Skip to main content
The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!

Monaco's royal family

From Mary Snow

Wolf Blitzer Reports
Prince Rainier III

NEW YORK (CNN) -- It was once said that Monaco was "a sunny place for shady people."

Prince Rainier worked hard to change that image.

To that end, his marriage to movie star Grace Kelly in 1956 did more to put Monaco on the map than any business deal ever could.

"Grace injected some Hollywood glamour into the place and it drew a lot of attention from America, especially after the wedding, when there was a huge influx of tourism," says John Glatt, author of "The Royal House of Monaco."

With the glamour, came glitter.

Prince Rainier became known as "the builder" for his construction of luxury hotels and high-rises alongside the casinos.

He also worked to preserve Monaco's status as a tax haven.

And Princess Grace helped attract Hollywood's jet set who would come to call Monaco "the rock."

"But if you look at the maturity, the celebrity of the little rock, it's very strange because it occupies much more place in the world because everybody is focused on the family," says Stephane Bern of "Le Figaro."

And much of the focus on the prince's children -- Albert, Caroline and Stephanie -- often turned to scandal.

Most of it came after the car accident in 1982 that killed Princess Grace.

Her children became fodder for the tabloids.

"It really has been a soap opera -- with the comings and goings of Princess Stephanie and Caroline -- they really kind of embarrassed the modern guests on many occasions -- especially Stephanie," says Glatt.

Tabloids have referred to Stephanie as a wild child because of her colorful romances that include marriages to a circus trapeze artist and her former bodyguard.

Caroline is married to her third husband, Prince Ernst August of Hanover. Her first husband was a banker who sold their honeymoon pictures from Tahiti. Her second husband was killed in a boating accident.

Succeeding Prince Rainier is 47-year-old Prince Albert, who's never been married, was schooled in the United States and has gained a reputation as a playboy, known to date actresses and models.

To ensure that the Grimaldi family would continue the rule it's had in Monaco for more than 700 years, Prince Rainier amended the constitution in 2002 to allow one of his daughters to provide a successor in the event Albert never has a family.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Father guilty of killing 9 of his children
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.