Prince Rainier, monarch of the Principality of Monaco and head of the Princely House of Grimaldi has died today. He was 81. Rainier III, Sovereign Prince of Monaco (Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi) (May 31, 1923 – April 6, 2005), styled His Serene Highness the Prince of Monaco, ruled the Principality of Monaco for almost 56 years. Though he was best known outside of Europe for having married American actress Grace Kelly, he was also responsible for reforms to Monaco's constitution and for expanding the principality's economy, building it into a wealthy and elegant resort. In March 2005, Rainier fell gravely ill, and died on April 6, 2005. In accordance with the line of succession spelled out by the constitution, his son Prince Albert succeeded him.
Molossia mourns the loss of Prince Rainier, and His Excellency, The President has sent a message of condolence to the Royal Family. In addition, His Excellency has directed that the Molossian Flag be lowered to half staff for three days out of respect for the Prince. The President is quoted as saying, "Prince Rainier has been a guiding force to Monaco for 56 years, and his passing is a great loss to the world. He continually sought to further his nation, and always placed the welfare of his people as his highest responsibility. His leadership and devotion to Monaco set the standard for other world leaders to emulate."