Monaco buries Prince Rainier next to Grace

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The Independent Online

Prince Rainier of Monaco was buried last night alongside his wife, Princess Grace, after a day of solemn mourning and suffocating security in the tiny principality on the Mediterranean.

Prince Rainier of Monaco was buried last night alongside his wife, Princess Grace, after a day of solemn mourning and suffocating security in the tiny principality on the Mediterranean.

Representatives from 60 governments and royal families all over the world, including Prince Andrew, and President Jacques Chirac of France, attended the state funeral yesterday morning.

Rainier's coffin was carried the 200 metres from palace to cathedral by 10 carabinieri in glittering uniforms, followed by his son, now Prince Albert II, his daughters Caroline and Stéphanie and his faithful hunting hound, Odin, a huge griffon korthal, which appeared to limp slightly.

A requiem mass, open to the public, was celebrated last night in Monaco's cathedral, beside the royal palace on the rocky outcrop which dominates the two square mile statelet on the French riviera. Afterwards, in a private ceremony, the prince, who ruled Monaco for 56 years before his death 10 days ago, was laid to rest alongside the remains of Princess Grace in a white marble tomb.

The marriage of Prince Rainier to the Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, who died in a car accident in 1982, spawned a media obsession with Monaco and its royal family which has lasted to this day (and is unlikely to end with his death). The large turnout of public figures for the funeral provoked the most intensive security operation in the history of an intensely security-conscious state. All Monaco's 1,000 police officers - one for every 32 residents - were on the streets. Even the manhole covers were sealed to forestall subterranean terrorist attack.

Four helicopters circled permanently overhead, carefully allowing each other air room over a state marginally larger than Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

Another eight helicopters, and French air force Mirage fighters and Awacs reconnaissance planes cruised over French air space near by. Police and French navy launches sealed off the harbour.

The streets were deserted, with the celebrated Monte Carlo casino and all shops closed and hardly any cars on the streets. Every home and business displayed the red and blue Monegasque flag, bordered with black ribbons.

Rainier died at the age of 81 from heart, kidney and respiratory failure. His successor, Prince Albert, 47, is considered to be a likeable and intelligent man who is said to be determined to make Monaco more open and democratic.

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