By the late 15th century, Monaco gravitates toward France, and letters patent of the king of France grant to Monaco protection et sauvegarde especial all the while maintaining the lord of Monaco's "preeminences, privileges, rights and freedoms" (, 10 July 1498, ). 10, 1512 recognized Monaco's independence from France, in the sense that the Grimaldi were considered to hold Monaco "from God and the sword only", and offered his protection: "voulons et entendons que le dit seigneur Grimault ne soit aucunement diminué, ne soit empêché en ses droits, jurisdictions, supériorités, prérogatives et préhéminences, et le prenons sous Notre protection, sureté et sauvegarde spéciales" (cited in Ed.Engelhardt: Les protectorats anciens et modernes; Paris).In particular, the Grimaldi brothers who retook Monaco in 1335, Antoine and Charles, owned Monaco as a condominium.When Monaco was retaken by Charles's grandsons in 1419, they owned it jointly as well.Claudine's will of made her third-born son Lucien (d.1523) her sole heir (disinheriting her second-born Louis for reason of insanity), with remainder to his brother Augustin (d.Ultimately, one of the brothers, Jean (1382-1454) was left in sole possession of Monaco after the brothers divided the family estates in 1427.From then on, the Grimaldi lords of Monaco tried to avoid such joint ownerships and divisions, and did so through clauses in their wills.
In case of default of Catalan's issue his sister Bartholomée was called to succeed (she was married to Pietro Fregosa, doge of Genoa; their male issue extinct 1548), and after her the nearest kin in the Grimaldi family.
Most notably, in 1448 Jean Grimaldi ceded half of Menton and Roquebrune to the duc de Savoie, who granted them back in fee (in 1477, this was extended to 11/12 of Menton). In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Grimaldi conclude a variety of treaties of alliances as sovereigns of Monaco.
Monaco could obviously not be a partner on an equal footing, but the form taken by these alliances (adherentia or recommendatio) underscored its independence: the lord of Monaco did not submit as a vassal or subject, but became a client or protégé.
In the event, Lucien was succeeded by Augustin, who was succeeded by Lucien's son Honor I (d. In the years after 1419, the Grimaldi lords were able to assert their independence.
Ongoing conflicts with Genoa, Milan and Savoy lead the Grimaldis to seek or accept protection from various parties.
Monaco was part of Provence since 975, when Guillaume, comte de Provence, expelled the Arabs from the region.