Friday, March 18, 2011

Princess Antoinette of Monaco

The Prince of Monaco's press office today announced the death of Princess Antoinette of Monaco, who died "overnight" at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco.

The princess was the elder sister of the late Prince Rainier III.  They were the only children of the late Princess Charlotte and her husband, Prince Pierre de Polignac.  

Princess Antoinette "was involved in the cause of animal rights," reports the Associated Press, and was president of Monaco's Society for the Protection of Animals.

Her nephew, Prince Albert II, ordered all the flags in the principality lowered to half-staff.

Princess Antoinette Louise Albert Suzanne of Monaco was born December 28, 1920.   She was married three times.  Her first husband, Alexandre Noghes, a tennis champion and Monegasques lawyer were married in 1951 after the birth of their three children, Elisabeth-Anne (1947), Christian-Louis (1949) and Christine Alix(1951-1989.)   Several weeks before her marriage,  Antoinette was created Baroness de Massy, and her three children bear the surname de Massy. 
The princess and her husband were divorced in 1954.  She married for a second time in 1961 to Jean-Charles Rey.  This marriage ended in divorce in 1974.  In 1983, she married John Gilpin, a former British ballet dancer.  Sadly, he died only six weeks after the marriage.

The Princess is survived by her her two children and numerous grandchildren.

The Royal Household and the Government of Monaco will observe two weeks of mourning until April 1.   Princess Antoinette's remains have been brought to the Palace Chapel, where friends, family and members of the public will be able to pay their last respects.  The funeral will be held in the Cathedral on March 24.


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