Sunday, March 27, 2005

Rainier of Monaco

Betty Lowry, travel writer: "Monaco has no crime, no poverty, no unemployment, no pollution and no income tax."

His Most Serene Highness Prince Rainier III, Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi, sovereign prince of Monaco and Duc de Valentinois, changed Monaco from a moderately wealthy resort into a booming tax haven.

Monaco is the second smallest country in the world. It has 6,000 Monégasques and 26,000 resident foreigners.

The prince of Monaco acts as monarch and mayor.

Monaco has many famous residents: racing divers, tennis players, Ringo Starr, Shirley Bassey, alleged Russian mafia....

According to a writer in the Independent: "If you are a rich resident, almost anything goes. For everyone else, there is an atmosphere of conformist authoritarianism."

Rainier III married Grace Kelly in 1956.

Monaco is a tax haven. There are rumours of money laundering.

Ranier's son, Prince Albert, has never married.

Monaco's constitution has been changed to allow for Prince Albert to be succeeded by his sisters.

"France controls almost every aspect of government in the principality."


"Since 1882, a childless prince of Monaco has been able to adopt an unrelated heir, thereby ensuring Monaco's survival as a principality. Prince Rainier's paternal grandfather, Prince Louis II of Monaco had done just that in 1919 when he adopted his illegitimate daughter Charlotte Louvet, who would become Rainier's mother, and made her his heir Princess Charlotte of Monaco."


Philip Green's business empire is mostly held in the name of his wife, Tina, who lives in Monaco.


"Much of Monaco's day-to-day affairs are run by the Societe des Bains de Mer et Du Cercle des Etrangers a Monaco, a company that runs all five casinos and an array of other properties and is one of biggest landlords.

"The ruling Grimaldi family holds a 69.6 percent controlling stake in SBM, a publicly traded company, roughly translated in English as the Sea Bathing Society and Foreigners' Circle of Monaco."


Ranier III's son is Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre, Hereditary Prince of Monaco, Marquis of Baux.

In 1985, while taking part in the Paris-Dakar Race, Prince Albert was struck by the poverty of parts of Africa.

In 1988 he arranged for the setting up of a free health center in Agades, Nigeria.


Victoria Zdrok: "I definitely got an impression that the Prince was bisexual,' she opines. 'He definitely enjoys the company of men, and may even prefer them to women."


"Formed in 1966, Safra's banking and precious metals empire was founded and built primarily after the creation of the State of Israel, by Safra acting as the savvy money laundry expert for wealthy Sephardic Jews desiring to extract their fortunes as they were fleeing Arab countries where they resided...

"Edmond J. Safra died in a pre-dawn incident when two alleged masked intruders reportedly got into the heavily-secure building in Monaco, and started a fire in or near his two-story penthouse apartment..."

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