Monaco ‘s Prince Passes

Europe’s longest-ruling monarch Prince Rainier III of Monaco died yesterday (06MAR05) at the age of 81 after a five-week battle with breathing, kidney and heart problems.

The Prince, whose family have ruled the tiny Mediterranean principality for seven centuries, was admitted to hospital on 7 March (05) suffering a lung infection, but was later moved into intensive care and put on a respirator when his condition worsened.

He died yesterday morning at the Monaco Cardio-Thoracic Center, surrounded by his three children Prince Albert, Princess Stephanie and Princess Caroline.

Albert was asked to take over the regency of Monaco from his father last Thursday (31MAR05) after a crown commission deemed Rainier too ill to perform his royal functions.

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