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History of MONACO

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 Rainier III Grimaldi. The lordship of Monaco has passed through many families. 

Monaco was taken from Genoa in the 13th century by the Grimaldi family which asserted its independence. In 1505 the French king recognized that independence. The relations with France were later defined by the Treaty of Péronne in 1641 , by which France offered its protection, and granted the Grimaldi family several titles in France, including those of duc de Valentinois, marquis des Baux and comte de Carladès. In 1715 the Grimaldi heiress married Jacques-François de Goyon-Matignon, from an old Breton family. He assumed the name and arms of Grimaldi. The title of Valentinois, whose remainder was restricted to ale heirs, was recreated in 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.), Luthumieère, 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. In 1777 the grandson of Jacques-Francois, Honoré IV de Grimaldi, married Louise d'Aumon t 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-??), duc d'Aumont and marquis de Guiscard and Louise-Jeanne de Duras (1735-81), herself daughter of Emmanuel-Felicité de Durfort, duc de Duras an d Charlotte-Antoinette Mazarini (1718-35) daughter of Guy-Paul-Jules de La Porte, duc de La Meilleraye, duc de Mazarin and duc de Mayenne (died 1738). The title of La Meilleraye had been created in 1659 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, niece of cardinal Mazarin, and was the recipient of that prime minister's favors: he received the duchy of Rethel-Mazarin, the duchy of Mayenne, 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. Armand-Charles' elder daughter Charlotte married into the Richelieu family and her son the duc d'Aiguillon inherited Chaâteau-Porcien from her (the Grimaldi can't claim that title). Armand-Charles' son Paul-Jules was the father of Guy-Paul-Jules, last of the male line. The title of La Meilleraye was restricted to male heirs, and became extinct in 1738 on his death. 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 thus passed through Charlotte-Antoinette to Louise-Jeanne de Duras, who was therefore in her own right duchesse de Mazarin. But she, not being in male descent from the original grantee, could not pass on her title, which became extinct with her death in 1781. The title of Mayenne, bought by the duc de La Meilleraye in 1658, was under the same conditions as Mazarin. Apparently the Alsatian titles, along with the Aumont land of Guiscard, were given in dowry to Louise d'Aumont, but there is no way that the Grimaldi could lay any claim to the titles of duc de La Meilleraye, Mazarin or Mayenne. Monaco was annexed by France in 1793, returned to the Grimaldi family in 1814 and initially placed under the continued protection of France by the treaty of Paris of 1814. After Napoleon's return and defeat Monaco was instead made into a Sardinian protectorate by the treaty of Vienna in 1815. This changed after Sardinia ceded Nice to France in 1860: Monaco passed under French protection, as formally set down 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 Serene Higness, hitherto only called Highness in treaties); Monaco sold Menton and Roquebrune; a customs union was created. In 1918 the reigning prince was Albert I, his only son Louis remained unmarried, and the next of kin was the duke of Urach, a German prince, through Albert's aunt. It seemed possible that Monaco would pass into German hands, and France could not accept that. As a result, a treaty was signed between France and Monaco on July 17, 1918. 

The terms of the treaty are as follows: 

Article 1 

The Government of the French Republic ensures the defense of the independence and sovereignty of the Principality of Monaco and guarantees the integrity of its territory as if this territory were part of France. In turn, the government of his Serene Highness the Prince of Monaco commits itself to exercising its rights of sovereignty in perfect accordance with the political, military, naval and economic interests of France. 

Article 2

Measures concerning the international relations of the Principality will always be subject to prior agreement between the princely government and the French government. The same applies to measures concerning, directly or indirectly, the exercise of a regency or the succession to the crown which, either by marriage, adoption or otherwise, shall only devolve to a person of French or Monegasque nationality and approved by the French government. 

Article 3 

His Serene Highness the Prince of Monaco, pursuant to the additional articles of the Treaty of February 2, 1861, confirms on his behalf and that of his successors, the commitment made to the French government not to alienate the Principality in all or in part to any other Power but France. In case of vacancy of the crown, notably in the absence of a direct or adoptive heir, the Monegasque territory will form an autonomous State under the protectorate of France, under the name of State of Monaco. In such case, the private real estate not assigned to public use and which, for this reason, could be the object of particular claims of ???, shall be purchased by the State of Monaco with the help, if need be, of the French State. 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; by article 436 of that treaty, all contracting powers "took note" of the treaty between France and Monaco. 

Subsequently Charlotte, an illegitimate daughter of Louis, was adopted by him in Paris in the presence of the French president on May 16, 1919, she was titled duchesse de Valentinois by Albert I on May 20, 1919 and heir apparent on August 1, 1922 after Louis II's accession. Louis II died in 1949. In the absence of any male heir to the Goyon-Matignon family, the titles of Valentinois and Estouteville became extinct. Charlotte had married Pierre de Polignac, a member of a junior branch of the Polignac family, on March 19, 1920, and he had been naturalised as Monegasque and his name and arms had been changed to those of Grimaldi the previous day. She had ceded her rights to her son Rainier in 1944. Consequently, the principality of Monaco passed to Rainier III. 

The Prince of Monaco currently claims the following titles (according to Burke's Royal Families of the World, 1977): Prince Souverain de Monaco, Duc de Valentinois, Marquis des Baux, Comte de Carladès, Baron du Buis, Seigneur de Saint-Remy, Sire de Matignon, Comte de Torigni, Baron de Saint-Lô, de la Luthumière et de Hambye, Duc d'Estouteville, de Mazarin, et de Mayenne, Prince de Château-Porcien, Comte de Ferrette, de Belfort, de Thann et de Rosemont, Baron d'Altkirch, Seigneur d'Isenheim, Marquis de Chilly, Comte de Longjumeau, Baron de Massy, Marquis de Guiscard. As discussed above the titles of Valentinois, Baux, Estouteville, Mazarin and Mayenne are not 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. The duke of Urach, nephew of Albert I, ceded all his rights to Monaco to the count Aymard de Chabrillan on October 4, 1924. The count of Chabrillan is descended from a brother of Honoré IV. The current representative of that line is the comte Olivier de Caumont La Force.

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