|Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi; 31 May 1923 – 6 April 2005), styled His Serene Highness The Sovereign Prince of Monaco, ruled the Principality of Monaco for almost fifty-six years, making him one of the longest ruling monarchs of the 20th century. Though he was best known outside of Europe for having married American actress Grace Kelly, he was also responsible for reforms to Monaco's constitution and for expanding the principality's economy beyond its traditional gambling base. Gambling accounts for approximately three percent of the nation's annual revenue today; when Rainier ascended the throne in 1949, it accounted for more than 95 percent. Before his death, he was the world's second-longest reigning monarch with his 56 years of reign.|
Rainier III was of French, Spanish, German, Scottish, English, Dutch, and Italian ancestry.
Through his great-grandmother Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton, who was briefly Princess of Monaco, he was a descendent of James IV of Scotland. His great-great-great-grandmother was Stéphanie de Beauharnais, the adopted daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte and later the Grand Duchess of Baden. Other ancestors include William Beckford, the scandalous 18th century English collector, tastemaker, writer, and eccentric.
Rainier was also a descendent of Prince William "the Silent" of Orange-Nassau, the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish Empire and ancestor to the current Dutch Royal Family; Hortense Mancini, the Duchess of Mazarin and mistress of King Charles II of England; Gabrielle de Polignac, a favorite of Queen Marie Antoinette of France; Joan of Kent, the first Princess of Wales; King Charles IX of Sweden; King Frederick II of Denmark and Norway; and Claude, Duke of Guise.
Actions as Prince
After ascending the throne, Prince Rainier III worked assiduously to recoup Monaco's lustre, which had become tarnished through neglect (especially financial) and scandal (his mother, Princess Charlotte, took a noted jewel thief known as René the Walking Stick as her lover). According to numerous obituaries, the prince was faced upon his ascension with a treasury that was practically empty. The holder of 55 percent of the nation's reserves, the Societé Monégasque de Banques et de Métaux Précieux, was bankrupt. The small nation's traditional gambling clientele, largely European aristocrats, found themselves with reduced funds after World War II. Other gambling centers had opened to compete with Monaco, many of them successfully. To compensate for this loss of income, Prince Rainier decided to promote Monaco as a tax haven, commercial center, real-estate development opportunity, and international tourist attraction. The early years of his reign saw the overweening involvement of the Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, who took control of the Société des Bains de Mer and envisioned Monaco as solely a gambling resort. Prince Rainier regained control of the Société in 1964, effectively ensuring that his vision of Monaco would be implemented.
As Prince of Monaco, Rainier III also was responsible for the principality's new constitution in 1962 which significantly reduced the power of the sovereign. (He suspended the previous Constitution in 1959, saying that it "has hindered the administrative and political life of the country.") The changes ended autocratic rule, placing power with the prince and a National Council of eighteen elected members.
At the time of his death, he was the world's second longest-serving head of state, ranking just below King Rama IX of Thailand. During the last two or three years of his life, Rainier was in the custom of asking his valet each morning, "Has Rama survived the night? Or did I just move up in the ranks?"
|Rainier III Prince of Monaco - Titles|
Rainier's official shortened title was His Serene Highness Rainier III, Sovereign Prince of Monaco; this does not include the many other hereditary titles acquired by the Grimaldi family (see Prince of Monaco for a complete list).
His other non-hereditary titles and awards included:
* Knight Grand-Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta with Cross of Honorary Professed Member
* Colonel in the French Army
* Grand Master of the Order of Saint-Charles
* Grand Master of the Order of the Crown
* Grand Master of the Order of Grimaldi
* Knight Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour
* Member of the Pontifical Military Order of the Golden Spur
* Member of the Order of Seraphs
* Collar of Merit of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
* Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
* Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Savior (Greece)
* Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of George I (Greece)
* Grand Cordon of the Order of Léopold (Belgium)
* Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau
* Knight Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of Saint-Martin
* Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Mohammed Ali
* Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Karageorgevitch
* Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Saint-Jacques of the Sword
* Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Jose Matias Delgado (El Salvador)
* Lebanese Medal of Merit
* The French Cross of War (Croix de Guerre)
* Cross of the Voluntary Combatant 1939-1945
* The Belgian Cross of War
* Gold Medal of the American Legion and the Golden Olympic Order
* Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile Gold Medal for Motor Sport
* Grand Collier of the Order of Manuel Amador Guerrero (Panama)
|His Serene Highness Prince Rainier III of Monaco|
(May 31, 1923 – April 6, 2005)
Prince Rainier III was born on May 31, 1923 in Monaco.
He was the son of Princess Charlotte, Louise, Juliette, Duchess of Valentinois, born September 30, 1898 at (Qasantina) Constantine, and deceased November 16, 1977; and of Prince Pierre-Marie-Xavier-Antoine-Melchior, Count of Polignac, born October 24 1895 in the Chateau de Kerscamp (Morbihan), named Grimaldi by Order in Council on March 18, 1920, deceased November 10, 1964.
On April 18, 1956, H.S.H. the Prince married Miss Grace-Patricia Kelly, born November 12, 1929 in Philadelphia (USA) and deceased on September 14, 1982.
Duke of Valentinois,
Count of Carladès,
Baron of Calvinet,
Baron of Buis,
Lord of Saint-Rémy,
Sire of Matignon,
Count of Torigni,
Baron of Saint-Lô,
Baron of La Luthumière,
Baron of Hambye,
Duke of Mazarin,
Duke of Mayenne,
Prince of Château-Porcien,
Count of Ferrette, Belfort, Thann and Rosemont,
Baron of Altkirch,
Lord of Isenheim,
Marquis of Chilly,
Count of Longjumeau,
Marquis of Guiscard,
Bailiff-Knight Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, with the Cross of the "ad honourem" profession,
Colonel in the French Army, Grand Master of the Order of Saint-Charles, Grand Master of the Order of the Crown, Grand Master of the Order of Grimaldi, Knight Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, Member of the Pontifical Military Order of the Golden Spur, Member of the Order of Seraphs, Collar of Merit of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Savoir of Greece, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Royal Order of George I of Greece, Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold of Belgium, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau, Knight Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of Saint-Martin, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of "Mohammed Ali", Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Karageorgevitch, Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Saint-Jacques of the Sword, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Jose Matias Delagado of El Salvador, The Lebanese Merit "Hors classe", The French Cross of War, Cross of the Voluntary Combatant 1939-1945, Belgian Cross of War, Gold Medal of the American Legion and the Golden Olympic Order, FIA Gold Medal for Motor Sport , Grand Collier of the Order of Manuel Amador Guerrero of Panama.
http://www.visitmonaco.com/index.cfm/fuseac...age.viewpage/pageid/713 (Proof Positive)