The Other Princess of Monaco

February 5, 2012

We’re all familiar with the legendary icon Grace Kelly became soon after marrying the Prince of Monaco and more than likely recognize the newest consort of House Grimaldi, obnoxious Charlene Wittstock with her annoying flatulence, so I thought of presenting something on the same lines but clearly diverse: a titular heiress to the Monaco throne.

Her Serene Highness Sovereign Princess Louise-Hippolyte Grimaldi of Monaco, Princesse de Château-Porcien, Marquise de Les Baux, Chilly and Guiscard, Comtesse de Carladès Baroness of Calvinet and Buis-les-Baronnies and Massy, Sovereign Dame of Mentone and Roccabruna, Dame de Saint-Rémy de Province (wonder how long did it take to call her that way) was born one October evening, 1697, at Prince’s Palace, the sixth child of Antoine I and wife Marie of Lorraine, yet the first one to survive infancy, alongside her future sister, Marguerite Camille Grimaldi (1700–1758), who had no  issue despite wedding French Prince d’Isenghien.

Prince's Palace

Her education had been complex and vast from the very beginning, considering she was the sole hope of continuity for the Grimaldis, in a situation quite similar to Queen Victoria’s but decidedly less rigid compared to that of the renowned sovereign. Foreign languages were a priority and, as any refined aristocrat, she also played the piano, fashionable instrument at royal courts. Notice, though, Louise had no political training as her prospective spouse was expected to undertake the real power of governing. Her father even arranged, with the permission of the extravagant Louis XIV, that her husband should assume their dynasty’s surname, Grimaldi, in order to rule Monaco, because their other relative bearing the title were either too poor in finances or too old for Louise Hippolyte.

Louise of Monaco

The prospect of having their own Principality through union with Louise attracted a few nobles, especially considering the girl on stake wasn’t a negligible beauty at all, sure, not as charming as the Marquise de Montespan, Sun King’s most celebrated maîtresse en titre, but very graceful nonetheless, with nice, proportional, facial features and dark cat eyes.  Among her suitors, Jacques François Goyon de Matignon, a rather boorish Count whose candidature had been proposed by his family and explicitly supported by Louis XIV, distinguished himself more. This lead to a short engagement and, on 20 October 1715, one stylish wedding ceremony like those we’ve gotten used to watching Grace Kelly and Charlene, gathering the main crowned heads of Europe.  The bride, 10 days before celebrating 18, was simply stunning, obviously eclipsing the groom, 8 years her senior, and making an entrance to remember, principally for the little Louis XV, who was there as part of his first formal act during the Regency of the Duke of Orléans.  Jacques’ sponsor, Louis the Great, had died a month earlier of gangrene.

Louise and Jacques of Monaco

Louise Hippolyte bore Jacques 9 children, 6 boys and 3 girls, but, due to the numerous diseases haunting the society that time,  just Honoré Camille (1720-1795) and Charles Maurice (1727-1790) managed to pull through babyhood.

Like most arranged alliances, Hippolyte’s was an emotional failure, with her bored husband preferring to live at his Parisian residence, Hôtel Matignon (currently the official domicile of the French Prime Minister), and do routine visits to Versailles between two rollings in the hay (evidently, he had his share of lovers).  Ironically, she was pretty captivated by him, as  her romantic letters evidence. The swain.

Louise of Monaco

On 20 February, 1731, Antonio I  passed away, making Louise Hippolyte, his dear offspring, Princess of Monaco in her own right, the only one ever recorded.

She went straight to Paris, where the royal administrators threw a spirited reception to honor her newly acquired position; when Jacques came, though, some witness sustain that the festive clamor chilled a bit. Was it solidarity for her abandoned-wife state? Historical sources don’t mention.


Unfortunately, Providence wasn’t, for mysterious reasons, by her side, and Louise Hippolyte’s reign lasted merely306 days, until smallpox destroyed her after Christmas, on 29 December of the same year.

Her earthly remains were buried in Saint Nicholas Cathedral , the traditional tomb of the Grimaldi’s, in a relatively small commemoration, putting an end to Princess Hippolyte’s regrettably undeveloped potential.


One Response to “The Other Princess of Monaco”

  1. Anonymus Says:

    too bad she died young and shortly after begining her reign… she could’ve been something

cat got your fingers? then type something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: