Louise Hippolyte, Princess of Monaco

Louise Hippolyte Grimaldi c. 1730 by Pierre Gobert (source)

Louise Hippolyte Grimaldi c. 1730 by Pierre Gobert (source)

Louise Hippolyte Grimaldi was born on November 10, 1697 into a family of girls. She was the second of six daughters born to Antonio I of Monaco and Marie de Lorraine-Armagnac, but her older sister didn’t survive childhood making Louise her father’s heir. Her father obtained permission from Louis XIV of France for her to reign jointly with her future husband who would take the surname Grimaldi. Wanting to assure French influence over Monaco, Louis supported the candidacy of Jacques François Goyon, Count de Matignon and he and Louise were married on October 20, 1715. The marriage was not a very happy one, and Jacques preferred to live in Versailles where he kept several mistresses. In spite of this, the couple had 9 children, six of whom lived past childhood.

When Louise’s father Antonio died in 1731, she became the first and only Sovereign Princess of Monaco. She was received warmly by the people when she returned to Monaco in April, but Jacques’s reception was not as warm. Sadly, Louise didn’t reign long. She died of smallpox in December of the same year. In May of the next year, Jacques abdicated in favor of their son, Honoré, and took the boy with him to Paris, leaving Monaco in the hands of Antoine Grimaldi, le Chevalier de Grimaldi, as regent.

Find out what else happened on November 10 in Women’s History.

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