MONTE CARLO — Tiny Monaco launched a 10-month celebration of its 700th birthday Wednesday as aging Prince Rainier III urged his son, Albert, to find a bride.
In interviews on the eve of the festivities, Rainier, 73, said the 38-year-old Albert had more work to do before he could succeed him and perhaps would have to marry first.
Rainier hinted that marriage and a family were part of the preparations for a hand-over, which he said could "perhaps, probably" take place before 2000.
A morning Mass at Monaco's cathedral launched official celebrations of the Grimaldi dynasty's 700th year in power over the Lilliputian state, which has a population of just 30,000 and less than one square mile of territory.
This slice of Riviera real estate in southeastern France is best known for what is referred to as "the princely family," which also includes Princesses Caroline, 39, and Stephanie, 31.