Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, was born on May 31, 1923 in the Principality. His parents were Her Grace Princess Charlotte Louise Juliette, Duchess of Valentinois, born in Constantine, French Algeria (September 30, 1898 – November 16, 1977) and Prince Pierre Marie Xavier Raphael Antoine Melchior, count De Polignac, born in Chateau de Kerscamp, Morbihan, France (October 24, 1895 – November 10, 1964) who later became also the Prince of Grimaldi.
On March 9, 1949, the Prince Rainier III succeeds to the throne of Monaco after his grandfather, Louis III. Five years earlier, on May 30, 1944, Crown Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Louis II resigned of ruling rights in favor of her son, Crown Prince Rainier III, on the permission of the Reigning Prince.
On April 18, 1956, His Grace married the American actress Grace Patricia Kelly born in Philadelphia on November 12, 1929. She tragically died in a car accident on September 14, 1982.
Prince Rainier III has three children:
Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite, born on January 23, 1957.
Prince Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre, born on March 14, 1958.
Princess Stephanie Marie Elizabeth, born on February 1, 1965.
The Prince got his first education in England, in the college of Summerfield in St. Leonard sur Mer and Stone school. Later he studied in Switzerland, in the Institute Le Rosey in Roll. Rainier III got his general humanities education diploma in France Montpellier. Later, he defended a diploma of the High School of Political Sciences in Paris.
On September 28, 1944, His Grace joined the Free French Army as the foreign legionnaire. Guided by General de Monsabert as a second lieutenant, he takes part in war operations in Alsace, fighting against the German counter-offensive forces there.
For his military achievements, Rainier III received the War Cross Medal, and the Bronze Star. After that, he continues his service as a lieutenant and departures to Berlin together with the French military mission as a member of the economic department.
On January 16, 1947, Leon Blum awards Raiiner III with the Order of the Legion of Honor and the Combatant Cross medal for his military achievements. In April 1949, French government promoted him to captain, and in December 1954, he became the French Army Colonel.
Prince Rainier III ascended to the throne in 1949. His reign turned out to stand among the most significant periods in history of Principality, as Rainier’s efforts transformed Monaco into a modern state we know nowadays. He continued and empowered initiatives of his three ancestors in terms of politic, economic, diplomatic activities and international relations.
Rainier also contributed a lot into fields of Monaco’s social organization, health care, sports, science, education, public relations and art. You can find more on results and current state of Monaco art at monaco-tribune.com art news. Prince Rainier III also made a significant impact onto the industrial development of a small but proud Principality of Monaco.
On December 17, 1962, he ratified the new Constitution of Monaco.
In 1993, Rainier III obtained the United Nations membership for Monaco.
Prince Rainier III died on April 6, 2005 at the age of 81.