Monarchy of Monaco

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Sovereign Prince of Monaco
Great coat of arms of the house of Grimaldi.svg
Albert II February 2015 (cropped).jpg
Albert II
since 6 April 2005
Style His Serene Highness
Heir apparent Jacques
First monarch Honoré II (as prince; previous rulers were called lords until 1612)
Formation29 November 1604
Residence Prince's Palace
Website Monarchy of Monaco

The sovereign prince (French : prince de Monaco) is the monarch and head of state of the Principality of Monaco. All reigning princes and princesses have taken the name of the House of Grimaldi. When Prince Rainier III died in 2005, he was Europe's longest reigning monarch. [1] The Grimaldi family, which has ruled Monaco for eight centuries, [2] is Europe's longest-ruling royal family. [1]


The reigning prince is Albert II, who ascended in April 2005. [3]

Powers of the prince

Monaco, along with Liechtenstein and Vatican City, is one of only three states in Western Europe where the monarch still plays an active role in day-to-day politics.

The Prince of Monaco exercises his authority in accordance with the Constitution and laws. He represents the principality in foreign relations, and any revision, either total or partial, of the Constitution must be jointly agreed to by the monarch and the National Council. [4]

Legislative power is divided between the Prince who initiates the laws, and the National Council which votes on them. Executive power is retained by the monarch, who has veto power over all legislation proposed by the National Council. [2]

The minister of state and the Government Council are directly responsible to the Prince for the administration of the principality. [4]

Judiciary powers also belong to the monarch. The present Constitution states that the prince has full authority in the courts and tribunals which render justice in his or her name. [4]

Pursuant to Article 16 of the 1962 Constitution, the Prince confers orders, titles and other distinctions (see Awards and decorations of Monaco) as the fons honorum of the Principality of Monaco. [4]

In 2005, The New York Times reported that loyalty to the princely family is fierce; few residents of Monaco want to be quoted saying anything negative about the monarchy. [3]


The princely family receives annual allocation from the budget of Monaco, €43.5 million in 2015. [5]

Titles and styles

The Prince is styled His Serene Highness. [6] Although used only formally, the Prince also bears several other hereditary titles, some of which are occasionally bestowed on his relatives or their spouses. Some of these titles have merged with the Crown of Monaco as a result of the Grimaldi family's acquisition of various fiefs; [6] they no longer imply ownership or territorial authority, although the princes of Monaco have long been substantial owners of land and chateaux in France. Most were granted or recognised by the Kingdom of France or the Papal States and could only pass through the male line; they therefore became extinct as French dignities on the death of Albert's great-grandfather Prince Louis II in 1949. Thereafter, some of these titles were implicitly re-created as distinctly Monegasque titles. [6]

The Prince's complete titles and styles are, in precedent order of rank:

All palace correspondence features capitalized pronouns when referring to the prince. [7]

The tradition of the monarchy of Monaco was that the flag flying from the staff on the tower above his office be hoisted when the prince was present in Monaco. [7] The current prince flies the flag whether he is present or not, preferring to keep his location private. [7]

Monaco is officially protected by France, according to terms set forth in the Treaty of Versailles in 1918. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

A prince is a male ruler or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. Prince is also a title of nobility, often hereditary, in some European states. The female equivalent is a princess. The English word derives, via the French word prince, from the Latin noun prīnceps, from primus (first) and caput (head), meaning "the first, foremost, the chief, most distinguished, noble ruler, prince".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alice Heine</span> Princess of Monaco from 1889 to 1922

Marie Alice Heine was an American-born Princess consort of Monaco, by marriage to Prince Albert I of Monaco. Marcel Proust used her as a model for the Princesse de Luxembourg in his novel, In Search of Lost Time. Her first husband was the Duke of Richelieu, and one of the titles of her second husband was Duke of Mazarin; she was thus unique in bearing the titles of both Cardinal Richelieu and Cardinal Mazarin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rainier III, Prince of Monaco</span> Prince of Monaco from 1949 to 2005

Rainier III was Prince of Monaco from 1949 to his death in 2005. Rainier ruled the Principality of Monaco for almost 56 years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Louis II, Prince of Monaco</span> Prince of Monaco from 1922 to 1949

Louis II was Prince of Monaco from 26 June 1922 to 9 May 1949.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois</span> Hereditary Princess of Monaco

Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois, styled Hereditary Princess of Monaco between 1922 and 1944, was the daughter of Louis II, Prince of Monaco, and mother of Prince Rainier III. From 1922 until 1944, she was the Hereditary Princess of Monaco, heiress presumptive to the throne.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Princess Antoinette, Baroness of Massy</span> Member of the princely family of Monaco (1920–2011)

Princess Antoinette, Baroness of Massy was a member of the princely family of Monaco. She was the elder sister of Prince Rainier III. Her parents were Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois and her former husband, Count Pierre de Polignac.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Albert II, Prince of Monaco</span> Prince of Monaco since 2005

Albert II is Prince of Monaco, reigning since 2005.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prince Pierre, Duke of Valentinois</span> Duke of Valentinois

Prince Pierre of Monaco, Duke of Valentinois was the father of Rainier III of Monaco. He was a promoter of art, music, and literature in Monaco and served as the head of the country's delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and to the International Olympic Committee.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Succession to the Monegasque throne</span> Law governing who can become the monarch of Monaco

The succession to the throne of the Principality of Monaco is currently governed by Princely Law 1.249 of 2 April 2002.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">House of Grimaldi</span> Associated with the history of the Republic of Genoa, Italy and of the Principality of Monaco

The House of Grimaldi is the current reigning house of the Principality of Monaco. The house was founded in 1160 by Grimaldo Canella in Genoa and became the ruling house of Monaco when Francesco Grimaldi captured Monaco in 1297.

Elizabeth-Ann (Noghès) de Massy was the daughter of Princess Antoinette of Monaco and Alexandre-Athenase Noghès. She was a first cousin of the reigning Prince Albert II and niece of Prince Rainier III. She was the godmother of her first cousin once-removed Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.

The Monaco succession crisis of 1918 arose because France objected to the prospect of a German national inheriting the throne of the Principality of Monaco. Prince Albert I had only one legitimate child, the Hereditary Prince Louis, then heir apparent to the principality. As World War I drew to a close, Prince Louis, at the age of forty-eight, remained without legitimate issue, unmarried, and unbetrothed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Louise d'Aumont</span> Hereditary Princess of Monaco

Louise d'Aumont, duchesse d'Aumont, duchesse Mazarin et de La Meilleraye, was a French Duchess and a Princess of Monaco by marriage to Honoré IV, Prince of Monaco.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prince's Palace of Monaco</span> Official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco

The Prince's Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, during its long and often dramatic history it has been bombarded and besieged by many foreign powers. Since the end of the 13th century, it has been the stronghold and home of the Grimaldi family who first captured it in 1297. The Grimaldi ruled the area first as feudal lords, and from the 17th century as sovereign princes, but their power was often derived from fragile agreements with their larger and stronger neighbours.

Christian Louis de Massy, Baron de Massy is the son of Princess Antoinette of Monaco, Baroness de Massy, and her husband, international tennis champion Alexandre-Athenase Noghès. His grandfather, Antony Noghès, created the world-famous Monaco Grand Prix. He was one of the two page boys at the wedding of his uncle Rainier III with Grace Kelly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Princess Florestine of Monaco</span> Duchess of Urach

Princess Florestine Gabrielle Antoinette of Monaco was the youngest child and only daughter of Florestan I, Prince of Monaco, and his wife, Maria Caroline Gibert de Lametz. Florestine was a member of the House of Grimaldi and a Princess of Monaco by birth and a member of the House of Württemberg and Duchess consort of Urach and Countess of Württemberg through her marriage to Wilhelm, 1st Duke of Urach.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ercole, Marquis of Baux</span> Marquis of Baux

Ercole Grimaldi, Marquis of Baux was a member of the House of Grimaldi. He was the first Monegasque prince and heir apparent to the first Monegasque sovereign prince, Honoré II. Dying at the age of 27, Baux was replaced as heir apparent by his son Louis who succeeded Honoré II.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ippolita Trivulzio</span> Princess consort of Monaco

Ippolita Trivulzio was the Princess of Monaco by marriage to Honoré II of Monaco, and was the first Monegasque consort to bear the title of Princess.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco</span> Heir apparent to the Monégasque throne (born 2014)

Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco, Marquis of Baux, is the heir apparent to the Monegasque throne. He is the son of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, and twin brother of Princess Gabriella. He also holds the title of Marquis of Baux, which all the heirs apparent to the crown of Monaco have held since 1643.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monaco–Holy See relations</span> Bilateral relations

Holy See–Monaco relations are bilateral relations between the Principality of Monaco and the Holy See. The principal Monégasque official is Ambassador Claude Giordan, who officially started at his position in November 2015. The Holy See is represented by its Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Arcari, who assumed office on May 25, 2019. The Embassy of Monaco to the Holy See is located in Rome, on Largo Spinelli. The Apostolic Nunciature to Monaco is non-residing as the nuncio currently resides in Rome.


  1. 1 2 "Prince Rainier of Monaco Dies at 81". The New York Times. 6 April 2005. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  2. 1 2 3 Conaway, James (17 February 1984). "The Monarch Alone". The Washington Post.
  3. 1 2 Smith, Craig S. (10 April 2005). "Monaco Adjusts to a Bachelor Prince Without Heirs". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Principauté de Monaco: Portail officiel du gouvernment princier". Les Pouvoirs Souverains. Etat de Monaco: La Direction de l’Administration Électronique et de l’Information aux Usagers. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  5. Hodgson, Camilla (1 August 2017). "Richest royals: what Europe's royal families get from their taxpayers". Business Insider . Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  6. 1 2 3 Badts de Cugnac; Guy Coutant de Saisseval, Chantal (2002). Le Petit Gotha . Laballery. pp. 691–694, 699–703. ISBN   978-2950797438.
  7. 1 2 3 Smith, Craig S. (10 September 2005). "The New Prince of Monaco Confronts His Past". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 7 April 2021.