Saturday, July 16, 2005

Monaco - 1


Peter Kurth, in "Cosmopolitan," July 1993, wrote about the House of Grimaldi.

Kurth reminds us that, in 1956, Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier.

Grace Kelly died in a car accident in 1982.

Rainier was 'a Mediterranean capitalist, the descendant of pirates'.

According to Kurth, he liked to 'watch television and eat pizza in his underwear.'


Princess Stephanie of Monaco is described by Kurth as 'rock star, swimsuit designer, wannabe actress and full-time brat.'

Stephanie was in the car that crashed in 1982, killing Princess Grace. The Rover plunged off the mountain road from La Turbie on its way down to Monaco.

Kurth writes: 'Now she's playing at unwed motherhood, shacking up ... with Daniel Ducruet.'


Kurth provides some facts about Monaco:

450 policemen.

Population 30,000.

Roughly 5000 are Monégasques - born there.

Monaco is a 'profitable gambling, real-estate, advertising, and corporate-convention empire.'


Princess Caroline is recovering from the death of her husband, Italian businessman Stefano Casiraghi, in a speedboat accident in 1990.

Kurth writes: "For most of her life before she married Casiraghi, Caroline played the same kind of circus-princess role that Stephanie acts out now. She was petulant, unruly, sometimes stupidly defiant and shocking."

In the 1970s, Caroline married the much older, 'cavalier, epicurean' Phillipe Junot.

The Vatican, in 1992, granted Caroline an annulment from Junot.

"Caroline is fantastic," says Prince Dmitri of Yugoslavia, "She's highly intelligent, highly cultivated. She's brilliant. She can talk about anything: politics and art and metaphysics."

Kurth writes: 'Caroline has had a lot of help in her bereavement from French actor Vincent Lindon, her boyfriend of record, who is "shadowy" in a way that differs substantially from most of the lizards you meet in Monte Carlo... Lindon is also Jewish, and would presumably need to convert to Catholicism if he wants to marry Caroline.'


Albert of Monaco, according to Kurth, "is handsome, athletic (he's an Olympic bobsledder), a wee bit nervous, and as nice as the day is long... Albert is the 'sweetest' of all the Grimaldis, the most like his mother, with Grace's tact and her well-known concern for the feelings of other people."

Kurth writes: 'Albert himself has publicly denied the rumors about his sexuality, but he's smart enough to realize that no denial he can make would satisfy the press or his eager legion of gay male fans. His photograph appears in the newspapers with astonishing regularity as he frolics in boats and on sunlit beaches with a wide assortment of bare-breasted girls. He's been seen on the slopes, so to speak, in the company of Brooke Shields, Donna Rice, Catherine Oxenberg, and, most recently, Claudia Schiffer, but again, so far as anyone knows, there's "nobody serious" in the picture.'


Sherman H. Skolnick, 2-8-99, wrote about a billionaire banker's mysterious death.

Edmond J. Safra died in Monaco. Safra's male nurse reportedly set Safra's flat on fire.

According to Skolnick, 'the police and others are pondering whether some criminal gang, such as the Russian mafiya, who had grievances against Banker Safra, arranged to plant the "male nurse" in Safra's dwelling to arrange whatever caused his death....

"Formed in 1966, Safra's banking and precious metals empire was founded and built primarily after the creation of the State of Israel, by Safra acting as the savvy money laundry expert for wealthy Sephardic Jews desiring to extract their fortunes as they were fleeing Arab countries where they resided. Safra was reportedly an expert on gold smuggling and the use of the precious metal in secret financing of covert operations, such as political assassinations, by intelligence agencies, such as the American CIA.

"A flood of stories has developed...

"Princess Grace ... was murdered in a sabotaged car crash on a hill between Monaco and France. Some claim she was silenced. She apparently spoke too much about the traditional Italian and Sicilian mafia and their use of the warehouses on the Monaco shoreline and gold smuggling. Also: "Founding Father" Joseph P. Kennedy, of the Kennedy clan, lived in Monaco late in his life to be able to work secretive gold deals for his family in the U.S. where up to 1975, gold ownership by U.S. citizens was against federal law...."


Prince Albert of Monaco ascended the throne on 12 July 2005.

The 47-year-old prince promised he would continue efforts made over the past few years to clean up Monaco's image as a centre for money laundering and loose financial controls.

"I intend to have ethics as the basis of the behaviour of Monaco authorities," he said after being blessed at a Roman Catholic mass. "Money and virtue should always go hand in hand."


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