Aristocrat sues France for €350m over claim to Monaco throne

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Aristocrat sues France for €350m over claim to Monaco throne
Photo: Trish Hartmann/Flickr

A French-born aristocrat is suing France for €351m in damages, claiming the country tricked his family out of inheriting the throne of Monaco a century ago.


Louis de Causans contends his relatives and consequently he would have been in the line of succession to the throne of the small principality had it not been for a “sleight of hand” by the French state in 1924.

The aristocrat claims that during the 1922-44 period of reign of Louis II of Monaco - who left no heirs - France took over Monaco by forging the rules of succession.

Louis II of Monaco. Photo: Wikicommons/Public Domain

This De Causans claims robbed him and his family of their birthright as another branch of the Grimaldis were placed instead on the throne.

“I want the truth to come out and this injustice carried out by France on my family to be corrected,” he told French daily Le Parisien.

“In truth my cousin Prince Albert (below) acceded to the throne by a sleight of hand,” he added, clarifying that his legal action wasn’t directed at Monaco’s ruler but rather at the French government.

Photo: AFP

“France found a solution to get its hands on Monaco. Afterwards, they carried out business as they pleased there.”

De Causans is adamant the Monaco throne should have passed to the Grimaldi family branch from which he descends, but that would’ve meant the principality would’ve had German Guillaume II de Wurtemberg-Urach as its leader.

"For France, on the brink of world war, the idea of a German ruling Monaco was just unthinkable," said Jean-Marc Descoubes, Mr de Causans' lawyer.



A law was passed in 1911 recognising Louis's illegitimate daughter Charlotte, the daughter of his cabaret singer lover, as the heir to the throne.

Mr de Causans's lawyer claims it’s obvious that the current rulers of Monaco are in their regal position only because of the will of the French state.

"Normally in my milieu we keep a low profile and prefer not to stir up this sort of stuff but the truth must come out," said De Causans.

“It’s a question of honour."


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