||Upon his death on April 6, 2005, Prince Rainier de Grimaldi had acted as the guiding hand and quiet defender of his Mediterranean fiefdom for 55 years. One of the world's longest-reigning monarchs, he became known as much for his understated style of rule as for his glamorous family.
His abilities as a leader were the product of a wealth of experience and education. The child of Prince Pierre and Princess Charlotte, he studied at the best schools in France, Switzerland and England before joining the French army as a foreign serviceman. During World War II he rose to the rank of lieutenant, while preparing himself for the role of statesman that lay ahead.
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