Sunday, July 13, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014
He was appointed to the post by His Catholic Majesty King Carlos III and he forged a new alliance between the kingdoms of Spain and France in cooperation with the French Secretary of State Étienne François, duc de Choiseul. This was the "Third Family Compact" so named because of the Bourbon Royal Family that reigned over both France and Spain. He was in close contact also with the American Arthur Lee in Madrid, the envoy of the rebel American government for Spain and Prussia. Lee later helped draw up the alliance with France but is seldom noted because of a falling out with the more famous and popular Benjamin Franklin. Of course, he was insistent that Spain recognize the United States and join in the war against Britain immediately but the Duke of Grimaldi held back and delayed until Spain was in a stronger position, writing to Lee, "You have considered your own situation, and not ours. The moment is not yet come for us. The war with Portugal — France being unprepared, and our treasure ships from South America not being arrived — makes it improper for us to declare immediately." He was referring, of course, to the long-standing alliance between Portugal and Great Britain. However, the Duke of Grimaldi reassured Lee of Spanish sympathy and informed him of the large stores of clothing and gunpowder delivered to New Orleans and Havana that were to be smuggled in to help the American patriots with more on the way.
Eventually, of course, the Kingdom of Spain did recognize the United States and join in declaring war on Great Britain with the Treaty of Aranjuez in 1779. Spanish troops actually played an important part both by their numerous victories over the British on the gulf coast and by diverting British focus and forces with the siege of Gibraltar. In the end, Spain was able to win back almost everything that they had lost previously to Britain in the Seven Years' War, though not Gibraltar which, of course, remains under the British Crown to this day. So, there was a member of the Grimaldi family that played an often overlooked but critical part in the winning of American independence and the birth of the United States. It was during the war, in 1777, that His Catholic Majesty King Carlos III granted him the title first Duke of Grimaldi. He was awarded the Order of the Golden Fleece for his service, made a Grandee of Spain and died in 1789.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Monday, June 2, 2014
As all probably know by now, His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain will be abdicating his throne in favor of his son and heir Prince Felipe of the Asturias. The Spanish Royal Family and the Princely Family of Monaco have been good friends for a long time and this may be an appropriate time to take a look back on the close relationship between Spain and Monaco:
TSH Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace at the Royal Bullring of Seville
HSH Princess Grace with HM Queen Victoria Eugenia
(the Queen was Prince Albert's godmother)
HM King Juan Carlos and HSH Princess Grace
HM Queen Sofia & HSH Princess Grace at Zarzuela Palace
TSH Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III at the
Royal Bullring of Seville
HM King Juan Carlos I & HSH Prince Albert II
HSH Prince Albert II & HRH Prince Felipe of Asturias
Friday, May 30, 2014
Long live the Prince!
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Casanova jumped at the opportunity and, to be fair, the Prince of Monaco was as good as his word. He did indeed introduce Casanova to a duchess who was looking for love and who was instantly smitten with the dashing Venetian, however, he rather neglected to mention that she was considerably older than the Italian heartthrob and not terribly attractive at all. Casanova had been beaten and far from being able to compete with Honore III for the affections of the actress, it was all he could do to stay one step ahead of the man-hungry duchess who pursued him relentlessly. The story goes that Casanova eventually had to lie and tell the duchess he suffered from some terrible venereal disease before she was put off of him, which, true or not, probably did his reputation no good. Supposedly, he never forgave Prince Honore III for having lured him in to such a position but, as the English say, 'all is fair in love and war'.
Monday, March 17, 2014
The Royal Digest. Princess Grace was very proud of her Irish heritage, visited the country on several occasions and established, as part of her legacy, the Princess Grace Irish Library. Check up on past posts about the Irish-Monegasque connections here.