Profession: Prince of Monaco
Why Famous: One of the longest ruling monarchs in European history, Rainier was Prince of Monaco for nearly 56 years (1949–2005). He is credited with having transformed Monaco from a gambling economy to a tax haven, as well as devolving his sovereign powers to popular government.
Perhaps best of all, he is remembered for marrying Grace Kelly in 1956. For a while the couple became the center of global attention, described as the "wedding of the century"—uniting European monarchy and the new American royalty of Hollywood. The marriage was broadcast worldwide and viewed by more than 30 million people.
While Princess Grace died in a car crash after suffering a stroke in 1982, Prince Rainier lived to 81 despite smoking 60 cigarettes a day.
- 1956-04-18 US film actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a civil ceremony in Monaco
- 1956-04-19 American actress Grace Kelly marries Monaco's Prince Rainier III (in Church)
- 1949-05-09 Prince Rainier III becomes monarch of Monaco
- 1949-11-19 Prince Rainier III coronation as 30th ruling Prince of Monaco
- 1950-04-11 Prince Rainier III becomes ruler of Monaco