In a new exhibition, the Palace Archives and the Audiovisual Institute present 100 images of Prince Rainier III “at home” in the Palace and his other places of residence alongside other rare objects and documents.
Prince Rainier III was truly at home in the Palace of Monaco. He was the first ruler to be born there since Honoré IV in 1758, and he endeavored throughout his reign to restore and defend the identity of his country.
In this exhibition, as part of his centenary celebrations, his life and reign are presented from three perspectives.
Firstly, that of the Sovereign in the exercise of his functions, doing “paperwork” in the Palace surrounded by his employees.
It is in the Palace where he also received distinguished guests, that the major acts of political life took place and that the tradition of artistic patronage of the Princes of Monaco continues. It is here, also, where the public image of the Prince was patiently built through the media.
The second part of the exhibition explores the life of a man whose different homes correspond to the different ages of his life: the Palace of Monaco where he was born and grew up until his studies and the tumult of war, the Villa Iberia in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat where the bachelor Prince stayed until his marriage to Grace Kelly, the Rocagel house he built for his family, and finally the Castle of Marchais, a historic residence of the Grimaldis since 1854.
“The personal passions of the Prince make it possible to understand his personality and his commitments. When he takes off the sovereign’s uniform or the clothes of the father of the family, Rainier puts on his work shirt to retire to his workshop, where he models wrought iron sculptures,” say the exhibition curators.
In the final stage of the exhibition, the “great hours” of the Prince at the Palace are evoked, from his years of apprenticeship at the end of the World War II to the paroxysms of the Franco-Monegasque crisis and the proclamation of a new constitution, through to the momentous gatherings with the Monegasque population.
The exhibition, titled Le Prince Chez Lui, Prince Rainier III en images: 1923 – 2005, was curated by Thomas Fouilleron and Vincent Vatrican. It will be on show in the Grands Appartements of the Prince’s Palace from 31stMay to 20th August 2023.
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Photo taken from exhibition poster