Friday, May 14, 2010

Historical Birthday

It was on this day in 1778 that HSH Prince Honore-Gabriel Grimaldi, the future Sovereign Prince Honore V, was born in Paris, France to HSH Prince Honore IV and his wife Princess Louise-Felicite Victoire d'Aumont. Throughout his life he would see the Revolution engulf his tiny country, himself made a wanted man for a time then see service in the armies of Napoleon and become a close friend of the Empress Josephine. When he came to the Monegasque throne his academic liberalism was contrasted with his absolute rule and he would be one of the more controversial princes of Monaco. Often seen as autocratic and uncaring, a closer look will show a more complex man, greatly concerned about the welfare of his people for which he gets scant credit in most history books. He resided mostly in Paris throughout his reign and concerned himself with improving the Monegasque economy and wrote a pamphlet on ways to eradicate pauperism. When he died in 1841 at the age of 63 without a wife or children he asked that these words be placed on his tomb, "Here lies one who wished to do good".

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