Princess Antoinette, Baroness of Massy

Princess Antoinette of Monaco, Baroness of Massy (Antoinette Louise Alberte Suzanne Grimaldi; 28 December 1920 – 18 March 2011) was a member of the princely family of Monaco and the elder sister of Prince Rainier III and aunt of Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Her parents were Count Pierre de Polignac and Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois.

Princess Antoinette
Baroness of Massy
Born(1920-12-28)28 December 1920
Paris, France
Died18 March 2011(2011-03-18) (aged 90)
Princess Grace Hospital Centre, Monaco
Chapel of Peace, Monaco
Alexandre-Athenase Noghès
(m. 1951; div. 1954)

Dr. Jean-Charles Rey
(m. 1961; div. 1974)

John Gilpin
(m. 1983; died 1983)
IssueBaroness Elisabeth-Anne of Massy
Christian Louis, Baron of Massy
Baroness Christine Alix of Massy
Full name
Antoinette Louise Alberte Suzanne Grimaldi
FatherCount Pierre of Polignac
MotherPrincess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois
ReligionRoman Catholicism

She was born in Paris of French and Monegasque ancestry.


Princess Antoinette had a long-term liaison with Alexandre-Athenase Noghès, a Monegasque-born attorney and international tennis champion, in the mid-1940s. The couple had three children born out-of-wedlock who were legitimated by their parents' eventual marriage and, henceforth, included in the line of succession to the Monegasque Throne until the death of Antoinette's brother, Prince Rainier III, in 2005; Elisabeth-Anne de Massy (born 1947), Christian Louis de Massy (Noghès) (born 1949), and Christine de Massy (Noghès) (1951-1989).[1]


  1. Princess Antoinette and Alexandre Noghès subsequently married in Genoa on 4 December 1951 (her first, his second) and divorced in 1954.
    On 15 November 1951, Antoinette was created Baroness of Massy (Baronne de Massy). Her children (Elisabeth-Anne, Christian and Christine) were named Grimaldi at birth. They subsequently had their names changed to de Massy. They claim the title of Baron/Baroness through their mother, but they are not entitled to it.[2]
  2. She married her second husband, Dr. Jean-Charles Rey (Monaco, 22 October 1914 – Monaco, 17 September 1994), president of the Conseil National, the Parlement de Monaco in The Hague on 2 December 1961 and they divorced in 1974.
  3. Her third and last husband was John Gilpin (Southsea, Hampshire, 10 February 1930 – London, 5 September 1983), a British ballet dancer, whom she married in Monaco on 28 July 1983. He died suddenly six weeks later.

Life account

Having divorced Noghès, she and her lover Jean-Charles Rey hatched a plan to depose her brother Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and declare herself regent on the basis of having a son who would one day inherit the throne. This led to the breakup of the relationship.[3]

Rainier's marriage to Grace Kelly in 1956 and the arrival of his heirs, Princess Caroline in 1957 and Prince Albert in 1958, effectively scuttled Antoinette's plans. She was removed from the Palace by her sister-in-law, Princess Grace, and thereafter was estranged from the princely family for many years.[3]

She was known to be somewhat eccentric and was described as "completely mad"[3] by her servants. Having been banished from Monaco in the late 1950s, she lived down the coast from Monaco at Èze, with a large collection of dogs and cats.[4] She was the president of Monaco's Society for the Protection of Animals[3] and a patron of the UK-based Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.[4]

Upon the accession of Albert II in 2005, Antoinette and her descendants lost their place in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne, which is limited to the current sovereign's descendants, siblings, and siblings' descendants.[5][3]

The Princess Antoinette Park in Monaco's La Condamine district was named in her honour.[6]


On 18 March 2011 Princess Antoinette died at The Princess Grace Hospital Centre, aged 90.[4][3] Her funeral took place on 24 March 2011. She is buried in the Chapel of Peace, in the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée in Monaco beside her parents, her daughter Christine Alix, and her last husband John Brian Gilpin.

Titles and honours

  • 28 December 1920 – 15 November 1951: Her Serene Highness Princess Antoinette of Monaco
  • 15 November 1951 – 18 March 2011: Her Serene Highness Princess Antoinette of Monaco, Baroness of Massy



  • Palace: My Life in the Royal Family of Monaco by Baron Christian de Massy & Charles Higham (1986, Atheneum, ISBN 0-689-11636-5)


  1. Theroff, Paul. "Monaco". Paul Theroff's Royal Genealogy Site. Angelife via Wayback Machine. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  2. Christian de Massy (1986) Palace: My Life in the Royal Family of Monaco, Bodley Head, London ISBN 0425117766
  3. "Princess Antoinette of Monaco (obituary)". The Daily Telegraph. News Corp Australia. 2011-03-27. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  4. Knightley, Emma (26 October 2017). Antoinette of Monaco: Maverick Princess (1 ed.). ASIN B076X5QG57.
  5. Klieger, P. Christiaan (29 November 2012). The Microstates of Europe: Designer Nations in a Post-Modern World. Lexington Books. p. 168. ISBN 9780739174272. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  6. "Princess Antoinette Park". Visit Monaco - Princess Antoinette Park. Visit Monaco. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  7. In this photo, Antoinette wearing the Order of Saint Charles
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