- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 19, 2002

PARIS Prince Rainier, who was expected to spend the weekend in the hospital after extensive medical checks, has quietly changed Monaco's constitutional rules to ensure his dynasty's survival.
Growing concern over his failing health and the continued bachelor status of his son, Prince Albert, forced the review of the inheritance provisions.
Under the terms of a treaty imposed by the French government in 1918, the 700-year-old Grimaldi dynasty would have died out and Monaco would have become French territory if Prince Albert came to the throne and died without an heir.
The change to the previous rule of primogeniture was slipped through the Monaco parliament last month. It will allow Prince Rainier's daughters, Caroline and Stephanie, to inherit the throne from Albert, 43, if he remains childless.
Their children would also be in line of succession. Princess Caroline, 45, has two sons, Andrea, 17, and Pierre, 14, and two daughters, Charlotte, 15, and Alexandra, 2. Princess Stephanie, 37, has one son and two daughters: Louis, 9, Pauline, 8, and 3-year-old Camille.
Under the old constitution, the succession was limited to the ruling monarch's children: If Albert, as sovereign, were to die without issue, his sisters and their children would not have been eligible to inherit.
The reason for this was that in 1918 France had become concerned about the principality's future because Louis, the 48-year-old heir to the throne, was a bachelor. The next male in line to succeed if Louis died without an heir was a German prince, the Duke of Urach.
At the end of World War I, Paris refused to countenance a German monarch in Monaco, so it imposed the constitutional provision that only the monarch's own children could inherit the throne. To avoid the demise of the dynasty then, Louis adopted the daughter born to his mistress 20 years earlier.
Prince Rainier has hinted that he would like to step down in favor of his son but, until now, has insisted that he would not do so until Albert produced an heir.


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