Prince Albert II, Monaco's new ruler, said Sunday the recent death of his father left residents of this tiny Riviera principality feeling orphaned and united in a profound sense of loss.
It was Albert's first public reaction to the death of his father, Prince Rainier III. Rainier, who ruled since 1949, died Wednesday at age 81 after a monthlong hospitalization for heart, kidney and breathing problems.
His body lay in state Sunday for the first day since his death. Government officials and palace employees paid respects to the prince in the royal Palatine Chapel.
"Today, we are all orphans of this great man, and the profound sadness and mourning we feel bring our hearts closer together and binds our community like never before," Albert said in a statement.
Monaco, an enclave on the French Riviera, is smaller than New York City's Central Park.
Rainier's funeral Friday is expected to draw leaders and royalty from around the world.