Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Birthday of Princess Ghislaine

It was on this day in 1900 that HSH Princess Chislaine of Monaco was born in Rheims, France. A divorced actress, it caused quite a stir when she married the aging Prince Louis II of Monaco in 1946, the first time any Prince of Monaco had married a woman without a dowry. Perhaps because of this, because of her background, and the considerable age difference between her and Louis II (35 years), the rest of the Grimaldi clan, unfortunately, were not very welcoming to Princess Ghislaine. Louis II adored her but he seemed to be the only one with the rest of the family suspecting her sincerity and basically viewing her as a 'golddigger'. Princess Antoinette was so furious she refused to attend their wedding. No doubt they felt justified when Louis II passed away and left half of his fortune to his beloved wife with the other half divided amongst his daughter Princess Charlotte and grandchildren Princess Antoinette and Prince Rainier III. But, at that time, the will of the Sovereign Prince was law and once Louis II breathed his last that honor belonged to Rainier III and he voided his grandfather's will. Princess Ghislaine was allowed to keep her jewelry, gifts her husband and others had given her, but no more. She was provided with a modest pension and the use of apartments in the palace which she did use even though Rainier III refused to speak to her. She did attend his wedding to Princess Grace and the 25th anniversary of Prince Rainier III coming to the throne. She also returned to Monaco for the funeral of Princess Grace before her death at the ripe old age of 90 in 1991.

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