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Monarchy of Monaco

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Prince Albert of Monaco maintains a pretty solid monarchy in Monaco as the benevolent leader of his small principality.

He also has an American streak in him, spent a lot of time in America visiting his mother's family, and studied political science at Amherst College in Massachusetts.

As he gets married this weekend, I want to wish him well, and wrote these reminiscences as I recall them. - BK

Ocean City Days


As Prince Albert prepares to get married in Monaco this weekend, I thought it appropriate to point out that his mother was an American who spent ever summer of her life in Ocean City, NJ USA, except her last one.

She was literally the Princess next door [see: Atlantic City Magazine article] who was born in 1929, the year that her father built the Spanish Revival style brick home that still stands on the northwest corner of 26th street in Ocean City. Her brother was a life guard and she worked as a waitress at the Chatterbox and hanged out with her sisters and friends at the 4th street beach. She celebrated her sweet 16 birthday party at the Seaview Country Club, and was sophisticated enough to get served at the bars in Somers Point before she was 21. She loved to act and danced at Bay Shores and Tony Marts.

Grace Kelly left town for Broadway and then Hollywood, but always came back to Ocean City every summer to spend time with her family. One summer she brought a guest with her - Prince Rainier III of Monaco, who she met while filming To Catch a Thief in Monte Carlo.

She had previously brought home guys who her father John B. and brother "Kell," both Olympic rowing champions, thought the less of, as they just didn't cut muster with them.

But Rainier was a "Man's Man" who John B. took a liking to, especially after he showed his knowledge of horses at the Atlantic City Race course.

Grace and Rainier were married in the "wedding of the century" that has never been eclipsed, though challenged by Princess Di and more recently by Prince William.

John B. leased an ocean liner for his family and friends to sail to Monaco for the affair, and a few years later, as Margaret, his American grandmother called him, "Bonny" Prince Albert of Monaco was born in 1958, and as the BBC reported at the time: "A celebratory 101-gun salute has been fired in Monaco after Princess Grace - formerly film star Grace Kelly - gave birth to a son.In spite of elaborate arrangements made for announcing the birth, the world learnt about the baby's arrival when a woman at a palace window shouted to waiting journalists: ;It's a boy, it's a boy.'"

"The 8lb 11oz baby who was born at just before 1100 local time is to be named Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre. He will be known as Prince Albert," and noted that,"The baby takes automatic precedence over his one-year-old sister, Princess Caroline. The young princess appeared on a palace balcony in the arms of her father, Prince Rainier III, shortly after her brother was born. Prince Rainier later broadcast an address to the nation announcing the Crown Prince's birth. Speaking to journalists, the princess' mother, Margaret Kelly said both her daughter and the baby were doing well. 'It is a bonny, bonny prince,' Mrs Kelly said."

Officially noting the fact that, "Prince Albert was born March 14, 1958 to HSH Princess Grace (1929-1982) and HSH Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The day following Albert's birth was declared a public holiday; flags and flowers were everywhere," and explaining the significance of the event because, "Albert's birth ensured that Monaco remained independent of France for another generation. Under a treaty signed by both countries in 1918, if Monaco had no heir, it would become subject to French laws."

Although he was of European royalty, his mother took Albert and his sisters to Ocean City with her most summers to ensure that they experienced the American scene, and understood her mother's blue collar Irish background.

Continued: Ocean City Days

Edited by William Kelly
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