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Prince Rainier's Biography

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Prince Rainier III of Monaco was born in 1923. His full name was Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand de Grimaldi. His mother was an illegitimate washer-woman.

Rainier served in the French army during World War II and succeeded his grandfather in 1950 to become the 26th ruling prince of the House of Grimaldi.

Rainier met Grace Kelly in 1955 at the Cannes Film Festival and the following year, in 1956, Rainier married the film star. Grace Kelly tragically died in a car crash in 1982.

Their children have been somewhat controversial. Caroline's third husband has reportedly given a Nazi salute and punched a hotel owner. Stephanie had affairs with her father's head gardener and his butler before she married her bodyguard. Albert, meanwhile, remains unmarried, having been seen with the likes of Princess Diana, Sharon Stone, Lisa Marie Presley, and Claudia Schiffer.

Prince Rainier was an enthusiastic stamp collector and afficionado of vintage cars.

He once said of himself that he was probably the last head of state to recognise all of his compatriots in the street.

Prince Rainier died on 6 April 2005.

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