Thursday, January 20, 2011

The House of Grimaldi: The Death of Antonio I

My more 'with it' readers will already have ascertained that the picture at right is obviously not one of Antonio I, Prince of Monaco; it is, in fact, a picture of Antonio Banderas. Alas, the Google gods have not seen fit to supply me with any image of this elusive Grimaldi - foiled yet again! - and so I have had to make do. I figured since I have to spend a certain amount of time writing this, I might as well have something I like looking at when I do.

PhotobucketRather than dampening my zeal for writing about the House of Grimaldi, though, the paucity of available information on them tells me that I am moving the Pop Culture Institute in the right direction; namely that of creating original content for the Internet, rather than simply posting about the same old crap that a million others do, say, every time Lindsay Lohan does whatever it is she does, especially if it involves a gusset.

A n y w a y... Antonio I was born in January 1661, to Louis I and Catherine Charlotte de Gramont. His June 1688 marriage, to Maria of Lorraine, was personally arranged by France's King Louis XIV; in those days, of course, the Grimaldis were more or less based in the French court at the Palace of Versailles. The couple would eventually have six children, only two of whom - Louise-Hippolyte and Margaretha - would survive infancy.

Assuming the throne following the death of his father in January 1701, in addition to being the Prince of Monaco and the Duke of Valentinois, Antonio I had added to his family's list of hereditary titles when he was created the first Marquis of Baux, a title by tradition given to the eldest son and heir. Following the death of Antonio I on this day in 1731, five days shy of his 70th birthday, a minor controversy occurred... Since at the time a female succession was generally frowned upon, as part of a deal brokered with the Sun King it was agreed that Louise-Hippolyte's husband Jacques Fran├žois Goyon de Matignon would be given the surname Grimaldi, and co-rule with her when the time came. Which is exactly what came to pass*...

*Alas, although it came to pass, it didn't go so well; as popular as Louise-Hippolyte was among her subjects, that's how unpopular her husband would be. But that's a story best left for another day...

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Antonio Banderas surely would have played a commendable "usurper" role for that matter.

The King is dead so...