Prince Ernst August in Intensive Care | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 08.04.2005
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Prince Ernst August in Intensive Care

The husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, Prince Ernst August of Hanover, was in intensive care in a Monaco hospital on Friday suffering from an inflamed pancreas, palace insiders said, as the statelet prepared to bury Caroline's father Prince Rainier. The German prince, who is 51, has been in the Princess Grace hospital since Monday, two days before Rainier died at the age of 81. "He has been placed under intensive care but he is not in a coma. He has acute pancreatitis," said an official. Earlier he said that the prince was "in a serious condition but it is not irreversible." Ernst August is Princess Caroline's third husband. They married in 1999 and have a daughter, Alexandra. Monaco went into mourning on Wednesday after the death of Prince Rainier, who ruled the tiny Mediterranean principality for more than 55 years. His funeral takes place next Friday. "We are stunned. It is yet another trial for the family," said Monaco's Archbishop Bernard Barsi. Born in February 1954, Ernst August is the head of the house of Hanover which ruled the United Kingdom from 1714 to 1901. Among his courtesy titles is Royal Prince of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and he holds joint British and German nationality. By marrying Caroline -- a Catholic -- he removed himself from the line of succession to the British throne in accordance with the 1701 Act of Settlement. However he remains the pretender to the throne of Hanover, which was an independent kingdom till 1866. A wealthy farmer and businessman Ernst August's German base is Marienberg Castle near Hanover. The prince is best known for his much-publicised bouts of ill-temper which have brought him more than once before the courts. In recent years he has been charged with attacking a press photographer and a German hotelier in Kenya. He also had a bitter row with the German newspaper Bild after it published pictures of him apparently urinating on the Turkish pavilion at the Expo 2000 world fair in Hanover. (AFP)