Prince Rainier of Moneco celebrated the 25th anniversary of his tiny Mediterranean principality by inviting 11 its 4,500 nationals to a giant picnic on Sunday (12 May).
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Background: Prince Rainier of Moneco celebrated the 25th anniversary of his tiny Mediterranean principality by inviting 11 its 4,500 nationals to a giant picnic on Sunday (12 May).
With hie wife, Princess Grace, and their three children, the 51-year-old Prince joined his subjects in a picnic lunch of pate, ham, hard-bolled eggs and cold chicken, washed down with wine or beer.
Other festivities planned for the coming week are a sports tournament, an official reception, a cathedral service and the unveiling of a bust of the Prince.
there will also be a grand ball on 1 June, and Monte Carlo television will show a file about the Prince and his family.
Since coming to the throne in 1949, Prince Rainer has often made headlines. He married American film star Grace Kelly, won a showdown with Aristotle Onassis over the way Monaco should be developed and fought a customs war with the late President de Gaulle.
Prince Rainier is now presiding over an industrial and building boom which is transforming Monace from a one-time playground for the idle rich into what some crities have called a "Mediterrenean Manhattan".
The Prince has answered criticisms of the building boom by pointing out that the principality's size -- 465 acres (189 hectares) -- means there is only one way to build -- up.