When the United States announced its independence from Great Britain in 1776, the Principality of Monaco was a sovereign, independent country under the military protection of the King of France, Louis XVI. Although Monaco was directly annexed to the First French Republic in 1793 during the French Revolution, it regained its independence and sovereignty in 1814, both of which were reaffirmed by the 1815 Treaty of Vienna. From 1815-1861 Monaco had the protectorship of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, and since 1861 it has been under the military safeguard of France.
Monaco and the United States exchanged their first consular agents in the years following the U.S. Civil War. Since then, the two countries have had overlapping ties, strengthened early-on by Prince Albert I of Monaco who travelled the United States three times between 1868 and 1921. During World War I, the principality hosted American soldiers. The marriage of Philadelphia native Grace Kelly to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in 1956 further cemented the bond between Monaco and the United States.
Monaco joined the United Nations in 1993 and the Council of Europe in October 2004. In 2005 France and Monaco renegotiated the 1918 Franco-Monégasque Treaty. Under the new provisions, which reaffirmed the independence and sovereignty of Monaco, full direct diplomatic relations between Monaco and other countries has occurred and Monaco began to receive foreign Ambassadors.
First Official State-to-State Interaction, 1865.
It was in the years following the U.S. Civil War that the United States and Monaco, both established states, began commercial relations. Although the Prince of Monaco appointed Louis Borg to serve as his consul to the United States in New York on May 19, 1865, nearly another year passed before Borg was able to present his official credentials to the United States Government. Borg, already serving in New York as the Chancellor of the French Consulate, had to obtain special authority from the Emperor of the French Napoleon III to also hold the post of Monégasque consul. This dispensation was granted, and in May 1866 Borg was fully accredited by the United States as consul for the Principality of Monaco.
Establishment of U.S. Consul in Monaco, 1874.
The late-1860s was an era of increased tourism for Monaco, due to the construction of railways to provide greater access to the principality, as well as the establishment of the casino in Monte Carlo. Consequently, the United States appointed its first consular representative to Monaco, Emile de Loth, on January 30, 1874, as Consular Agent. De Loth was accredited by the Prince of Monaco on February 22, 1874. This post was ordered closed on February 16, 1906, and moved to Nice.
Establishment of Full Diplomatic Relations, December 2006.
The United States and Monaco established full diplomatic relations on December 8, 2006, when the first Monégasque ambassador to the United States, Gilles Noghès, presented his letters of credence to President George W. Bush. U.S. Ambassador to Monaco Craig Stapleton presented his credentials to Prince Albert II on December 13, 2006. Stapleton was resident in Paris.
Treaties and Agreements
Treaty of Extradition, 1939.
On February 15, 1939, a treaty of extradition was signed between the United States and the Principality of Monaco. This treaty was ratified on August 30, 1939.
Agreement on Passport Visas, 1952.
An agreement on passport visas for United States and Monégasque citizens entered into force on March 31, 1952.
Tax Information Exchange Agreement, 2009.
On September 8, 2009, the United States and the Principality of Monaco signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement. The agreement provides for the exchange of information relating to tax matters, and was signed in Washington, D.C., by the Honorable Neal S. Wolin, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of The Treasury, and H.E. Franck Biancheri, Government Councilor for External Relations and for International Economic and Financial Affairs for the Principality of Monaco. The agreement entered into force on March 11, 2010. (View the text of the agreement.)
Key Diplomatic Events
Reception of Monégasque Prince by U.S. President, 1913.
On October 20, 1913, Prince Albert I of Monaco was received at the White House by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. This was Prince Albert’s second trip to the United States, one that took him through the Midwest and Western states, where he met with Col. William Frederick Cody, commonly known as "Buffalo Bill."
Franco-Monégasque Treaty Signed, 1918.
The Franco-Monégasque Treaty, later confirmed by the Treaty of Versailles (Article 436), stated that France would defend the independence and sovereignty of Monaco. In return, Monaco was not to conduct a foreign policy at odds with that of the French Republic.
Marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier III, 1956.
American actress and Philadelphia native Grace Kelly married Monaco’s Prince Rainier III on April 18, 1956, an act that brought the two states closer together.