Following shortly on the death of Pope John-Paul II, Price Rainier of Monaco has died after a battle with lung, heart and kidney problems.
For most of the world this will pass by unnoticed. For many it will be noticed but of far less import than the death of the Pope. For me, there's a link of coincidences of dates that makes it poignant; still less important than the Pope's death but still something to be noted.
Rainier was born on May 31, 1923; my father was born 12 days later. Prince Albert his eldest son was born in 1958, as was I. Albert on the 14th of March, me on the 20th of January. Neither Albert nor I have married, nor have we produced heirs. Both of us have had a string of female friends . Rainier has suffered increasingly from poor health over recent months, as has my father.
Sure, there's a lot of differences, but there's sufficient there to remind me of mortality.
Rest in peace serene prince, you are again joined with your beloved princess.
The title link isn't working very well and probably won't for a few days, their web-site seems over-loaded. The Google cache is here.