This astonishing story which links Cantal to the principality of Monaco

This astonishing story which links Cantal to the principality of Monaco
This astonishing story which links Cantal to the principality of Monaco

In Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, certain territories still bear traces of the passage of royal and princely dynasties. Carladez (Cantal), for example, was a possession of the princely family of Monaco, the Grimaldis, more than two centuries ago. Discover its story.

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is full of traces of the passage of princely, ducal and earl dynasties. The Duchy of Burgundy, for example, constituted one of the essential elements of the historical life of the region, at the level of current Switzerland, Dauphiné and the Alps.

“There is also a princely house that we often forget: it is the Principality of Dombes, which was ruled by the Bourbons until the 18th century”explains Frédéric de Natal, journalist specializing in international monarchies and former editor-in-chief of Revue Dynastie.

“And then you have great aristocratic names, notably La Tour-du-Pin for example, or even La Motte de la Fayette which is a great name in the history of France since it is a general who participated in the French Revolution and played a significant role during the July Monarchy as well as during the American War of Independence., adds the specialist. The house of La Tour-du-Pin gave its name to a French commune located in the department of Isère.

In Cantal, it is the Grimaldi dynasty that makes its mark. The Monegasque family appropriated part of the territory, Carladez, which today includes the communes of Carlat (Cantal), Vic-sur-Cère (Cantal), Mur-de-Barrez (Aveyron) and Calvinet (Cantal) .

“You should know that until the 17th century, it depended on the French monarchy of the Kingdom of France. During the 30 Years’ War, Louis XIV wished to obtain the alliance of Honoré Grimaldi III, who was the hereditary prince of Monaco and had some possessions in Spain”explains Frédéric de Natal.

This new alliance does not please Madrid at all, which decides to dispossess the Monegasque prince of all his lands in the Iberian Peninsula. But if Monaco loses its Spanish support, it gains that of the Kingdom of France.

Because in exchange for his sacrifice, the French monarchy of Louis XIV awarded him several territories on its soil, including Carladez, which obtained the status of principality. An agreement was signed in 1643 to formalize this relationship, known as the Treaty of Peronne.

The French Revolution arrives and this status questions the National Assembly. What do we do ? Are we content to keep it or do we choose to annex it, ask the deputies. “It was then decided to agree to safeguard the Principality. After all, Louis XVI is still King of France!”explains the journalist before adding:

An agreement which unfortunately did not last very long since on August 10, 1792, the monarchy fell. The Jacobins seize power. There is no longer any question of having a king at the border gates. Carladez is purely and simply annexed.

Frederick of Natal

journalist specializing in international monarchies and former editor-in-chief of Revue Dynastie

The Rocher de Carlat, a promontory topped by an impregnable fortress until then in the hands of the Grimaldis, was then sold for a ridiculous price.

If Carladez has been a French territory since the Revolution, it maintains a strong link with the Grimaldi dynasty. “There is something that little is known about. The title of Count of Carladez has been maintained and today it is the prerogative of Princess Gabriela who is the daughter of Prince Albert II”underlines Frédéric de Natal.

Indeed, the current Prince of Monaco Albert II remains the owner of the Rocher de Carlat, a fortified castle located in the eponymous commune which had been bought by his great-grandfather Prince Albert I. When his daughter was born in 2014, he transferred this title of nobility to her.

That same year, on May 14 and 15, Prince Albert II of Monaco visited Carladez, although no prince had ever visited the territory for almost 300 years.

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In 2014, Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife visited Carladez to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the return of the Rocher de Carlat to their family.

© PAULUS LUCIE / MAXPPP

“All generations, whatever they may be, have at some point learned that they depend on Monaco”says the journalist. “It is a heritage which is also highlighted by the region since there is a whole tourist trail around what was the Grimaldi heritage”he adds.

The Rocher du Carlat, returned in 1914 to the Grimaldi family, can be visited today… in virtual reality. “It’s a real tourist boon for the region because it’s a type of monarchy which is preserved and which still inspires dreams”underlines the expert on monarchies who also invites you to be tempted by local specialties, like truffade which “as its name does not indicate, it is not a dish composed of truffles, but of potatoes and tome”.

>>> Find the interview with Frédéric de Natal, specialist in monarchism in the world in this podcast by clicking here.

Also find Frédéric de Natal on the set of You are great, to be found in Replay on france.tv.

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