Aristocrat sues France for â¬351m in row over Monaco throne
France Aristocrat sues France for â¬351m in row over Monaco throne
Louis de Causans says relatives were tricked out of line of succession by âsleight of handâ
A French-born aristocrat is suing France for â¬351m (Â£313m) in damages, claiming it tricked his family out of inheriting the throne of Monaco.
Louis de Causans alleges that he and his relatives would have been in the line of succession if not for a âsleight of handâ by the Frenc h state more than a century ago.
De Causans says that by falsifying the rules of succession, France gained control over the Mediterranean principality, robbed his family of its birthright and installed another branch of the Grimaldis on the throne.
He insists his legal action is not aimed at Monacoâs current ruler, Prince Albert, but the French state.
The aristocrat, whose full name is Louis Jean Raymond Marie de Vincens de Causans, told Le Parisien newspaper: âI want the truth to come out and this injustice perpetrated by France on my family to be put right.
âIn reality, my cousin Prince Albert acceded to the throne by a sleight of hand â¦ France found a solution to get its hands on Monaco. Afterwards, they managed business on the Rock as they wished.â
The succession dispute dates to the 1922-44 reign of Louis II of Monaco, who had no heirs. De Causans says the throne should have passed to a second branch of the Grima ldi family, from which he descends.
At the time, this would have meant Monaco being ruled by Guillaume II de Wurtemberg-Urach, a German. For France, on the brink of the first world war, the prospect was unthinkable.
Under pressure from Paris, Louis II adopted Charlotte Louise, the daughter of his lover Marie-Juliette Louvet, a cabaret singer and Prince Albertâs great-grandmother. A law was passed in 1911 recognising this succession, but it was later deemed illegal. A second law was passed in 1918. France and Monaco also signed a treaty requiring prior French approval of all future MonÃ©gasque princes.
De Causans says this âbizarreâ change of rules meant the Monaco throne passed to a child âwho had no connection to the royal familyâ but was used to create a new branch of successors.
âI thought it was the Grimaldisâ fault, but then I found out it was the French state that caused this dramatic turnaround for us,â he said.
He ad ded that Franceâs actions had prevented him from receiving any of the principalityâs revenue, which he said was ânot normal under the most strict dynastic rulesâ.
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