Monaco’s natural harbour was settled by Phoenicians, Greeks and Ligurians and later by Saracens. A fortress, built where the palace now stands, was captured by the Grimaldi family of Genoa in 1297. It was passed on through the male line until 1731, when control of Monaco passed to Louise Hippolyte, daughter of Antoine I and wife of Jacques de Goyon Matignon, who took the name of Grimaldi. The Principality was placed under the protection of the Kingdom of Sardinia by the Treaty of Vienna in 1815, and under that of France in 1861. A constitution, signed in 1911, was the first move away from an absolute monarchy. Prince Rainier III succeeded his grandfather, Louis II, in 1949 and ruled the Principality until his death on 6 April 2005.
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