Line of succession to the Monegasque throne
The line of succession to the Monegasque throne is a list of people entitled to succeed to the throne of Monaco. The line of succession was most recently and notably modified by a constitutional change implemented by Princely Law 1.249 of 2 April 2002.
Under the constitution of Monaco, the crown passes according to male-preference cognatic primogeniture. Only persons descended from the reigning monarch and the reigning monarch's siblings and their descendants, whose parents have been married at some point with the monarch's approval, and who are Monegasque citizens are eligible. Children born as a result of adultery are permanently excluded. A dynast forfeits succession rights if he or she marries without the monarch's permission, along with descendants of the unapproved marriage, but can be restored into the line of succession if the marriage produces no issue and ends before the demise of the crown.
Should no one be eligible to succeed according to the succession laws, a council of regency takes power until the Crown Council elects a new monarch from among the more distant descendants of the House of Grimaldi.
Line of succession
The list below contains all people currently eligible to succeed to the throne (numbered 1 to 9) and the illegitimate children who would enter the line if their parents ever married.
- Prince Rainier III (1923–2005)
- Prince Albert II (b. 1958)
- Alexandre Coste (b. 2003)
- (1) Hereditary Princess Caroline, Princess of Hanover (b. 1957)
- (7) Princess Stéphanie (b. 1965)
- Prince Albert II (b. 1958)
A person born to a dynast who was not married to the other parent at the time of birth (such as Alexandre Coste, Camille Gottlieb or Raphaël Elmaleh) does not have any succession rights unless legitimised by his or her parents' subsequent marriage, provided that the person was not born adulterously (article 227 of the Monegasque Civil Code states in part: "Les enfants nés hors mariage, autres que les enfants adultérins, sont légitimés par le mariage subséquent de leurs père et mère, lorsque ceux-ci les ont légalement reconnus avant leur mariage ou qu'ils les reconnaissent au moment de la célébration," while art. 229 states: "Les enfants légitimés par le mariage subséquent auront les mêmes droits que s'ils étaient nés de ce mariage"). Louis Ducruet and Pauline Ducruet as well as Alexandre Casiraghi have been legitimised by their parents' subsequent marriages.
Until 2002, the crown of Monaco could only pass to the direct descendants, including adopted children, of the reigning prince. As a result, Princess Antoinette was not in the line of succession and Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie would have lost their places in line at the moment of Prince Albert's accession, and there would be no further dynasts eligible to succeed to the throne.
This possibility had two implications, namely that a) that the throne might fall vacant and Monaco might officially become a protectorate of France should Prince Albert inherit the crown and then die without fathering or adopting a legitimate heir or b) Prince Albert might adopt an unrelated person as his heir, thereby breaking the genealogical line of the House of Grimaldi. In 2002, changes were made to the Constitution of Monaco which eliminated that concern by excluding adopted children from the line of succession and providing that if the sovereign has no legitimate child, the crown passes to one of the dynastic siblings of the sovereign or, if not living, to one of their legitimate descendants.
- Constitution of Monaco
- List of rulers of Monaco
- List of heirs to the Monegasque throne
- Monaco Succession Crisis of 1918
- Constitution de la Principauté including succession rules (in French)