A word from the editor. Dear followers, on December 26th 2017 a mean hacker attack invalidated the entire Montecarlotimes’website. Today we are pleased to re-publish some of the most liked posts. Yours truly, Ilio Masprone – Knight of the Principality of Monaco for cultural merits, with the Team.
by Gianluca Errico
MONACO In the reliable, famous Almanach de Gotha 2017, the figures in the list of the World’s Richest Monarchs in order of wealth are calculated upon their present assets as Sovereigns of the Realm, whereas it should be noted that in most “studies” upon this subject by magazines, books and by the media, listed figures attributed to the so-called true wealth of the Monarchs in question are misleading. In most circumstances, those compiling these false figures source their information from a small collection of individuals, do not and in some cases choose not to understand the complicated asset wealth of a Monarch, through their vast Hereditary and Sovereign wealth therein. Actually, they lack any credible status when concerning the true wealth of the Monarchs and Royals concerned. For instance, some of such articles quote Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain below the King of Thailand, who holds first place on the list. The King does indeed owns vast land holdings in the Capital of Bangkok, which is run by the Thai Crown Agency, in the exact way the Queen of Great Britain owns vast land holdings in the UK run by the British Crown Estate; in fact, the Queen of Great Britain is the wealthiest Monarch in the World by far because the British Law under Act of Parliament states clearly that the Queen does own the Crown Estate. The contrary is just a false, modern assumption of the public opinion, whereas there are tens of thousands of documents and many hundreds of Laws under Act of Parliament, which state that the Crown Estate is part of the Sovereign patrimony of the British Monarch, and therefore is in fact the legal property of the Reigning Monarch concerned. It should be noted that ownership can never be based upon a mere assumption, but must be backed up by legal standing and judgement. Another example is the so-called Wealth of the ex-Queen of the Netherlands worthing a mere $200 Million dollars. Together with vast personal and family investments and Assets, Art and Jewels, the Dutch Royal Family is the worlds largest share holder of the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company being a 25% holder, therefore her true wealth is in the Billions of dollars. Some magazines online seem to compile their figures when concerning Monarchs and Royals of the World in the same way as they comply figures for International Film Stars and Rock Groups, which shows the Magazine in question to have very little or no understanding to the complicated subject of the asset wealth of the Worlds Monarchs and Royals, who in some cases have amassed their family wealth, property and ownership rights over many centuries, and in the case of the Queen of Great Britain near on a millennium, so the true and total wealth of the aforementioned Monarchs and Royals may never be known. Actually, understanding to the subject of the asset wealth of the Worlds Monarchs Royals is a complicated matter.
As a further note of interest, if the Russian Revolution of 1917 had never happened, and the Imperial House of Romanov were still Monarchs of Russia, the Tsar of Russia would be the wealthiest Monarch on Earth, followed by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, then by the Emperor of Austria-Hungary. As for the tiny Principality of Monaco, the Almanach de Gotha is quoting the current ruler of the oldest royal dynasty in the Western World, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, at a remarkable fourteen place. The Prince net worth is more than 3 Billions euros. His wealth is based upon real estate in Monaco and France, family art collection, antique cars, stamps and a stake in the SBM (Société des Bains de Mer), which operates Monaco’s casino and other entertainment properties in the principality.
Prince Albert is the reigning sovereign of Monaco: His Serene Highness (HSH, for short) is the official head of state, and holds legislative, executive, and judicial power. So, why is Albert Prince and not King of Monaco? He may have more responsibilities than the average monarch, he may be the scion of the oldest dynasty in Europe (more then 700 years), but he doesn’t hold the top of all royal titles: the King. It’s not him. It’s Monaco. His father, Rainier, was also a prince, and his mother, Grace Kelly, was always a princess, never a queen. Same with his grandfather and grandmother, and great-grandfather and great-grandmother, you get the point. But why, when Britain, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and a bunch of other countries have kings and queens, does Monaco only have princes and princesses? It goes back deep into the history of Monaco. Monaco has always been a tiny nation; during 700 years of its troubled history, at some points it was flat-out annexed to a bigger country. And, for protection, it allied itself with powerful countries like Spain – or with powerful kingdoms like France, or with a nation ruled by a king, like the House of Savoy. When asked why he is not king, Prince Albert said that Monaco being a principality, therefore he has the title of prince, which was attributed in the seventeenth century to his ancestor Honoré II, when the territory of the Grimaldis was declared a principality by the king of France. Honoré II (24 December 1597-10 January 1662) was the first to be called “Sovereign Prince”, but he began to dominate the Fortress as Honoré II Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco. In 1524, Stefano Grimaldi, regent of the minor now inheritor to the lordship Honoré Grimaldi, future Honoré I, had freely chosen the protectorate of the Spanish king, who continued under the rule of Honoré II. Although in 1612, as a reward for fidelity, the Spanish king had conferred him the title of prince, in 1641 Honoré II resolved to ask Louis XIII of France to put an end to the increasingly intrusive Spanish influence on the Rock of Monaco, and he freely asked him to subdue the country to the French protectorate. Honoré II lost the Grimaldis’ fiefs in Italy and in Spain, but he had the title of Duke of Valentinois from the King of France and especially he was elected first Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Moreover, the protectorate led to the signing of the Treaty of Péronne with France on September 14, 1641, which recognized and guaranteed the indipendent sovereignty of the Principality of Monaco forever and ever. During his reign, Honoré II contributed significantly to the growth, reconstruction and transformation of the Grimaldi fort in what is now the Monaco’s Princely Palace.
The House of Monaco received other titles at different times and in different ways, such as: Dukes of Valentinois, Marquis of Baux, Counts of Carladès, Barons of Calvinet and Buis, Lords of Saint-Rémy, Lords of Matignon, Counts of Torigny, Baron of Saint Lo, Luthumière-Hambye, Dukes of Mazarin, Dukes of Mayenne, Princes of Chateau-Porcien, Barons of Massy, Counts of Ferrette, Belfort, Thann and Rosemont, Barons of Altkirch, Lords of Issenheim, Marquis of Chilly, Counts of Longjumeau and Marquis of Guiscard. Although Prince Albert does not directly own the Prince’s Palace, he does own personal homes in both La Turbie – Mont Agel and Marchais, in addition to his mother’s childhood home that he recently purchased and restaured. HSH Prince Albert II covers several roles as President, Honorary Member, Honorary Board Member, Patron, Senator and Trustee of several Foundations, Associations and Organisations. He has Titles, Styles, Military Appointments, Honours and Awards, National and Foreign Orders. The Prince Albert II Foundation holds a firm commitment towards protecting the Oceans and marine biodiversity. In January 2009, Prince Albert left for a month-long expedition to Antarctica, where he visited 26 scientific outposts and met with climate-change experts in an attempt to learn more about the impact of global warming on the continent. During the trip he stopped at the South Pole, making him the only incumbent head of state to have visited both poles. A sport enthusiast, in 1996 Prince Albert received the Eagle Award from the United States Sports Academy. The Eagle Award is the Academy’s highest international honour and was awarded to Prince Albert for his significant contributions in promoting international harmony, peace and goodwill through the effective use of sport.