Princess Antoinette, Baroness of Massy
|Baroness de Massy|
|Issue||Elisabeth-Anne de Massy
Christian Louis de Massy
Christine Alix de Massy
|House||House of Grimaldi (by birth)|
|Father||Prince Pierre, Duke of Valentinois|
|Mother||Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois|
28 December 1920|
|Died||18 March 2011
Princess Grace Hospital, Monaco
|Burial||Chapel of Peace, Monaco|
Princess Antoinette of Monaco, Baroness de Massy (Antoinette Louise Alberte Suzanne Grimaldi; 28 December 1920 – 18 March 2011) was a member of the princely family of Monaco and the elder sister of Prince Rainier III and aunt of Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Her parents were Count Pierre de Polignac and Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois.
Princess Antoinette had a long-term liaison with Alexandre-Athenase Noghès, a Monegasque-born attorney and international tennis champion, in the mid-1940s. The couple had three children born out-of-wedlock who were legitimated by their parents' eventual marriage and, henceforth, included in the line of succession to the Monegasque Throne until the death of Antoinette's brother, Prince Rainier III, in 2005; Elisabeth-Anne de Massy (born 1947), Christian Louis de Massy (Noghès) (born 1949), and Christine de Massy (Noghès) (1951-1989).
- Princess Antoinette and Alexandre Noghès subsequently married in Genoa on 4 December 1951 (her first, his second) and divorced in 1954.
On 15 November 1951, Antoinette was created Baroness of Massy (Baronne de Massy). Her children (Elisabeth-Anne, Christian and Christine) were named Grimaldi at birth. They subsequently had their names changed to de Massy. They claim the title of Baron/Baroness through their mother, but they are not entitled to it.
- She married her second husband, Dr. Jean-Charles Rey (Monaco, 22 October 1914 - Monaco, 17 September 1994), president of the Conseil National, the Parlement de Monaco in The Hague on 2 December 1961 and they divorced in 1974.
- Her third and last husband was John Gilpin (Southsea, Hampshire, 10 February 1930 - London, 5 September 1983), a British ballet dancer, whom she married in Monaco on 28 July 1983. He died suddenly six weeks later.
Having divorced Noghès, she and her lover Jean-Charles Rey hatched a plan to depose her brother Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and declare herself regent on the basis of having a son who would one day inherit the throne. She circulated rumours that Rainier's fiancee, actress Gisèle Pascal, was infertile. This led to the breakup of the relationship.
Rainier's marriage to Grace Kelly in 1956 and the arrival of his heirs, Princess Caroline in 1957 and Prince Albert in 1958, effectively scuttled Antoinette's plans. She was removed from the Palace by her sister-in-law, Princess Grace, and thereafter was estranged from the princely family for many years.
She was known to be somewhat eccentric, even having been described as "completely mad" by her servants. Having been banished from Monaco in the late 1950s, she lived down the coast from Monaco at Èze, with a large collection of dogs and cats. She was the president of Monaco's Society for the Protection of Animals.
Upon the accession of Albert II in 2005, Antoinette and her descendants lost their place in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne, the throne being limited to the current sovereign's descendants, siblings and descendants of his or her siblings.
On 18 March 2011 Princess Antoinette died at The Princess Grace Hospital Centre, aged 90. Her funeral took place on 24 March 2011. She is buried in the Chapel of Peace, in the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée in Monaco beside her parents, her daughter Christine Alix, and her last husband John Brian Gilpin.
Titles and honours
- 28 December 1920 – 15 November 1951: Her Serene Highness Princess Antoinette of Monaco
- 15 November 1951 – 18 March 2011: Her Serene Highness Princess Antoinette of Monaco, Baroness of Massy
|Ancestors of Princess Antoinette, Baroness of Massy|
- Palace: My Life in the Royal Family of Monaco by Baron Christian de Massy & Charles Higham (1986, Atheneum, ISBN 0-689-11636-5)
- Christian de Massy (1986) Palace: My Life in the Royal Family of Monaco, Bodley Head, London ISBN 0425117766
- "Princess Antoinette of Monaco". Telegraph. 2011-03-27. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- Death of Princess Antoinette
- "Princess Antoinette Park". Visit Monaco - Princess Antoinette Park. Visit Monaco. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- In this photo, Antoinette wearing the Order of Saint Charles