Princess Antoinette of Monaco

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Today marks the centenary of the Birth of Princess Antoinette of Monaco, Baroness of Massy, who was born on this day in 1920! The eldest child of Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois, the illegitimate but adopted Heir of Prince Louis II of Monaco, and Count Pierre de Polignac, Princess Antoinette grew up at family estates around France. In the 1940s, Princess Antoinette had a relationship with Tennis Champion, Alexandre-Athenase Noghès, having three children, including Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy, before marrying in 1951, thus legitimizing their children and giving them a place in the line of succession, through they divorced in 1954. In the 1950s, the Princess and her eventual second husband planned to depose her brother, Prince Rainier III, and install her as a Regent for her Infant son, which led to her being exiled from Monaco, living down the coast at Èze.  Princess Antoinette was married to Dr. Jean-Charles Rey, President of the Monaco National Council, from 1961 to 1974, and to Ballet dancer John Gilpin, for six weeks before his death in 1983. Princess Antoinette, known to be quite eccentric by her family, was the President of Monaco’s Society for the Protection of Animals and Refuge and a patron of the UK-based Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. After Princess Grace’s death, Princess Antoinette began to be more involved with the Princely Family and was the beloved aunt to Prince Albert, Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie, often accompanying them on Official Engagements up until she passed away in 2011, at the age of 90.

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