Arms of Monaco

These are the arms of the Grimaldi family: fusily argent and gules. The supporters, two monks holding swords, recall how the disguise under which the first Grimaldi to rule over Monaco penetrated the fort in 1297. As described below, several successive families have in turn adopted the name and arms of Grimaldi. The flag of Monaco is based on the colors of these arms.

History of Monaco

Early History

Monaco was part of Provence since 975, when Guillaume, comte de Provence, expelled the Arabs from the region. In 1191, Monaco was given to Genoa by the Emperor Henry VI, a donation confirmed by Frederic II in 1220 and 1241, and by the comte de Provence in 1262. On January 8, 1297 the Grimaldi, an exiled Genoan family, seized the fortress. They lost it in 1317, regained it in 1335, and soon begin to assert their independence. They acquired Menton in 1346 and Rocquebrune in 1355, but lost everything in 1357, regained it in 1395, lost again in 1401. Monaco breaks away finally from Genoa in 1419, and the Grimaldi return as lords of Monaco.

The Grimaldi at the time form an extended family, an albergha.  The lordships of Monaco, Menton, Roquebrune, and the various pieces of real estate that they have acquired over time, are all jointly owned by members of the family.  In particular, the Grimaldi brothers who retook Monaco in 1335, Antoine and Charles, owned Monaco as a condominium.  When Monaco was retaken by Charles's grandsons in 1419, they owned it jointly as well.  Ultimately, one of the brothers, Jean (1382-1454) was left in sole possession of Monaco after the brothers divided the family estates in 1427.  From then on, the Grimaldi lords of Monaco tried to avoid such joint ownerships and divisions, and did so through clauses in their wills.

Jean's will of 1454, that of his only son Catalan (1415-1457), and that of Catalan's only child Claudine (1451-1515), followed the same pattern as far as the succession was concerned.  Jean left Monaco to his son Catalan, with remainder to Catalan's male issue by order of primogeniture.  In case of default of Catalan's male issue women were called to succeed, on condition that the husband change his name and arms to those of Grimaldi.  In case of default of Catalan's issue his sister Bartholomée was called to succeed (she was married to Pietro Fregosa, doge of Genoa; their male issue extinct 1548), and after her the nearest kin in the Grimaldi family.  Claudine's will of 20 Aug 1514 made her third-born son Lucien (d. 1523) her sole heir (disinheriting her second-born Louis for reason of insanity), with remainder to his brother Augustin (d. 1532), bishop of Grasse, followed by Lucien's children (male first, then in default of male issue, female), followed by the issue of her daughters (male, then female); the condition for any married female being that the husband change his name and arms to those of Grimaldi before receiving the inheritance, failing which the succession passed to the next in line.  Claudine herself, as it turns out, had married her cousin Lambert Grimaldi, following the wishes expressed by her father Catalan in his will. In the event, Lucien was succeeded by Augustin, who was succeeded by Lucien's son Honoré I (d. 1581).

In the years after 1419, the Grimaldi lords were able to assert their independence. Ongoing conflicts with Genoa, Milan and Savoy lead the Grimaldis to seek or accept protection from various parties. Most notably, in 1448 Jean Grimaldi ceded half of Menton and Roquebrune to the duc de Savoie, who granted them back in fee (in 1477, this was extended to 11/12 of Menton). Homage was given until 1507 and again in 1716 and 1816.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Grimaldi conclude a variety of treaties of alliances as sovereigns of Monaco. Monaco could obviously not be a partner on an equal footing, but the form taken by these alliances (adherentia or recommendatio) underscored its independence: the lord of Monaco did not submit as a vassal or subject, but became a client or protégé. Examples include a treaty with Florence in 1424, with Savoy in 1428 and 1448, with Milan in 1477. Monaco's sovereignty is thus recognized in a number of texts: by the duke of Savoy in 1489, by the Pope in 1524. By the late 15th century, Monaco gravitates toward France, and letters patent of the king of France grant to Monaco protection et sauvegarde especial all the while maintaining the lord of Monaco's "preeminences, privileges, rights and freedoms" (14 Jan 1498, 10 July 1498, 11 May 1507). The letters patent of Feb. 10, 1512 recognized Monaco's independence from France, in the sense that the Grimaldi were considered to hold Monaco "from God and the sword only", and offered his protection: "voulons et entendons que le dit seigneur Grimault ne soit aucunement diminué, ne soit empêché en ses droits, jurisdictions, supériorités, prérogatives et préhéminences, et le prenons sous Notre protection, sureté et sauvegarde spéciales" (cited in Ed. Engelhardt: Les protectorats anciens et modernes; Paris). Significantly, the letters were ratified by the lord of Monaco, underlining their contractual nature.

Soon after, an agreement signed in Burgos in 1524 placed Monaco under the protection of Spain, and made it into an imperial fief, for which the lord of Monaco was to give homage. The lord of Monaco asked that this clause be changed, and the final agreement proclaimed in an edict at Tordesillas in November 1524 did not make any mention of imperial fief, but instead affirmed in a revision of the treaty. Later, an agreement of 1605 allowed the posting of a Spanish garrison in Monaco. The Spanish protectorate lasted until the Spaniards were expelled by the French in 1641.

It was during the period of Spanish protectorate that Honoré II (1597-1662) began to use the title of prince.  The first appearance is in 1612, the year of his accession, in private notarial acts, where the formula dating the document as having been drafted while X was lord of Monaco was changed to "lord and prince".  In 1619, Honoré II changed the formulas in his edicts and on his seal, relinquishing his patronym, and calling himself "prince of Monaco".  At about the same time he styled himself as such in his correspondance with the Spanish chancery, which reciprocated from 1633.

During the Thirty Years War, hostilities broke out between France and Spain in 1635. In 1640, Catalonia revolted against Habsburg rule and asked France for help. As part of the military operations in the western Mediterranean, French troops forced the Spanish garrison out of Monaco in 1641. This put an end to the Spanish protectorate.

silver coin of Monaco, 1649
Silver écu of Honoré II, 1649. The legend reads Honoratus II D[ei] G[ratia] Princeps Monoeci Dux Valent[iniensis] Par Franciae &c" (Honoré II, by the grace of God, prince of Monaco, duke of Valentinois, peer of France, etc). Photo courtesy of Compagnie Générale de Bourse (Monnaies IX, 1228).

French Protectorate (1641-93) and Annexation (1793-1814)

The relations with France were then defined by the Treaty of Péronne of Sep. 14, 1641, by which France, offered its protection, and obtained to garrison its troups in Monaco. But the article guaranteed that the king of France would leave "the prince in his full liberty and sovereignty over Monaco, Menton and Roquebrune" ("Sa Majesté laissera ledit prince en sa liberté et souveraineté de Monaco, de Menton et de Roquebrune"). The king of France committed to compensating the prince for expected losses of estates in the kingdom of Naples, which the king of Spain was sure to confiscate in retaliation for the prince switching sides. The loss in annual revenues was estimated at 25,000 écus.

A summary of the treaty is in Labande 1934; the full text is in Metivier 1862; full text also in the base Choiseul; an English summary is in Hertslet's Map of Europe by Treaty, vol. 3, p. 1989, available online. A manifesto by the prince of Monaco, dated 18 Nov 1641, explaining his reasons for relinquishing the protection of Spain is referenced in Mertens, , 1:436, citing Abreu, Phil. IV, part 3, p. 623.

By letters patent of May 1642, the prince was given French nationality, granted various estates in the Dauphiné, as compensation for the prince's estates in Naples and Milan, and these estates were formed into the duchy-peerage of Valentinois (letters of May 1642, registered 18 Jul 1642) the marquisat des Baux (letters of May 1642, registered 14 Mar 1643), and the comté de Carladès (letters of February 1643, registered 14 Marc 1643); the marquis title would be used by the eldest son and the comte title by the eldest grandson (see Levantal for these details). The new duke received the Orders of the Saint-Esprit and Saint-Michel on May 22, in compensation for the loss of the Golden Fleece (one of the conditions of the treaty of Peronne). The terms of the treaty were respected throughout the following 150 years, and Monaco was even able to assert and maintain its neutrality throughout the 18th century.

Notwithstanding this compensation (to which the revenues of tolls in Valence and Vienne were added in August 1647), article 104 of the treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659 mandated the return of the prince of Monaco's estates in Naples and Milan. Rather than give up his peerage, the prince ceded his rights to the king of France, who gave the revenue and management of those estates to the duke of Lanti.

Honoré II (1597-1662) was succeeded by his grandson Louis (1642-1701), and he by his son Antoine (1661-1731), who had no sons but several daughters. Antoine's only brother François-Honoré (1664-1748), a cleric, resigned his rights of succession on 22 Jul 1715. There were no other male descendants of Lucien Grimaldi. On Oct. 20, 1715 Antoine's eldest daughter and heiress, Louise-Hippolyte (1697-1731) married Jacques-François de Goyon-Matignon (1689-1751) from an old Breton family. In 1731, he succeeded his father-in-law and became Jacques I Grimaldi, assuming the name and arms of Grimaldi in fulfillment of the conditions imposed by the marriage contract of Sep. 5, 1715 (itself fulfilling the clauses of Claudine Grimaldi's will of 1514). The title of Valentinois, whose remainder was restricted to male heirs, had been recreated by letters patent of Dec 1715 (registered 2 Sep 1716), with same remainder. The family titles of Goyon-Matignon included those of sire de Matignon, comte de Thorigny (by marriage in the 15th c.), Luthumière, Saint-Lô (bought in the 16th century), and Estouteville as well as Hambie by inheritance from the Orléans-Longueville in 1707. There was some dispute over the title of Estouteville, and 18th century references name the Matignon not as ducs d'Estouteville but as seigneurs du duché d'Estouteville, indicating possession of the land but not of the title.

Jacques I abdicated in 1733 in favor of his son Honoré III (1722-95). In 1777 the latter's son Honoré (later Honoré IV, 1759-1819) married Louise-Félicité d'Aumont (they were divorced in 1793) and through her another series of titles entered or seemed to enter the Grimaldi inheritance. She was the daughter of Louis-Marie-Gui d'Aumont (1732-99), duc d'Aumont and marquis de Guiscard and Louise-Jeanne de Duras (1735-81), herself daughter of Emmanuel-Felicité de Durfort, duc de Duras (1715-89) and Charlotte-Antoinette Mazarini (1718-35) daughter of Guy-Paul-Jules de La Porte, duc de La Meilleraye, duc de Mazarin and duc de Mayenne (1701-38). The duchy-peerage of La Meilleraye had been created in Dec 1663 for Charles de La Porte, a cousin of the cardinal of Richelieu. He married Marie Coeffier d'Effiat, daughter of Antoine who had been made marquis de Longjumeau in 1621 and marquis de Chilly in 1624, and who was also baron de Massy. The son of Charles, Armand-Charles de La Porte (1632-1713) married Hortense Mancini (1646-99), niece of cardinal Mazarin, for whom Rethel was made into a duchy-peerage under the name of Mazarin, with female transmission (Dec 1663). She was the recipient of that prime minister's favors: duchy of Rethel-Mazarin, the duchy of Mayenne (which he had bought in 1654 and gave to her in 1661), the principality of Château-Porcien, and the Alsatian lands of Ferrette (Pfert), Belfort, Dèle, Thann, Altkirch and Isenheim, given to Mazarin by Louis XIV after the annexation of Alsace to France.

arms of Aumont and Duras
Arms of Louis-Marie-Guy d'Aumont de Villequier and Louise-Jeanne de Durfort de Duras, from a 19th c. copy of a jeton celebrating their marriage. Photo courtesy of Compagnie Générale de Bourse (Jetons XI, 427).

Armand-Charles' son Paul-Jules (1666-1731) was the father of Guy-Paul-Jules, last of the male line, who gave homage to the king in 1727 for the duchies of La Meilleraye, Mazarin and Mayenne, the marquisates of Chilly and Longejumeau, the principality of Château-Portien, and the barony of Massy. The title of La Meilleraye, which had a remainder to male heirs, became extinct in 1738. The title of Mazarin had a remainder to female heirs, but an edict of 1711 modified all such remainders and allowed female transmission only through a descendant in male line of the original grantee. Thus the title of Mazarin became extinct in 1738; it was re-erected by letters of Oct 1746 as simple duchy (Levanthal, p. 305; cf. AN O/1/282, n. 81) for Louise-Jeanne de Duras, who was therefore in her own right duchesse de Mazarin, La Meilleraye and Mayenne (she was given a temporary waiver of homage for all of those duchies in 1738, being a minor). But she, not being in male descent from the original grantee, could not pass on her ducal titles, which became extinct with her death in 1781.

Monaco was swept by the French Revolution. Initially, the French Constituent Assembly maintained the terms of the treaty of 1641 and even compensated the prince for his losses in France as a result of the abolition of feudalism (decree of 21 Sep. 1791). After negotiations, the revenues were estimated at 273,786F, but the Revolution overthrew Louis XVI and the prince of Monaco soon lost his principality. In Monaco, a national convention was elected in January 1793 and immediately deposed the Grimaldi, and asked for unification with France. This wish was granted by the French National Convention in a decree of February 14, 1793.

The Sardinian Protectorate (1815-60)

Monaco was returned to the Grimaldi family in 1814 with its borders of 1792, and initially placed under the continued protection of France by the treaty of Paris of May 30, 1814. After Napoleon's return and defeat Monaco was instead made into a Sardinian protectorate by the treaty of Vienna of Nov 20, 1815. The relations between Sardinia and Monaco were defined by the treaty of Stupiniggi of November 1817, which followed closely the terms of the treaty of Peronne. Nevertheless, the princes of Monaco maintained ties with France; Honoré (1778-1841), the eldest son of Honoré IV, was made a duke-peer under the Restoration (Napoleon had made him a baron in 1810); he succeeded his father as Honoré V in 1819 but continued to sit in the French House of Lords. His title became extinct on his death: he never married but left an illegitimate son Louis Grimaldi (1814-94), marquis des Baux (s.p.).

In 1848, Menton and Roquebrune (which were still fiefs held from the dukes of Savoie now kings of Sardinia), declared themselves free cities and asked to be united to Sardinia. This was never formally carried out, but a Sardinian decree of May 1, 1849 places them within the district of Nice for all administrative purposes. The prince of Monaco protested but to no avail.

Honoré V was succeeded by his brother Florestan I (1785-1856), who left a son Charles III (1818-89) and a daughter Florestine (1835-97), married to Frederic of Wurttemberg, duke of Urach, son by a morganatic marriage of a brother of the first king of Wurttemberg.

The Treaties of 1861 and 1918

To thank Napoleon III for his military intervention in the unification of Italy, the king of Sardinia ceded Nice to France on March 24, 1860, and with it the disputed territories of Menton and Roquebrune. Sardinia withdrew its troups from Monaco on July 18, 1860, thereby ending its protectorate. The situation was settled in a treaty of February 2, 1861. Under the terms of that treaty, France recognized the sovereignty of Monaco (and apparently gave the prince the treatment of Most Serene Higness, hitherto only called Highness in treaties: see for example the agreements signed with France on 27 Apr 1844, 11 Feb 1851 and 8 Nov 1854: De Clerq 5.171, 6.80, 6.471). Monaco abandoned all claims to Menton and Roquebrune (now French) in exchange for 4 million F. By additional articles which do not appear in the Consolidated Treaty Series, Martens, or the British and Foreign State Papers (51:673), but are cited in the treaty of 1918, Monaco promised France not to cede all or part of the principality to any power other than France.

In application of the treaty, a customs union was created by a convention of 1865. No mention was made of any protectorate, and the prince "reserves for himself the right to conclude with foreign powers any treaty which does not contain any clause contrary to the present convention" (art. 2). A convention of 1912 required the prior assent of the Prince to the entry of French troups into Monaco.

A civil code was promulgated in 1881. On May 15, 1882 the prince promulgated Statutes of the Sovereign House, with succession laws. Art. 1 stated "la souveraineté de la Principauté de Monaco continue à être héréditaire dans la descendance directe et légitime des princes de Monaco"; art. 2 allowed for adoption of an heir by the Prince if he is without descendants or admissible parents; a revision of Oct 30, 1918 allowed the Hereditary Prince to do the same with the assent of the Prince; art. 3 required assent of the prince to any marriage and loss of succession rights when assent is lacking; other articles regulated regencies and record-keeping. On June 5, 1911, Prince Albert I (1848-1922, son of Charles III) promulgated the first Constitution (text in Italian), which shared legislative power between the Prince and a National Council elected by universal suffrage, but left considerable powers to the Prince. The "constitutional ordinance" began: "Nous, Albert 1er par la grâce de Dieu Prince Souverain de Monaco, avons volontairement et par le libre exercice de Notre autorité souveraine, accordé et accordons à nos sujets, tant pour Nous que pour Nos successeurs l'organisation constitutionelle qui suit". The consitution did not deal with succession, nor did it include any mechanism for amendment or contain any commitment by the Prince to uphold it. It was suspended on Oct. 8, 1914 and reinstated with changes on November 18, 1917.

Monaco, whose population was 22,956 in 1913, maintained its neutrality during World War I, but a treaty was signed between France and Monaco on July 17, 1918, which entered into force on 23 June 1919. The treatry was replaced with a new treaty on October 24, 2002 (see below).

The terms of the treaty were as follows for the first 3 out of 7 articles. (Original text from United Nations Treaty Series, 1975, vol. 981, p. 360; also in 224 CTS 33; the full French text can be found on Base Pacte; the English translation is from the UN's Web site).

Article 1
Le gouvernement de la République Française assure à la Principauté de Monaco la défense de son indépendence et de sa souveraineté et garantit l’intégrité de son territoire comme si ce territoire faisait partie de la France.

De son côté le Gouvernement de Son Altesse Sérénissime le Prince de Monaco s’engage à exercer ses droits de souveraineté en parfaite conformité avec les intérêts politiques, militaires, navals et économiques de la France.

The Government of the French Republic assures to the Principality of Monaco the defense of its independence and its sovereignty and guarantees the integrity of its territory as if that territory were part of France.

The government of His Serene Highness the Prince of Monaco undertakes, for its part, to exercise its rights of sovereignty in complete conformity with the political, military, naval and economic interests of France.

Article 2
Les mesures concernant les relations internationales de la Principauté devront toujours faire l’objet d’une entente préalable entre le Gouvernement princier et le Gouvernement français.

Il en est de même des mesures concernant directement ou indirectement l’exercice d’une régence ou la succession à la couronne qui, soit par l’effet d’un mariage, d’une adoption ou autrement ne pourra être dévolue qu’à une personne ayant la nationalité française ou monégasque et agréée par le Gouvernement Français.

Measures concerning the international relations of the Principality shall always be the subject of prior consultations between the Government of the Principality and the French Government.

The same shall apply to measures concerning directly or indirectly the exercise of a regency or succession to the throne, which shall, whether by marriage or adoption or otherwise, pass only to a person who is of French or Monegasque nationality and is approved by the French Government.

Article 3
Son Altesse Sérénissime le Prince de Monaco, conformément aux articles additionnels du Traité du 2 février 1861, confirme tant pour lui que pour ses successeurs l’engagement pris envers le Gouvernement Français de ne point aliéner la Principauté, soit en totalité, soit en partie en faveur d’aucune autre Puissance que la France.

En cas de vacance de la couronne, notamment faute d’héritier direct ou adoptif, le territoire monégasque formera, sous le protectorat de la France, un État autonome sous le nom d’État de Monaco. En pareil cas, les biens privés immobiliers non affectés à un usage public, qui, de ce chef, pourraient faire l’objet d’une revendication particulière des ayants-droits, seront rachetés par l’État de Monaco avec l’assistance, s’il y a lieu, de l’État Français.

His Serene Highness the Prince of Monaco, in accordance with the additional articles of the Treaty of 2 February 1861, confirms for himself and his successors the commitment assumed towards the French Government not to alienate the Principality, in whole or in part, in favour of any Power other than France.

Should the throne become vacant, particularly for lack of a direct or adoptive heir, the territory of Monaco shall form, under the protectorate of France, an autonomous State under the name of the State of Monaco. In such case, immovable private property, which has not been appropriated for public use and which might accordingly be the subject of a private claim by the rightful owners, shall be purchased by the State of Monaco with the assistance, if necessary, of the French State.

The "private real estate" in question is the personal domain of the Prince, as distinct from the public domain of the crown; until the 1911 constitution, there was no distinction (Albert created the public domain by donating part of his estate). The "heirs" would be collateral heirs excluded from the crown but able to inherit the private domain.

An exchange of letters dated July 17, 1918 to clarify the treaty indicates that the first paragraph of article 2 requires French assent to the establishment of new Monegasque embassies abroad, the choice of diplomats, and any new treaty with foreign powers. It also indicates that the exclusion, specified in paragraph 2 of article 2, of all individuals who are not French or Monegasque citizens, can be prevented by French or Monegasque naturalisation, following an agreement between the French government and the Prince (L'exclusion spécifiée au paragraphe 2 du même article à l'égard de toutes personnes de nationalité autre que les nationalités française ou monégasque pourra être levée par la naturalisation française ou monégasque, en suite d'un accord intervenu entre le Gouvernement de la République et S.A.S. le Prince. The disability specified in the second paragraph of the same article with respect to any person who is not of French or Monegasque nationality may, in consequence of an agreement between the Government of the Republic and His Serene Highness the Prince, be removed by French or Monegasque naturalization). The exchange of letters had, by mutual consent, same force as the treaty itself.

Article 4 allowed the French army and navy to occupy Monaco with or without assent of the prince. Article 5 promised France's support for Monaco's access to international bodies. Article 6 provided for further conventions to update the customs union and settle various judicial and administrative questions. Article 7 of the treaty stipulated that the treaty would be made public at a convenient time. It remained secret until the conclusion of the Treaty of Versailles of June 18, 1919; by article 436 of that treaty, all contracting powers "took note" of the treaty between France and Monaco. The instruments of ratification were exchanged on June 23, at which time the treaty took effect. The text of the treaty was made public and enacted by a Monegasque ordinance of August 9, 1919.

The Succession Crisis of 1918

One of the motivations for the treaty was an impending succession crisis.

In 1918 the reigning prince was Albert I, only child of Charles III. Albert's only child Louis (1870-1949) remained unmarried, and the next of kin was Albert's first cousin Wilhelm duke of Urach (1864-1928), a German national (although born and raised in Monaco), son of Albert's aunt Florestine. It seemed possible that Monaco would pass into German hands, and France could not accept that. Already, steps had been taken in Monaco. Louis, while serving in the French army in Algeria, befriended the laundress of his regiment, who later asked him to look after her daughter in Paris, Marie Juliette Louvet. He looked so closely after her that he sired a daughter, Charlotte-Louise-Juliette (30 Sep 1898-15 Nov 1977), and had recognized her as his child in 1900 in Constantine. An ordinance of May 15, 1911 acknowledged and approved her recognition as child of Louis, and admitted her in the sovereign family, but in violation of the statutes of 1882; the ordinance was invalid, as the National Council pointed out to the prince in 1918. As a consequence, an ordinance of October 30, 1918 modified the Statutes to allow the Prince or, with the Prince's consent, the Hereditary Prince, in the absence of legitimate issue of his own, to adopt a child in or outside of the family. The adopted child fully inherits all the rights, titles and prerogatives of the Prince who adopted him or her, including succession rights to the crown. Should the prince have legitimate issue after the adoption, the adopted child takes rank after the legitimate issue. Another ordinance of October 31 stated the conditions for an adoption, including that the child be 18 years of age; and that adoption took effect immediately.

Subsequently Charlotte, was adopted by Louis in Paris, at the Monegasque embassy, on May 16, 1919, in the presence of the French president and foreign affairs minister, Albert, Louis, the president of the Monegasque national council and the mayor of Monaco. There is a shadow of a doubt on the legality of the adoption. The Monegasque civil code (arts. 240 and 243) require that the adopting party be at least 50 and the adoptee 21. The 1918 ordinance changed the age limit to 18 (Charlotte was 20 at the time of adoption) but not the other age limit, and Louis was 48 at the time.

Charlotte was titled duchesse de Valentinois by Albert I on May 20, 1919 and heir apparent on August 1, 1922 after Louis II's accession on June 22. On March 19, 1920 she married the comte Pierre de Polignac (1895-1964, divorced 1933), a member of a junior branch of the Polignac family. An ordinance of February 29 had given him Monegasque nationality, and an ordinance of March 18 had changed his name and arms to those of Grimaldi; on March 20, he was allowed to take the title of duc de Valentinois. Charlotte and Pierre Grimaldi had a daughter Antoinette, baronne de Massy (b. 28 Dec 1920) and a son Rainier (b. 31 May 1923). By a declaration of May 30, 1944 in Paris, Charlotte ceded her rights to Rainier (with a reservation if he should predecease), and Rainier accepted in Paris on June 1. An ordinance of June 2 1944 acknowledged and confirmed the Prince's assent to those declarations, and Rainier was made Hereditary Prince. When to the Journal de Monaco published the ordinance on 22 June 1944, it added: "His Excellency the comte de Maleville, minister of Monaco in France, has been asked to inform the French government of this event, pursuant to the clauses of the treaty of 17 July 1918."

Louis II died on May 9, 1949. In the absence of any male heir to the Goyon-Matignon family, the titles of Valentinois and Estouteville became extinct in French law. The principality of Monaco passed to Rainier III. Before Rainier married Grace Kelly in April 1956, he notified the French government of his plans; the French ministry of Foreign affairs replied with a message of congratulations, thus establishing the requisite "prior understanding". (Cited in Gallois 1964, 107).

The year 2002 saw two major changes to the status and institutions of Monaco, namely a revision of the Constitution and a new version of the 1918 treaty with France.

New Treaty with France (2002)

After three years of negotiations, a new treaty was signed with France on October 24, 2002. The treaty is meant to replace that of 1918. It was finally ratified by France in October 2005 and published at the Journal Officiel of Oct 14, 2005. The following French text is taken from the ratification bill submitted to the French parliament on July 16, 2003, and the translation is mine.

From the point of view of the succession, the changes made to the Constitution in 2002 are acknowledged and accepted by France, and the new treaty abolishes the need for prior agreement between Monaco and France to any future changes in the succession: instead, such changes are merely notified to the French government (Article 3).

La Principauté de Monaco et la République française, désireuses de confirmer par un acte formel de mutuelle confiance les relations étroites et privilégiées qui sont le reflet de leur amitié traditionnelle, telles qu'elles sont issues de l'histoire et telles qu'elles s'inscrivent dans leur communauté de destin,

Considérant que ces relations, régies par le traité du 17 juillet 1918, appellent un cadre juridique mieux adapté aux réalités d'aujourd'hui,

Se fondant sur les principes du droit international et de la Charte des Nations Unies, et partageant en outre les mêmes valeurs de paix, de démocratie, de justice et de solidarité,

Sont convenues des dispositions suivantes:

The principality of Monaco and the French Republic,
wishing to confirm by an act of mutual trust the close and privileged relations reflective of their traditional friendship, such as they result from history and such as they befit their common destiny,
considering that these relations, governed by the treaty of July 17, 1918, require a legal framework better suited to the present reality,
basing themselves on the principles of international law and the charter of the United Nations, and sharing furthermore the same values of peace, democracy, justice and solidarity,
have agreed on the following:
Article premier
La République française assure à la Principauté de Monaco la défense de son indépendance et de sa souveraineté et garantit l'intégrité du territoire monégasque dans les mêmes conditions que le sien. La Principauté de Monaco s'engage à ce que les actions qu'elle conduit dans l'exercice de sa souveraineté s'accordent avec les intérêts fondamentaux de la République française dans les domaines politique, économique, de sécurité et de défense. Une concertation appropriée et régulière y pourvoit en tant que de besoin.

Art. 1
The French Republic ensures the defense of the principality of Monaco's independence and sovereignty, and guarantees the integrity of the monegasque territory under the same conditions as its that of its own. The Principality of Monaco undertakes to exercise its sovereignty in accordance with the fundamental interests of the French Republic in the political, economic, security and defense spheres. This will be provided for through appropriate and regular consultations as needed.
Article 2
La Principauté de Monaco s'assure par une concertation appropriée et régulière que ses relations internationales sont conduites sur les questions fondamentales en convergence avec celles de la République française. La République française se concerte avec la Principauté de Monaco en vue de prendre en compte les intérêts fondamentaux de celle-ci.
Art. 2.
The principality of Monaco ensures through appropriate and regular consultations that its international relations are conducted in convergence with those of the French Republic on fundamental matters. The French Republic consults with the Principality of Monaco so as to take into account the latter's fundamental interests.
Article 3
En cas de décès ou d'abdication du Prince régnant, sa succession est assurée en vertu des dispositions pertinentes de la Constitution de la Principauté de Monaco du 17 décembre 1962, modifiée par la loi numéro 1249 du 2 avril 2002 portant révision de la Constitution. Tout fait entraînant une modification de l'ordre successoral prévu par la Constitution est porté à la connaissance de la République française. Le territoire de la Principauté de Monaco est inaliénable.
Art. 3.
In case of death or abdication of the reigning prince, his succession takes place following the relevant clauses of the constitution of the principality of Monaco of December 17, 1962, modified by law 1249 of April 2, 2002 revising the constitution. Anything modifying the order of succession provided for in the Constitution is notified to the French Republic. The territory of the principality of Monaco is unalienable.
Article 4
La République française peut, à la demande ou avec l'agrément du Prince, faire pénétrer et séjourner sur le territoire de la Principauté de Monaco les forces nécessaires à la sécurité des deux Etats. Toutefois, cette demande, ou cet agrément, n'est pas requis lorsque l'indépendance, la souveraineté ou l'intégrité du territoire de la Principauté de Monaco sont menacées d'une manière grave et immédiate et que le fonctionnement régulier des pouvoirs publics est interrompu.
Art. 4.
The French Republic may, upon request or with the assent of the Prince, introduce and station in the territory of the Principality of Monaco the forces necessary for the security of both states. However this request or assent is not required when the sovereignty or the integrity of the territory of the principality of Monaco are under serious and imminent threat, and when the normal activities of public institutions are interrupted.
Article 5
Les relations diplomatiques entre la Principauté de Monaco et la République française s'établissent au niveau diplomatique. Chaque Etat entretient, à cet effet, une représentation sur le territoire de l'autre. La République française facilité, à la demande de la Principauté de Monaco, l'adhésion de celle-ci aux organisations internationales auxquelles elle participe. Dans les Etats où la Principauté de Monaco ne dispose pas d'une représentation consulaire, et sous réserve des dispositions du droit international régissant les relations diplomatiques et consulaires, les ressortissants monégasques peuvent s'adresser en tant que de besoin à un poste diplomatique ou consulaire de la République française ou la représentant.
Art. 5.
Diplomatic relationships between the Principality of Monaco and the French Republic take place at the diplomatic level. To this effect, each state maintains a representation on the territory of the other. The French Republic, upon the request of the Principality of Monaco, facilitates the latter's entry into the international organizations of which it is a member. In the states where the Principality of Monaco does not have consular representation, and subject to the rules of international law governing diplomatic and consular relations, monegasque nationals, when needed, can contact a diplomatic or consular post of the French Republic or representing it.
Article 6
La Principauté de Monaco et la République française concluent des conventions particulières dans les domaines d'intérêt commun. Les conventions en vigueur à la date du présent traité demeurent.

Art. 6.
The Principality of Monaco and the French Republic enter into particular conventions on matters of common interest. Conventions in force at the date of the present treaty remain so.
Article 7
La Principauté de Monaco et la République française s'engagent à procéder à des consultations régulières sur les situations d'intérêt commun. La Commission de coopération franco-monégasque sert de cadre à ces consultations, ainsi que les commissions instituées par les conventions ad hoc.
Art. 7.
The Principality of Monaco and the French Republic undertake to consult regularly on situations of common interest. The Commission for franco-monegasque cooperation is the venue for these consultations, as are commissions created by ad hoc conventions.
Article 8
La Principauté de Monaco et la République française notifient l'une à l'autre l'accomplissement des procédures constitutionnelles requises par l'entrée en vigueur du présent traité, laquelle intervient le premier jour du mois suivant la date de réception de la seconde de ces notifications. Le présent traité peut être modifié par le commun accord des parties. Les modifications prennent effet selon les mêmes procédures que celles mentionnées à l'alinéa précédent.
Art. 8.
The Principality of Monaco and the French Republic notify each other of the completion of the constitutional procedures required by the entry into force of the present treaty, which takes place the first day of the month following the reception of the second such notification.

The present treaty may be modified by common consent of the parties. Modifications enter into force following the same procedures as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

The accession of Albert II (2005)

As Rainier III's health worsened in 2005, article 6 of the house laws was invoked and a regency began on March 31. The Secretary of State, René Novella requested a meeting of the Crown Council, which took place on March 31; the Council recognized Rainier's incapacity, based on testimonies of three medical doctors, and Albert became regent immediately.

Rainier III died early on April 6, 2005. Albert II immediately succeeded him.

Status of Monaco

Monaco is a sovereign state. It is a principality, and the title of Prince of Monaco is hereditary. It is currently held by Albert II Grimaldi. Its sovereignty, however, is limited by the treaty of 2002 with France. It is a member of the United Nations since 1993, its smallest member, both in terms of size (0.6 sq. mi.) and population (about 32,000).

The Prince of Monaco currently claims the following titles (according to the Annuaire Officiel of the Principality): Prince Souverain de Monaco, Duc de Valentinois, Comte de Carladès, Baron de Calvinet, Baron du Buis, Seigneur de Saint-Rémy, Sire de Matignon, Comte de Torigni, Baron de Saint-Lô, Baron de la Luthumière, Baron de Hambye, Duc de Mazarin, Duc de Mayenne, Prince de Château-Porcien, Comte de Ferrette, de Belfort, de Thann et de Rosemont, Baron d'Altkirch, Seigneur d'Issenheim, Marquis de Chilly, Comte de Longjumeau, Marquis de Guiscard. As discussed above, the titles of Valentinois, Baux, Estouteville, Mazarin and Mayenne are not quite legitimate, although one could possibly make a case that the title of Valentinois, which is a French title, was implicitly "recreated" for Charlotte by the French Republic in 1919 when her adoption was approved; Louis XIV would probably have done as much under similar circumstances.

Wilhelm, 2nd duke of Urach and first cousin of Louis II, ceded all the rights of his family to Monaco to the count Aymard de Chabrillan on October 4, 1924. The count of Chabrillan is descended from Joseph, brother of Honoré IV, through his eldest daughter Honorine (1784-1879) who married René de La Tour du Pin de La Charce. The current representative of that line is the comte Xavier de Caumont La Force (born 1963). (See the descendants of Honoré III by Heins Bruins).

The Constitution (2002)

The constitution of 1911 was suspended in 1959 and a new one issued on 17th December 1962. It was revised in 2002. The full text is available online. Here are a few articles (original text with my translation).

Article 1
La Principauté de Monaco est un État souverain et indépendant dans le cadre des principes généraux du droit international et des conventions particulières avec la France. Le territoire de la Principauté est inaliénable.

The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign and independent state within the framework of the general pricniples of international law and the particular conventions with France. The territory of the Principality is unalienable.
Article 2
Le principe du gouvernement est la monarchie héréditaire et constitutionelle. La Principauté est un État de droit attaché au respect des libertés et des droits fondamentaux.

The principle of government is a hereditary and constitutional monarchy. The Principality is a state under the rule of law, committed to respecting fundamental freedoms and rights.

Article 10
La succession au Trône, ouverte par suite de décès ou d'abdication, s'opère dans la descendance directe et légitime du Prince régnant, par ordre de primogéniture avec priorité masculine au même degré de parenté.
A défaut de descendance directe et légitime, la succession s'opère au profit des frères et soeurs du Prince régnant et de leurs descendants directs et légitimes, par ordre de primogéniture avec priorité masculine au même degré de parenté.
Si l'héritier qui aurait été appelé à monter sur le Trône en vertu des alinéas précédents est décédé ou a renoncé avant l'ouverture de la succession, la dévolution s'opère au profit de ses propres descendants directs et légitimes, selon l'ordre de primogéniture avec priorité masculine au même degré de parenté.
Si l'application des paragraphes ci-dessus ne permet pas de pourvoir à la vacance du Trône, la succession s'opère au profit d'un collatéral désigné par le Conseil de la Couronne sur avis conforme du Conseil de régence. Les pouvoirs princiers sont provisoirement exercés par le Conseil de régence.
La succession au Trône ne peut s'opérer qu'au profit d'une personne ayant la nationalité monégasque au jour de l'ouverture de la succession.
Les modalités d'application du présent article sont fixées, en tant que de besoin, par les statuts de la Famille Souveraine, pris par Ordonnance Souveraine.

The succession to the throne, opened by death or abdication, takes place direct and legitimate issue of the reigning prince, by order of primogeniture with priority given to males within the same degree of kinship.
In the absence of direct legitimate issue, the succession passes to the brothers and sisters of the reigning prince and their direct legitimate descendants, by order of primogeniture with priority given to males within the same degree of kinship.
If the heir who would have acceded by virtue of the preceding paragraphs is deceased or has renounced before the succession became open, the succession passes to his own direct legitimate descendants, by order of primogeniture with priority given to males within the same degree of kinship.
If the application of the preceding paragraphs does not fill the vacancy of the throne, the succession passes to a collateral appointed by the Crown Council upon same advice of the Regency Council. The powers of the prince are temporarily held by the Regency Council.
The throne can only pass to a person holding monegasque citizenship on the day the succession opens.
The procedures of application of this article are set, as needed, by the statutes of the Sovereign Family, promulgated by Sovereign ordinance.

From 1962 to 2002 article 10 read as follows:

La succession au trône, ouverte par suite de décès ou d’abdication, s’opère dans la descendance directe et légitime du Prince régnant, par ordre de primogéniture, avec priorité des descendants mâles au même degré de parenté. À défaut de descendant légitime, l’enfant adoptif ou ses propres descendants légitimes sont habiles à succéder. The succession to the throne, when opened by death or abdication, takes place within the direct and legitimate descent of the reigning Prince, by primogeniture, with precedence of males within the same degree of kinship. In the absence of a legitimate descendant, the adopted child or the legitimate descendants thereof are able to succeed.

Article 16
Le Prince confère les ordres, titres et autres distinctions.

The Prince confers orders, titles and other distinctions.

The House Laws

The first House Laws were promulgated by an Ordonnance of 15 May 1882, amended by Ordonnance of 30 October 1918 (concerning adoptions) and an Ordonnance of 31 August 1959 (on regency). From 1882 to 1911, they alone defined the law of succession. The House Laws were last modified by an Ordonnance of 29 May 2002, which also repealed the ordonnance of 30 Oct 1918 on adoption (see the old text of the house laws). The English translation is mine.

Article 1
La souveraineté de la Principauté de Monaco est héréditaire dans la descendance directe et légitime des Princes de Monaco.
Membre de la Dynastie des Grimaldi, le Prince régnant en porte le nom.
Le Prince régnant a pleine autorité sur tous les Membres de la Famille Souveraine. Il règle leurs devoirs et leurs obligations par les Statuts de la Famille Souveraine.

The sovereignty over the principality of Monaco is hereditary in the direct and legitimate issue of the princes of Monaco.
As a member of the Grimaldi dynasty, the reigning prince bears its name.
The reigning prince has full authority over all members of the Sovereign Family. He sets their duties and obligations in the Statutes of the Sovereign Family.
Article 2
La dévolution de la Couronne s'opère conformément aux dispositions de l'article 10 de la Constitution.
L'héritier du Prince régnant qui est le plus proche dans l'ordre successoral résultant desdites dispositions est Prince Héréditaire.

The crown devolves according to the terms of article 10 of the Constitution.
The heir of the reigning Prince who is the closest in the succession order resulting from those terms is Hereditary Prince.
Article 3
Aucun Membre de la Famille Souveraine ne peut se marier sans l'autorisation du Prince régnant. Le mariage contracté sans cette autorisation emporte privation de tout droit à la Couronne, tant pour celui qui a contracté ce mariage que pour ses descendants.
Néanmoins, en cas de dissolution du mariage et en l'absence d'enfant issu de ce dernier, l'héritier qui l'aurait contracté recouvrera son droit à la Couronne si aucune succession n'est intervenue entretemps.

No member of the Sovereign Family can marry without the authorization of the reigning Prince. A marriage contracted without such authorization results in a loss of all rights to the Crown for the individual who contracted the marriage as well as for his descendants.
However, in case of dissolution of the marriage and in the absence of any issue from it, the heir who had contracted that marriage shall recover his right to the Crown if no succession took place in the meantime.
Article 4
Le décès ou l'abdication du Prince régnant entraîne dévolution immédiate de la Couronne au profit du Prince Héréditaire ou, à défaut, au profit de l'héritier le plus proche dans l'ordre successoral.
L'abdication prend la forme d'une ordonnance souveraine par laquelle le Prince régnant transmet les pouvoirs souverains au Prince Héréditaire.

The death or abdication of the reigning Prince results in immediate devolution of the Crown to the hereditary Prince or, in in the absence of one, to the closest heir in the succession order.
Abdication takes the form of a sovereign ordinance by which the reigning Prince transmits the sovereign powers to the hereditary Prince.
Article 5
La renonciation à son droit à la Couronne par le Prince Héréditaire s'effectue par une déclaration écrite remise entre les mains du Prince régnant, qui en prend aussitôt acte par une ordonnance souveraine.
La renonciation est définitive et irrévocable.

A renunciation of the hereditary Prince to his rights to the Crown takes the form of a written declaration handed to the reigning Prince who immediately acknowledges it by a sovereign ordinance.
A renunciation is definitive and irrevocable.
Article 6
En cas d'empêchement, le Prince régnant peut, par ordonnance souveraine, déléguer l'exercice de ses pouvoirs au Prince Héréditaire majeur ou, à défaut, à son Epouse, ou, à défaut, à l'héritier majeur le plus proche dans l'ordre successoral.
En l'absence d'une telle délégation, l'impossibilité pour le Prince régnant d'exercer ses fonctions est constatée par le Conseil de la Couronne, saisi par le Secrétaire d'Etat.
La régence est alors exercée par le Prince Héréditaire s'il est majeur ou, à défaut, par l'Epouse du Prince empêché qui a la garde du Prince Héréditaire mineur ou, à défaut, par l'héritier majeur le plus proche du Prince régnant dans l'ordre successoral.

In case of incapacity, the reigning Prince can, by a sovereign ordinance, delegate the exercise of his powers to the hereditary Prince if his is of age or, lacking one, to his spouse, or, lacking one, to the closest heir of age in the succession order.
In the absence of such a delegation, the inability of the reigning Prince to exercise his powers is established by the Crown Council at the request of the Secretary of State.
The regency is then exercised by the hereditary Prince if he is of age, or lacking one, by the spouse of the incapacitated Prince who has guardianship of the minor hereditary Prince, or lacking one, by the heir of age closest to the reigning Prince in the succession order.
Article 7
Pendant la minorité du Prince, la régence est exercée par l'Epouse du Prince défunt qui a la garde de l'Enfant ou, à défaut, par l'héritier majeur le plus proche dans l'ordre successoral.
La régence ne peut être exercée que par une personne de nationalité monégasque.

During the minority of the Prince, the regency is exercised by the spouse of the deceased Prince who has guardianship of the child or, lacking one, by the closest heir of age in the succession order.
The regency can only be exercised by a person of monegasque nationality.
Article 8
Si la régence ne peut être exercée par un des Membres de la Famille Souveraine désignés aux articles 6 et 7 cidessus ou, en cas d'impossibilité pour le Régent d'exercer cette fonction, elle est exercée par le Conseil de Régence.

If the regency cannot be exercised by a member of the Sovereign Family according to articles 6 and 7, or in case of inability of the regent to exercise this function, it is exercised by the regency council.
Article 9
La composition du Conseil de Régence est la suivante :
  • Le Président du Conseil de la Couronne, président, avec voix prépondérante en cas de partage égal des voix ;
  • le Secrétaire d'Etat ;
  • Le Président du Conseil d'Etat ;
  • Le doyen d'âge des membres du Conseil de la Couronne nommés sur présentation du Conseil National.

The regency council is composed of:
  • the President of the Crown Council, who presides, with deciding vote in case of tie;
  • the Secretary of State;
  • the President of the Council of State;
  • the oldest among the members of the Crown Council appointed upon presentation by the National Council.
Article 10
Lorsqu'il n'exerce pas la régence, le Conseil de Régence a un rôle purement consultatif. Son avis est obligatoirement requis pour l'examen des problèmes touchant à la souveraineté.
A sa demande, le Conseil de Régence est entendu par le Régent.

When it is not exercising the regency, the Regency Council has a purely advisory role. Its advice is required on all problems concerning the sovereignty.
At its request, the Regency Council is heard by the Regent.
Article 11
Lorsque la régence est exercée par le Conseil de Régence, le Ministre d'Etat est entendu à sa demande sur toutes questions relevant de son autorité.

When the regency is exercised by the Regency Council, the Minister of State is heard at his request on all matters falling within his authority.
Article 12
Pendant la régence, le Prince régnant empêché ou le Prince mineur reste dépositaire de la souveraineté. Le Régent, ou le cas échéant le Conseil de Régence, l'exerce en son nom dans la plénitude des pouvoirs souverains. Tous les actes de la régence sont au nom du Prince mineur ou empêché.

During the regency, the incapacitated reigning Prince or minor Prince remains invested with the sovereignty. The Regent or, as the case may be, the Regency Council exercises in his name the full sovereign powers. All acts of the regency are made in the name of the incapacitated or minor Prince.
Article 13
Les fonctions du Régent commencent au moment du décès du Prince régnant, de son abdication ou de la constatation de l'impossibilité pour celui-ci d'exercer ses fonctions.
En cas de décès du Prince mineur ou du Prince empêché, si la personne figurant après lui dans l'ordre successoral est mineure, le Régent en exercice est maintenu dans ses fonctions.
La Princesse Mère qui contracte un autre mariage perd de plein droit la régence et la garde du Prince et des enfants princiers mineurs.

The Regent exercises his powers from the moment the reigning Prince dies, abdicates, or is recognized as unable to exercise his powers.
In case of death of the minor or incapacitated Prince, if the individual who is next in the succession order is a minor, the Regent continues to exercise his powers.
The Princess who is the mother of the minor prince and who contracts another marriage loses the regency and the guardianship of the minor princely children.

The Current Line of Succession

The line of succession is determined by application of the Constitution of 1962, as revised in 2002, the treaty of 2002 with France (cited in article 1 of the Constitution), the house laws of 1882 as modified in 2002, and by Monegasque law where applicable.

From 1918 to 2002, the constitution and the treaty with France restricted the line of succession to the "direct or adoptive" line of the reigning Prince (art. 3 of the Treaty). Article 10 of the Constitution, as it read until 2002, excluded collateral succession, including the descent of Rainier's sister Antoinette as well as the Urachs and any other collateral branches.

The change to the succession laws in 2002

A law of 2 April 2002 modified article 10. Adoption is now ruled out, and the succession passes, upon death or abdication, to the direct legitimate descent of the previous prince, failing which to his siblings and their descent, failing which to a collateral heir chosen by the Regency Council and the Crown Council in agreement (the composition of the Crown Council is set in art. 75 of the constitution and includes 7 members appointed for 3 years, 4 nominated by the Prince and 3 by the legislature; the composition of the Regency Council is determined by the House laws).

Thus the throne can now pass from Albert II to his sisters and their children. The new law, however, restricts succession to persons holding Monegasque citizenship at the time of the demise of the previous prince. A law governing Monegasque citizenship (which is no longer defined in the Constitution) was promulgated on Dec 22, 2003 (Law 1.276). A person is monegasque if (a) born of a monegasque father, or (b) born of a monegasque mother who (b1) was still monegasque at the time of birth, or (b2) is descended of a person born monegasque, or (b3) acquired monegasque citizenship in various ways (see the law itself for details).

Upon the accession of Albert II, Antoinette and her issue automatically ceased to be in the line of succession, but they remain potential heirs in the event of Rainier's line dying out completely.

At present, the order of succession (ignoring the restriction to persons who are Monegasque citizens at the time of the demise of the crown) is thus:

  1. HRH the Princess of Hanover (Princess Caroline, b. 23 Jan 1957), widow of Stefano Casiraghi (1960-90)
  2. Andrea Casiraghi (b. 8 Jun 1984)
  3. Pierre Casiraghi (b. 5 Sep 1987)
  4. Charlotte Casiraghi (b. 3 Aug 1986)
  5. Alexandra of Hanover (b. 20 July 1999)
  6. HSH Princess Stephanie (b. 1 Feb 1965), married June 1995 to Daniel Ducruet (b. 1964)
  7. Louis Ducruet (b. 26 Nov 1992)
  8. Pauline Ducruet (b. 4 May 1994)

Although Stephanie's children were born before her marriage, Monegasque civil law, like French law, provides that natural children are fully and completely legitimized by the marriage of their parents (article 227 of the Monegasque Civil Code states in part: "Les enfants nés hors mariage, autres que les enfants adultérins, sont légitimés par le mariage subséquent de leurs père et mère, lorsque ceux-ci les ont légalement reconnus avant leur mariage ou qu'ils les reconnaissent au moment de la célébration." while art. 229 states: "Les enfants légitimés par le mariage subséquent auront les mêmes droits que s'ils étaient nés de ce mariage"). They are thus apt to succeed. Stéphanie's last child Camille Marie Kelly Grimaldi (b. 15 Jul 1998) of undeclared father, is not (yet) legitimate and thus not in line.

Rainier III's sister is HSH Princess Antoinette, born Antoinette Grimaldi, who had three children, by Alexandre Noghès: Elisabeth-Ann (b. 1947), Christian (b. 1949), Christine (1951-89), They were legitimated by the marriage of their parents in 1951. They were named at birth Grimaldi, but by ordinance of November 15, 1951 their names were all changed to "de Massy" (source: Christian de Massy: Palace: my life in the royal family of Monaco. London: Bodley Head, 1986). They all had issue. They and their issue of monegasque nationality could be chosen as successors in case a reigning prince dies or abdicates without issue and without siblings having issue. However, they cannot be placed in an order of succession, since the choice of which collateral heir would be called to the throne is entirely up to the Regency Council and the Crown Council.

The House Law of 29 May 2002 provides additional regulations. The prince can abdicate. The heir (apparent or presumptive) is called Hereditary Prince. The hereditary prince can renounce his rights in writing. Marriages of members of the family must be approved by the prince; if a member marries without approval, he and his issue are excluded from the succession, unless the marriage ends without any issue before a demise of the crown. The house law also provides in detail for regencies.

Titles, Orders and Decorations

The ability of the prince to create titles is clearly stated in the Constitution (art. 16). However, in modern times the princes of Monaco appear not to have created titles other than for members of the princely family. I have seen an example of a title created in the 17th century (but I can't remember the name.)

For such a small state, Monaco has many orders: the Order of Saint Charles, instituted March 15, 1858; the Order of Cultural Merit (Dec 31, 1952); the Order of the Grimaldi (May 18, 1954) and the Order of the Crown (July 20, 1960). The Prince is grand-master of all orders (the order of cultural merit has no grand-master).


  • Blaustein, Albert P. and Gisbert H. Flanz: Constitutions of the countries of the world. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, 1971-. (The text of the Monaco constitution is dated 1986).
  • Codes et lois de la principauté de Monaco (Juris-classeur). Toulouse: Imprimerie du Sud, 1958-79.
  • Gallois, Jean-Pierre: Le Régime international de la principauté de Monaco. Paris: A. Pedone, 1964.
  • Engelhardt, Edouard: Les Protectorats anciens et modernes.
  • Labande, Léon-Honoré: Histoire de la principauté de Monaco. Paris: A. Picard, 1934. Reprint: Marseille: Laffitte, 1980.
  • Lecomte-Moncharville, Maurice: Monaco au point de vue international. Paris: A. Pedone, 1898. (doctoral thesis)
  • Metivier, Henri: Monaco et ses princes. La Flèche: E. Jourdain, 1862.
  • Prat, Michel: La Principauté de Monaco et le Traité du 17 juillet 1918. Nice: Imprimerie de l'Association du Patronage Saint-Pierre, 1920. (doctoral thesis)
  • Saige, Gustave: Documents Historiques sur Monaco. Monaco, 1888-91.

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François Velde

Mar 22, 2006