In the mid-sixties,
was not just Monaco's "It Girl" and princess, but the most admired woman on Earth. Her beauty and taste were beyond reproach so it seemed only natural that she would gravitate toward Prince Rainier and his grand, if tiny, nation. At the time,
, the capital, boasted a celebrity density not found before or since in the Western World. Founded in 1866, it had taken
only a century to become Europe's hot spot.
With the principality’s
undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation scheme and yachts already jockeying for position for this spring's 73rd
, the world's attention is about to be refocused on the tiny sovereign state – smaller than Central Park – and everything it has to offer. The place is changing, but the status is quo: Monte Carlo and Monaco are to luxury what Medellin and Colombia are to cocaine. They export the good stuff. And, yes, you know the leaders of this cartel of cool.
From the famed Monte Carlo Casino where various Bonds and blondes have tried their luck, to star-studded black tie galas, champagnes-soaked
and of course the world’s greatest Formula One race, here are the men who made Monaco in their own image, glamorous, swaggering and, yes, a little debauched.