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Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History

BOSTON, MA (October 11, 2009) - The Government of Monaco has announced that the next stop for the exposition entitled "The Grace Kelly Years, Princess of Monaco" will be Rome,Italy between October 16th 2009 and February 28th 2010. This outstanding exposition featuring Monaco's iconic Princess will take up quarters in the Palazzo Ruspoli from October 16th 2009 to February 28th 2010. This prestigious venue in the heart of the Eternal City operates under the auspices of the Memmo Foundation. The exposition will occupy several floors, giving visitors ample opportunity to relive the years during which an exceptional woman reached myth status while living out her extraordinary destiny, that of a Hollywood actress become Princess of Monaco. The official inauguration of the exposition will be held on October 15th at 6 P.M., in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II. A press conference followed by a visit to the exposition is scheduled on October 14th at noon.

To celebrate the arrival of this special exhibition from the Catholic sovereign state of the Principality of Monaco to the Eternal City which is host to the State of Vatican City, the world headquartes of the Roman Catholic ecclesial nation-state of the Universal Church of Rome,a diplomatic history of Monegasque-Holy See relations has been written to highlight the historical friendship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy See, and the Principality of Monaco, which has the Catholic religion as the official religion of state. Some versions of this article include photos of Prince Rainier III, Princess Grace and Prince Albert II in their respective visits to the Roman Pontiffs from Pope Pius XII to Pope Benedict XVI.


*Unless otherwise noted the Monegasque history cited in this article has been taken from The History of the Principality of Monaco As Seen Through Its Postage Stamps, H. Chiavassa, Monaco Postage Stamp Issuing Office 1964.

Above photo of Prince Rainier III & Pope John Paul II IN 1997 Courtesy of the following internet site:

The Roman Catholic constitutional and hereditary monarchy of the Principality of Monaco, and the papal constitutional monarchy of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical nation-state of the Universal Church of Rome (U.C.R.), governed by the entity known as the Apostolic (or Holy) See, and headquartered in the State of Vatican City in Rome, Italy, although distinctly separate sovereign states, share a very uniquely historical ecclesio-cultural symbiosis that has become a rare gem in the highly secular socio-cultural geo-political era of 21st century Europe.

In this regard, it is important to highlight that 2007 marked two anniversaries of ecclesiastical significance to the Principality of Monaco and the Holy See. The first anniversary to note is that on 15 March 2007, the Principality of Monaco and the Holy See marked the 120th anniversary of the papal Bull promulgated on March 15, 1887 by Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), titled “Quemadmodum Sollicitus Pastor,” which established the first independent diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the Principality. The request for this Bull by Pop Leo XIII was one of a diversity of efforts by H.S.H. Prince Charles III of Monaco (1856-1889) to assert the spiritual and moral interests of his subjects in the aftermath of the signing of the February 2, 1861 Agreement between the French Empire and the Principality of Monaco. The Treaty of 1861 of Monaco with France formally recognized for the first time in three centuries the official independence and sovereignty of Monaco under the exclusive authority of its sovereign head, and gave the prince the status of “Most Serene Highness,” (until the 1861 treaty the head of Monaco had only been addressed as “Highness” in treaties) . Moreover, Monaco was freed from any link whatever with a protecting power, with the exception of France. Monaco promised France not to cede all or part of the principality to any power other than France, and in application of the treaty Monaco executed a customs union with France on November 9, 1865.

Thus, in effort to affirm the independence and sovereignty of the Principality granted it by the Treaty of 1861, Prince Charles III of Monaco strategized a diversity of means to effect the sovereign independence of the Principality. In addition to the minting of Monegasque coins, the issuance of the first Monegasque stamps and the dispatch of accredited diplomatic agents of Monaco to other countries, especially the Catholic countries of the France, Italy and the ...

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