A Sad loss to tennis

The President of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and Monaco Country Club, the home of the Monte Carlo Masters, Baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy, died last Wednesday evening at Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco, aged 73.

The first cousin of Prince Albert of Monaco, her passing was announced by the principality’s royal family, on Facebook, but no mention of the cause of death was made.

The funeral for Elizabeth-Ann – who was the daughter of Princess Antoinette (the late Prince Rainier III’s older sister), and international tennis champion Alexandre-Athenase Noghès – will take place at the Cathedral of Monaco in the middle of next week.

Rafa Nadal, the Monte Carlo champion on 11 occasions, led tributes from the tennis world on learning of her death, expressing his ‘sincerer condolences’ to her family and declaring she would be ‘greatly missed’.

The Spanish icon said on Twitter: “My sincere condolences to the family of Baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy who died last night at the Center Hospitalier Princesse-Grace.

“She has always been very attached to us and to the world of tennis, she will be greatly missed.”

Those sentiments were endorsed by the organisers of the Monte Carlo Masters, who said: “It is with great sadness and great emotion that we announce the death of Baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy, President of the Tournament Committee.

“All our thoughts and our sincere affection go to her daughter, Mélanie-Antoinette de Massy, as well as to her loved ones.”

Meanwhile a statement issued from the Palace read: “As a woman who was so attached to the traditions of the Principality, she regularly took part in events bringing together all generations.”

The baroness was heavily involved in charity work and was passionate about animal welfare and heavily involved in both Monaco’s Society for the Protection of Animals and the Canine Society of Monaco.

Born in Monaco on July 3, 1947, Elizabeth-Ann was the first child of Princess Antoinette of Monaco, elder sister of Prince Rainier III, and Alexandre Noghès.

She is survived by two children, Jean-Léonard, who was born in 1974 from her first marriage to Baron Bernard Taubert-Natta, and Mélanie-Antoinette, born in 1985 with her second husband choreographer Nikolaï Costello.

Prince Albert is Elisabeth-Ann’s son Jean-Léonard godfather, while the baroness is godmother to Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.



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