April 6 one of Europe’s ten monarchs — and one of the two ruling — passed away.
Indeed Rainier III highly deserves to be named a Hoppean monarch. The long reign and rule of Prince Rainier III should be highly praised. Along with the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Principality of Monaco is one of the two of Europe’s ten monarchies where the monarch not only reigns, but also rules. There are perhaps no words for how pleasing it is that, nearly nine decades after a world war — with the "good" help of Pres. Woodrow Wilson — ended the monarchical age, two princes still rule on the European continent.
How he successfully stood up against the attempted usurpations of democratic politicians in this age is impressing and delightful. Delightful it is too that democrats have no grounds at all for saying that Monaco is a terrible tyrannical place. Neither do they have such grounds when it comes to Liechtenstein.
Although the Chief Minister must be chosen among candidates nominated by France, it is still up to the ruling Prince to choose. The executive power is vested in the Prince. In this democratic republican age this has become unacceptable, but it still is so in the Principality of Monaco. Every monarch is expected nowadays when the legislature comes and asks for his prerogatives to give way. Not so with Prince Rainier. He stood up to them and told them that those prerogatives were his.
According to the obituary by the Times Prince Rainier was called "The Boss" by both the then Crown Prince Albert and subjects, a "nickname" certainly deserving a man who refused to give in to modern democracy.
In this age of ever-expanding government and high-tax nations muscling, His Serene Highness also stood up to claims by France to tax Monegasque residents. It wasn’t a full victory, as France now has a right to tax her own who move there. Other residents are relieved of any direct taxation. Oh, what a tyrannical government!
Let us hope that the worries that the new Sovereign will not be able to lead Monaco as his father did and keep the principality "off the rocks" will be proven groundless. Tax havens are sorely needed in this high tax world. So are undemocratic shining stars in this age of totalitarian democracy. We will miss the late Prince. If the worries are not proven groundless, we will miss him immensely.
The new Prince needs inspiration and encouragement to keep up the good work.
May the rule of the House of Grimaldi outlive the democratic republican age.
May His Serene Highness Prince Albert II long reign and rule over Monaco.
Jørn K. Baltzersen [send him mail] is a senior consultant of information technology in Oslo, Norway.