Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 HelloMonaco #05 Winter 2018–2019 - Page 133

dynasty Jean I might have been clairvoyant when before his death he laid down the rules of succession of Monaco’s leaders in favour of male heirs. His only son Catalan, by his marriage to Pommeline, would become Seigneur of Monaco after him, but died three years into his reign leaving a very young daughter Claudine as head of the Monaco branch of the Grimaldi’s. Following Jean I’s succession rules, a Grimaldi cousin, Lambert, from the ruling family in Antibes emerged as Claudine’s suitor while she was still a minor (from as early as age 6). According to Jean I’s rules, any female head of the family in line for the succession must marry a Grimaldi in order to maintain the Grimaldi leadership intact. Thus, everything was put in place to establish Lambert as the new ruler of Monaco. For Claudine to officially abdicate her powers, she had to wait until Lambert could marry her. Even before officially mar- rying Claudine when she would be fourteen years old in 1465, Lambert was recognized in 1458 as Seigneur of Monaco by King Rene of Anjou and Milan’s rulers (the Sforzas). It fell to Lambert early in his reign to deal with intrigue from Pommeline in addition to the conse- quences of his predecessor Catalan having ripped-up the treaty with Savoy. There followed one of the most turbulent periods in Monaco’s history but with a leader then at the helm able to steer Monaco through every storm. The Rules of Succession created by Jean I had proven fortuitous as Lambert would show his mettle over the next thir- ty-seven years. Born in 1420, Lambert would need all his experience and wisdom attained by the age of forty-five when A round 1447 Jean I of Monaco had cre- ated an important alliance with an old enemy Savoy to swing the balance of powers in the region in favour of Mo- naco. Savoy had previously laid siege to Monaco in an attempt to capture it for themselves but failed. This savvy move by Jean I to create a powerful protector in the neighbouring state of Savoy would be later undone by his son Catalan. In so doing Catalan created a power vacuum and unleashed forces that would test the next ruler of Monaco to the limit. Jean I’s formidable wife Pommeline Fregoso had played a critical role in repelling that earlier attack by the Duke of Savoy on the Rock. And it was at a particu- larly dangerous point in history for Monaco when the Duke of Savoy had managed to capture Jean I and hold him hostage. Pommeline’s tenacity would help pre- serve Monaco’s independence for Jean I, when fortune would have it, he was subsequently released from cap- tivity. But ironically later in life Pommeline would prove a thorn in the side of Monaco and almost change the course of history again. Coat of arms of Monaco There followed one of the most turbulent periods in Monaco’s history but with a leader then at the helm able to steer Monaco through every storm. he married Claudine. And his first tests would be a se- ries of military assaults and rebellions in Menton and Roquebrune which were eventually put down. He also succeeded in defeating a subsequent attack by his own cousin Lascaris. Lambert built a reputation for composure and cool- headed strategic calculation in the face of repeated crises. His many talents overflowed into business. His frugality meant that he was able to finance the rebuild- ing of Monaco’s own fleet which he kept in a constant state of readiness. And he was able to pay for a garrison of 400 soldiers to be stationed on the Rock. Ironically, for all the military victories, Lambert’s weapon of choice was diplomacy. If ever there was a disciple of the adage «the pen is mightier than the sword» it was Lambert. He astutely turned to France, dispatching his brother Jean-André the Bishop of Grasse to negotiate with the court of Louis XI. Lam- bert was strategic and patient. Unsuccessful initially Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 / 131