Historical review of Monaco
The Palace’s Archives historical review has dedicated its 2023 edition to Prince Rainier III to mark this year’s celebrations of the centenary of his birth.
The section on the exhibition presented in the State Apartments of the Prince’s Palace from 31 May and 20 August 2023 brings together over 300 photographs of Prince Rainier III at home, in his various residences, at the Sovereign’s palace in the exercise of his duties, and in places where he spent time with family.
The first known seal of the Grimaldi family — an imprint of Rainier I depicting a horse in battle and dating from 1305 — enjoyed long posterity within the dynasty until the 18th century. Partly thanks to its namesake, the seal was made popular again by Rainier III, who, at the start of his reign, chose the imprint for coins, stamps and decorative items as part of a strategy of legitimisation and communications.
Upon his accession to the throne, Rainier III chose Jacques Rueff (1896-1978) to be his first Minister of State. This decision heralded a bold political vision for the Principality. Alongside this world-class economist, in 1949 and 1950 the Prince laid the foundations of the decades that followed, in a context marked by diplomatic difficulties with France and a domestic crisis.
A philatelist at heart, Prince Rainier continued to enrich and promote the collection inherited from his ancestors. The Sovereign paid keen and close attention to the issuing of Monegasque stamps, which were made using copperplate, rotogravure or offset printing techniques.
A well-known episode in the reign of Rainier III — the Franco-Monegasque crisis of 1962-1963 — was resolved using an original approach: postal diplomacy. The breakdown of the Neighbourhood Agreement had a significant impact on the daily mailing habits of the Monegasque population for several months.
Aware of the role played by yachting in the Principality’s attractiveness abroad, Rainier III, a sailor and scuba diving fan himself, enjoyed exploration cruises and family excursions. Between the beginning and the end of his reign, he owned a dozen sailing and motor yachts, as well as Riva motorboats and other small vessels.
The “Bibliographic chronicle” continues to report and extensively review the latest national and international publications on the history of the Principality and the Grimaldi dynasty.