Sunday, January 13, 2013

Royal Profile: Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy

Baroness Elisabeth Anne de Massy (aka Elisabeth-Anne Grimaldi) was born 13 January 1947 the daughter of Princess Antointte of Monaco, thus the niece of Prince Rainier and first cousin of reigning Prince Albert of Monaco. Her father was Alexandre-Athenase Noghès, who was a reigning tennis champion. Her paternal great-great grandfather, Alexandre was the founder of the Monte Carlo Automobile Club and former general treasurer of Monaco's state finances, and his father Anthony (1890–1978), created the first Grand Prix ever raced in a city, the world famous Grand Prix de Monaco. At the time of her birth, her parents were not married; they subquently married in 1951, placing her and her two younger siblings in line for the throne of Monaco. She and her two siblings were originally given the surname Grimaldi, but when her mother received the Barony of Massy  as a wedding present from her brother upon her December 1951, then Princess Antoinette changed her children's last name to de Massy. However, Elisabeth and her siblings are not entitled to use Baron or Baroness of Massy as it is not considered hereditary nor do they have the courtesy titles as the children of a baroness. Elisabeth-Anne is a baroness via her first marriage.

Elisabeth has been married twice, and has two children-one from each marriage. Her first marriage was to Baron Bernard Alexandre Taubert-Natta, producing Baron Jean-Leonard in 1974, the marriage ended in divorce. Baron Bernard died in 1989, leaving her to raise then fifteen year old Jean-Leonard on her own. In 1984, the young mother found love again, this time with a ballet dancer, Nicolai Vladimir Costello, who she married in October of that year. However, the marriage was not long lasting, after the birth of their daughter, Mélanie-Antoinette Costello de Massy in January 1985, the couple divorced.

She is well known for her charitable works in Monaco. Elisabeth is President of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and of the Monte Carlo Country Club. She and her daughter Melanie also appear with the family on the balcony annually at Monaco's National Day celebrations.

With the death of her uncle in 2005, she lost her place in the line of succession for the Monégasque throne, however, she, her children, and her siblings and their families remain in the "pool" of familial collaterals eligible to be selected for the Crown in the event of the extinction of the descendants of Prince Rainier.

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