Thursday, 11 December 2014

Two heirs in two minutes for Monaco

At 5.04 p.m. on Wednesday 10 December Princess Charlène of Monaco gave birth to a princess, who will bear the name Gabriella Thérèse Marie. However, as Monaco is one of the monarchies which still have male-preferred succession, Princess Gabriella lost her position as hereditary princess after only two minutes, when Princess Charlène gave birth to a prince, who has received the name Jacques Honoré Rainier.
Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, who were born at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco, are the first legitimate children of Sovereign Prince Albert II. While Prince Jacques received the traditional title for the heir to the throne, Marquis of Baux, Princess Gabriella was created Countess of Carladès.
The name Jacques has been borne by one previous ruler of Monaco, Jacques I, born Count Jacques Goyon de Matignon of Thorigny in 1689. In 1715 he married Princess Louise-Hippolyte of Monaco, who became the second female Monegasque ruler when her father Antoine I died in April 1731. However, the Sovereign Princess herself died at the end of the year and was succeeded by her husband, who reigned for nearly two years before abdicating in favour of their son Honoré I. Prince Jacques died in 1751 in his Paris residence, Hôtel de Matignon, today a very well-known address as the official residence of the French Prime Minister.
The name Honoré has been borne by five sovereign princes of Monaco, while Rainier was the name of the thirteenth-century founder of the dynasty and his son as well as of the new-born children's paternal grandfather, the late Sovereign Prince Rainier III.


  1. Who was the first female Monegasque ruler, and what titles were borne by Jacques I between his marriage and his own accession?

    I presume there was no bid in Monaco to discontinue male-preferred succession? An interesting contrast to what transpired after the weddings of the hereditary couples of the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Spain, and Denmark.

    1. I am about to fly, so just a very short reply: 1) The first female ruler of Monaco was Claudine, who reigned as Lady of Monaco (the Grimaldis had not yet assumed the princely titles) in 1457-1458 before marrying her cousin Lambert and abdicating in his favour. 2) I am afraid I do not know what title he held between his marriage and his accession. 3) Not that I have heard of.

  2. Thank you, and have a safe trip!


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