March 09, 1999 12:00 AM

Prince Rainier III celebrated the 50th anniversary of his coronation on Sunday and, with tears in his eyes, called on Monaco’s people to show support for his son, Prince Albert, 41. About 6,000 people turned out for celebrations that began with a service at the Monaco Cathedral and continued with lavish parties, music and fireworks. Speculation has been rife as to when Rainier, who turns 76 this year, will abdicate in favor of Albert. He has promised to do so, and, although there have been few official clues, Rainier said Sunday that Albert was “preparing.”

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