Ippolita Trivulzio holds the distinction of being the first woman to hold the title of Princess of Monaco. Today, we are continuing our series by taking a look at the first princess consort in Monaco.
Ippolita Trivulzio was born in 1600 in Palazzo Trivulzio, Duchy of Milan (what is today Italy), as the only daughter and younger child of Carlo Emanuele Teodoro Trivulzio, Count of Melzo and Caterina Gonzaga. She had one older brother, Italian Cardinal Gian Giacomo Teodoro Trivulzio.
Ippolita was raised in a convent, and her brother married Giovanna Grimaldi – the sister of Honoré II. In 1615, Honoré II was introduced to the dark-haired and slim Ippolita; she was seen as an ideal match as the sister of his brother-in-law. They married the following year on 13 February 1616.
Honoré II became the first person to be called the Prince of Monaco; up until then, they had simply been called Lord of Monaco. As such, Ippolita was also the first person to use the title Princess of Monaco.
Ippolita would give Honoré one heir – a son named Ercole – who would die at 27 in battle and never ascend the throne. The marriage between the first Prince and Princess of Monaco was said to be a happy one, and Princess Ippolita was given more of a public role than the spouses of Honoré’s predecessors. She helped to co-host state visits from the likes of Duke Charles of Austria and Maria Anna of Austria between the years 1624-1630.
On 20 June 1638, Princess Ippolita died at the age of 37 or 38 in the Princely Palace in Monaco. She was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate. However, her body was moved on 4 November 1966 on the orders of Prince Rainier III.
Prince Honoré would live until 10 January 1662. He was 64 and succeeded by his grandson, Prince Louis I.