-Monaco treaty if he was eligible as it limited it to people of Monaco/French nationality. Wilhelm was born in Monte Carlo, and after his father died when he was four, he and his brother were raised by their mother in Monaco. But he was a Wurttemberg national and spent his adult life in his family estates in Germany and Lichtenstein (the family own Lichtenstein castle).

Lichtenstein Castle is in Württemberg on the swabian alps.
On this day, September 21, 1869 ~ The wedding of Prince Albert I of Monaco and Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton
A photo of the couple said to be shortly after they married


Their marriage only lasted 11 years. Though they were separated before.

Her second husband to whom she was married to for 40 years, Prince Taszilo. He was the father of her four youngest children.


Albert's second wife American born Alice Heine who he was married to for 13 years before separating. They had no children.


Lady Mary traded in the palace of Monaco for Festetics Palace in Hungary. The Hungarian home would have suited her far more as she never liked the Monaco climate or country. Hungary would have been far more similar to her beloved Scotland.

Last edited:
On this day, October 2, 1841 ~ Demise of Honore V, Prince of Monaco in Paris, France
On this day October 3, 1990 Stefano Casiraghi, p. Caroline's husband died on a speed
boat accident

On this day, October 7, 1737 ~ Birth of Maria Caterina Brignole, Princess of Monaco, wife of Prince Honore III of Monaco
On this day, November 10, 1697 ~ Birth of Louise Hippolyte, Sovereign Princess of Monaco
On this day, November 10, 1697 ~ Birth of Louise Hippolyte, Sovereign Princess of Monaco

Daughter of Antonio I of Monaco and Marie of Lorraine. Though her parents had six kids, they were all girls. She was the 2nd born but her older sister didnt survive childhood. It was agreed with the French king that her husband would take her last name and rule jointly with her.

Her husband Jacques I was Jacques Goyon, Count of Matignon.

While she was welcomed by the Monaco people, her husband was not. When she died of smallpox he was so neglectful of Monaco, preferring to stay in Paris even when she was alive with his mistresses, that he was forced to abdicate. She died in 1731 and he abdicated in favor of their son Honore in 1732.

They had 9 children. Honore (Honore III) was their third child and 2nd son.

Her tomb

Such a short reign for Princess Louise just a little over 11 months.

20th of January 1731 –29th of December 1731.

November 12, 1929 birth of Grace Patricia Kelly aka Princess Grace of Monaco.

Grace was born in Philadelphia to a prominent family. Her father John Kelly won three olympic gold medals in sculling and owned a brickwork company. Her mother Margaret Majer Kelly was the first coach for female athletic teams at University of Pennsylvania college for women before she married and had kids. Grace was the third of four children, with two sisters Peggy and Elizabeth and one brother John. Like their father, John Jr was an Olympian sculler, competing in four olympics and winning bronze in one.

Grace's father was one of ten children. His brother Walter was a Vaudeville actor and his brother George was a Pulitzer prize winner for drama.

Grace made her acting debut in television in 1948. Grace would appear in 11 movies before she left Hollywood. Her last was High Society.

She had an earlier brush as a 'princess' in the movie 'The Swan'

Having met Prince Rainier III of Monaco at Cannes in 1955 the couple were married in 1956. The couple had three children, Caroline, Albert and Stephanie. Unfortunately Grace was in a car accident September 13, 1982. She was driving back from Roc Agel with her daughter Stephanie when she suffered a stroke. She died the following day. Due to injuries Stephanie was unable to attend the funeral of her mother.

Her funeral September 18 had 400 mourners including Princess Diana and Empress Farrah of Iran, and a number of Hollywood friends like Cary Grant.

Rainier died in 2005.

She is now the grandmother of 11 (4 from Albert, 4 from Caroline and 3 from Stephanie) and 7 great-grandchildren all from Caroline.
On this day, November 13, 1848 ~ Birth of Albert I, Prince of Monaco in Paris, France
One of the few orders held by Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois was the Spanish Order of Queen Maria Luisa of which she was a Dame Grand Cross.
On this day, November 29, 1604 ~ Demise of Hercule, Lord of Monaco in Monaco
On this day, November 29, 1604 ~ Demise of Hercule, Lord of Monaco in Monaco

Commonly referred to by the Italian form instead, Ercole.

Like his grandfather Lucien, he was murdered. He was stabbed to death in a back alley way on his way home from the governor's house. There is some doubt about the reason for his murder.

Mad for Monaco: Lord Hercules I of Monaco

His son Honoree became Prince of Monaco, it raised to a principality that year. Honoree was under the guardianship of his Uncle Frederico Landi who allowed Monaco to be occupied by the Spanish and sent Honoree and his sisters to Milan. It was his alliance with Louis XIII to end Spanish occupation which led to Monaco falling under the French protection. The titles Duke of Valentinois and Marquis of Baux were given bu Louis at this time as Honoree lost his Italian lands when he allied with the French.
His wife Maria Landi,Lady of Monaco predeceased him in 1599,they had only been married 4 years.

They had 3 children

  1. Giovanna Maria Grimaldi,Countess di Melzo +1620
  2. Honoré II +1662
  3. Maria Claudia Grimaldi, Carmeline nun in Genoa +1668
On this day, December 16, 1522 ~ Birth of Honore I, Lord of Monaco in Monaco
On this day, December 16, 1522 ~ Birth of Honore I, Lord of Monaco in Monaco

Honoré I was Lord of Monaco aged just 9 months following the assassination of his father Lucien,Lord of Monaco. He had a long reign 1523–1581,with his uncle Augustine Grimaldi,Bishop of Grasse acting as Regent 1523-1532.
December 22, 1925 death of Alice Heine, second wife of Albert I.


Alice was American. Born Marie Alice Heine February 10, 1858 she was born in New Orleans. Her father Michel Heine as a French Jewish banker who owned a bank with his brother Armand. Her mother's parents were French and Creole. She had two younger brothers Paul and Isaac.

Due to the civil war the family left the US and moved back to France. Due to her family's money, they were fixtures at court. Her father's financial business helped to fund Napoleon III's wars in Prussia. Her beauty attracted a greal deal of attention at the court.

Alice was first married to Marie Odet Armand Aimable Chapelle de Jumilhac, Marquis of Jumilhac then 7th Duke of Richelieu and Duke of Aiguillon. She converted to the Catholic faith to marry her first husband. Napoleon III and his wife stood as her godparents.

She had two children with the duke.

-Marie Odet Jean Armand Chapelle de Jumilhac: he was the 8th and final duke. He married American Eleanor Douglas wise but they had no children.

-Odile Marie Auguste Septimanie Chapelle de Jumilhac: She was Countess de La Rochefoucauld and later Princess de La Rochefoucauld-Montbe through her marriage to Gabriel Marie François Hippolyte Ferri Eugène de La Rochefoucauld. They had one daughter Anne who married twice but had no children.

Her first husband died in Athens in 1880.

She married Prince Albert I of Monaco in 1889. Alice was 31 and Albert was 41. He had his first marriage to Lady Mary Hamilton annulled in 1880. Lady Mary had moved to Hungary following the end of their marriage, taking their only son Louis with her where she had remarried to Prince Tassilo Festetics de Tolna who she had four children. Albert ascended the throne as Prince of Monaco September 10 of 1889. He and Alice were married October 30.

Alice inherited her father's business sense. She helped put the principality on better financial footing during her time there. She had a passion for the arts and worked to make Monaco a cultural center. She brought the ballet, theater and opera under the direction of Russian Sergei Diaghilev.

The couple were seperated in 1902 but they remained married. When he died 20 years later she was referred to as Dowager Princess of Monaco. She would not remarry again.

She died in Paris. She is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.


Her childhood home is now the site of Cafe Amelie in New Orleans.

Photo Gallery | Cafe Amelie
December 28, 1920 birth of Princess Antoinette, Baroness de Massey.

Princess Antoinette Louise Alberte Suzanne Grimaldi was born in Paris. Her mother was Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Duchess of Valentinois. And her father was Count Pierre de Polignac. Antoinette was born during the reign of her great-grandfather Albert I of Monaco. Her grandfather Louis was Albert's only son. Charlotte was Louis' natural daughter with his mistress Marie Julliette Luvette. Her mother became heir to the throne on the death of her grandfather in 1922 and ascension of her own father as Louis II. Her only sibling, Rainier (The future Rainier III) was born a year later in 1923.

Her parents were divorced in 1933 after seperating in 1930. Pierre was reportedly homosexual, and Charlotte had taken lovers of her own.In 1944 her mother would cede her rights to the throne to her son Rainier with the full agreement of her father. Antoinette's brother would become Rainier III in 1949. Their mother moved to Paris where she never remarried but had lovers.

Antoinette was married three times herself.

Her first husband was Alexandre-Athenase Noghès. Alexandre was a Monaco born lawyer and professional tennis player. They started a relationship in the early 1940's but didnt marry until 1951. At that point they already had three children who were legitimized on their marriage. She was made Baroness de Massy by her brother in the same year. Their marriage lasted three years.

their children:

-Elizabeth Anne: Married twice and had a child from each marriage. She was well known in Monaco for her charity work including including president of the Tennis federation. She died in June of this year.

-Christian Louis: Baron de Massy. Her only living child. He is a diplomat currently an economic attache in DC. He has been married and divorced four times. He has a daughter (and 2 grandsons) from his first marriage and two sons from his fourth marriage.

-Christine Alix: died of leukemia in 1989 at 37. She was married twice, the second the year before she died. She had a son with her first husband and has four grandchildren.

Her second marriage was to Dr. Jean-Charles Rey in 1961. He was president of the National council of the Parliament of Monaco. They were married until 1974 when they were divorced.

Her third marriage was to dancer and choreographer John Gilpin. They married July 1983 but he died six weeks after they were married.He died suddenly from a heart attack.

She was president of Monaco's society for the protection of Animals and patron of the UK's Battersea dogs and cats home (Camilla's patronage where she adopted her dogs from).She was also president of the tennis federation and the Monte Carlo country club.

She died March 18, 2011 at the age of 90 and her funeral was held March 24. She was buried at the Chapel of Peace in Monaco. She is buried next to her parents, her 2 daughters, her third husband and Stefano.

Top Bottom