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Monaco misses, and fondly remembers, the unsinkable Molly Brown

Monaco People News

Monaco misses, and fondly remembers, the unsinkable Molly Brown


Long-time Monaco resident, the much-loved Molly Brown passed away on Saturday, November 23, with her son, Richard, and daughter, Clare, at her side.

Molly – who had a background in both teaching and journalism – was a regular correspondent for the Riviera Reporter, with her column Monaco Murmurs, and was not always a keen follower of the official line, particularly when it came to issues of protecting the Principality’s architectural heritage.

A service will be held on Tuesday, December 10, at 16:00 at Saint Paul’s Church.

Molly’s daughter Clare remembers her mother:

“Molly was a fervent advocate for her adopted country, Monaco, and the articles she wrote for nearly thirty years in the Riviera Reporter only ever extolled its virtues, cultural and otherwise… until the word came that the Sporting d’Hiver was to be demolished. Then, if you remember, she did her best to try and save it – writing to anyone who would listen. She was also horrified when the Palais de la Plage was set for demolition. The demolition was begun in the night and she was out there, wearing a black coat and black hat trying to get in the way of the bulldozer – very Tiananmen Squarish!

“Molly went to Libya in the late 50s when my father announced he had taken a job there with the British Army. I don’t think she ever forgave him for that – but she made the most of it. She was a trained teacher and quickly found herself helping to open a school for all the American children who suddenly arrived once oil concessions were granted in the late 50s and when oil was discovered soon afterwards. She always loved to write and penned a column in a local English paper, Incidentally, by Liz, later also stringing for UPI and writing in other publications.

“Libya had been an Italian colony and most locals spoke both Arabic and Italian and so she learned Italian, thereby widening her circle to include not only the British, the Americans, the Italians, but the locals too. She threw wonderful inclusive parties that are often remembered by her friends to this day. She left Libya when life under Gadhafi became difficult, living and working in North and Central America before coming back to Europe and settling in Monaco to continue teaching. She opened the now-defunct American International School here and later taught in the Monaco school system, as well as privately.

“We are having a hard time believing that she has gone. We are heartbroken. Many people are remembering her for her laughter and wicked humour. She leaves us bereft but proud.”

PHOTO: Molly Brown enthusiastically celebrates Monaco’s National Day (provided)



  1. Robert and Patti Hans December 2, 2019

    We will always have you in our hearts, Molly.. You were a marvel and we miss you dearly. Rest in peace.

  2. Anna Tabone December 3, 2019

    It was indeed so sad to hear about Molly passing… She will forever be remembered for her joie de vivre.. Her wicked sense of humour and for the love for Richard and Clare… Its been a great privilege knowing you dear Molly.. Your naughty smile with that twinkle in your eyes will be with me whenever I think of you. Rest in Peace dear Molly.. I salute you… Big hugs to richard and Clare..

  3. Kenny Davis December 4, 2019

    Very sad news, indeed. Molly was a one-of-a-kind human being, and well loved by many. I first knew her as the librarian at the Oil Companies School in Tripoli in the 60’s. I knew her as an adult from the Tripoli Reunions, although it had been a while since she attended one, much to my regret.
    I’ll always remember her with extreme fondness, and with her wearing that radiant smile of hers.
    Happy trails, Molly.

  4. Sharon Albers December 5, 2019

    My dearest Great Aunt Molly! We are missing you every single day since we received the terrible news back in the UK. We came to visit you just 4 weeks before you left us, enjoying a lovely meal with you and Clare at our favourite Stars n Bars restaurant in Monaco. Thank you for adoring myself and my brother Steven since as far back as I can remember and then going on to totally adore our children, Joshua, Eva and Finn as their Great Grand Auntie Molly. Forever and always in all of our thoughts my dearest, dearest Molly xxx

  5. Ulla Ladau-Harjulin December 5, 2019

    I had the privilege of knowing Molly Brown for more than 20 years. Every time I came to Monaco (3-4 times a year), I was looking forward to spending some “quality time” with her, chatting, laughing,, also talking about some serious matters of life; and partying – I also admired greatly her love for music and dance, in addition to her sharp wits and sense of humour.. She also always talked about her children, Richard and Clare, with great love and tenderness.
    For me, Monaco will never be the same without Molly.
    Farewell, my wonderful friend!

    Ulla Ladau-Harjulin

  6. michael lampon December 8, 2019

    Rest in peace to a very special lady – was a privilege to have known you

  7. Kathryn Scott December 8, 2019

    I will always be able to imagine Molly’ smile, hear her voice and her laughter. I also have trouble imagining her gone from this world but am confident she’s not far away, even now.

    My grandfather used to say that you never die as long as you are remembered. That is very true. Molly left her signature on all our hearts. In that way, she is definitely unsinkable!

  8. Sheilagh Little December 8, 2019

    Sad news Clare and Richard. The biggest hole of all I suspect will be in your hearts. In tribute to your mother’s amazing energy, love of you both and strength I wish you only the happiest of memories. With love and prayers. Sheilagh x

  9. Cindy Denman December 31, 2019

    I just received word of Molly’s passing, and am so sad indeed. She, Clare and Richard were my neighbors in Dallas in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In typical Molly style, Molly loaded up her children in 1976 to take a tour of the “colonies” during the Bicentennial. By the time they reached Dallas, they decided to stay and enroll Clare in SMU. We became neighbors and fast friends. Molly never knew a stranger, and immediately set out to join the local Italian Club, and see her old friends from the Libyan oil field days. She was an absolute delight, and was beloved by absolutely everyone.

    She always seemed immortal. That laugh, and her big smile. She gave me a recipe for scones. I just adored her. Everyone did. Clare and Richard, you had a wonderful mother, as you well know. Charles and I know you have many wonderful memories to sustain you in the days ahead. She was an absolute dear.


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