The first Prince of Monaco was called Honore II and was a member of the famous Grimaldi family. This family first ruled Monaco back in 1297, approximately 300 years before the Honore’s birth. The Grimaldis carried the title “Lord of Monaco” (“Seigneur de Monaco”) for centuries, and only Honore II took the title “Prince of Monaco” (“Prince de Monaco”) around 1612. The title “Prince” comes from the Latin word “princeps”, which means “first”.
During the era of Prince Honoré II Grimaldi, Monaco was internationally recognized as a sovereign state. This meant that the Prince of Monaco was from that moment not a vassal of any foreign ruler, but answered for his actions only to God. In terms of dynasty, sovereignty was important because such a dynasty was able to be joined by marriage to European kings and other independent rulers (usually, the non-sovereign nobility was not allowed to go into marriage with royalty, while the descendants of such marriages were considered unequal and could not inherit the throne).
The eldest son and heir of the first Prince of Monaco was given the title “Marquis of Baux” and this title was traditionally worn by the future crown princess of Monaco. Thus, the current Prince Albert, at a time when his father was alive, wore the title of “Marquis of Baux”. Just to mention, the title refers to the city of Les Baux-de-Provence in France, after which the famous aluminum ore bauxite was named. Today Albert is the 14th consecutive Prince of Monaco.
Prince Honore died in Monaco on this day in 1662 at the age of 65. He was buried in a famous cathedral in the heart of Monaco, near the royal palace. In the same cathedral, the Catholic weddings of Monaco’s rulers were traditionally held. For example, Prince Rainer and Grace Kelly were married there.