Sovereign Prince of Monaco

Sovereign Prince of Monaco
Monarchy

Incumbent:
Albert II
since 6 April 2005

Style: His Serene Highness
Heiress presumptive: Caroline, Princess of Hanover
First monarch: Honoré II (as Prince, previous monarchs were called Lords)
Formation: 29 November 1604

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The Sovereign Prince or Princess of Monaco is the reigning monarch and head of state of the Principality of Monaco. All princes or princesses have officially taken the name of the House of Grimaldi, but have belonged to various other houses (Goyon de Matignon, Polignac) in male line. The present reigning prince is Albert II.

Powers of the Prince

Monaco, along with Liechtenstein and Vatican City, is one of only three states in Europe where the monarch still plays an active role in day-to-day politics.

The Prince or Princess exercises his or her authority in accordance with the Constitution and laws. He or she represents the Principality in all foreign relations and any revision, either total or partial, of the Constitution, must be jointly agreed to by the Prince and the National Council.[1]

Legislative power is divided between the Prince who initiates the laws, and the National Council which votes on them. Executive power is retained by the Prince. The Minister of State and the Government Council are directly responsible to the Prince for the administration of the Principality.[1]

Judiciary powers also belong to the Prince. The present Constitution states that the Prince has full authority in the courts and tribunals which render justice in his or her name.[1]

Pursuant to Article 16 of the 1962 Constitution, the Sovereign Prince confers orders, titles and other distinctions (see Awards and decorations of Monaco) as the fons honorum of the Principality of Monaco.[1]

Titles and styles

The Prince is styled His Serene Highness (Son Altesse Serenissime).[2] Although used only formally, the Prince also bears several other hereditary titles, some of which are occasionally bestowed on his relatives or their spouses. Some of these titles have merged with the Crown of Monaco as a result of the Grimaldi family's acquisition of various fiefs;[2] they no longer imply ownership or territorial authority, although the Princes of Monaco have long been substantial owners of land and chateaux in France. Most were granted or recognised by the Kingdom of France and could only pass through the male line; they therefore became extinct as French dignities on the death of Albert's grandfather Prince Louis II in 1949. Thereafter some of these titles were implicitly re-created as Monegasque titles.[2] The father of Prince Rainier III was Pierre Grimaldi, Duke of Valentinois, Count Pierre de Polignac, whose legitimate male-line descendants (including Rainier III et al.) remain, remotely but legally, in the line of succession for the French dukedom of Polignac).

The current Prince's complete titles and styles are:

Non-reigning princes(ses) of Monaco

Prince(ss) of Monaco is a title also given to certain members of the princely family of Monaco. It is distinct from the ruling Prince's title "Sovereign Prince of Monaco", from which the first word is commonly dropped, or with the title of the heir apparent or presumptive to the throne, Hereditary Prince of Monaco.

Members of the Monegasque princely family deceased since 1850

References and notes

See also

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