Caroline, Albert and Stephanie, in mourning after their father, Prince Rainier, died last Wednesday. The little girl is Alexandra, Caroline's daughter by Prince Ernst, who went into hospital the day before his father-in-law's death and is still in intensive care
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The new Sovereign Prince gave a televised address on Sunday. "Today we are all orphans of this great man," he said. "The profound sadness and mourning we feel brings our hearts closer together and binds our community like never before"
Photo: AFP

11 APRIL 2005

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Monaco's new ruler, Prince Albert, has spoken publicly about the tragic loss of his father last week. The 47-year-old gave a televised address commending Prince Rainier, just as it emerged his sister Stephanie would receive only one percent of the late monarch's estate.

The will stipulates that Rainier's two eldest children, Albert and Caroline, are to be allocated around 950 million each, while Stephanie, who is known for her turbulent love life, receives a relatively modest 17 million.

But for the moment the people of Monaco are more concerned with mourning their former leader, who is currently lying in state in the Royal Palace chapel. Their grief was reflected in Prince Albert's address, which made no mention of politics or his own role as Sovereign.

"Today is the time for prayer and of reflection for the memory of His Great Prince, who passionately loved his country and his people," he said. "Today we are all orphans of this great man, and the profound sadness and mourning we feel brings our hearts closer together and binds our community like never before."

Royals and politicians from all over the world are expected to make their way to Monaco over the next few days ahead of the funeral on Friday. The Grimaldi family is meanwhile hoping that Princess Caroline's husband, Ernst of Hanover, will make a speedy recovery. The 51-year-old prince fell into a coma last week after suffering an acute pancreatic infection, but latest reports say his condition is improving.

prince albert,prince rainier, princess stephanie,princess caroline

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