Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Solitary Prince on St Devote Day

Another year's Feast of St Devote has come and gone and much of the talk has been focused on who was not to be seen rather than who was. It was a very solitary Sovereign Prince Albert II attending the high mass and other of the day's festivities. Of course, few could question the absence of HRH the Princess of Hanover given all that she has been going through recently but it was rather disappointing not to see the Casiraghi trio -the young faces of Monaco's future or the smiling face of HSH Princess Stephanie. Their presence was not essential or required of course, but it would have been much more satisfying to see more of a family occasion made of the event. Aside from being patroness of Monaco, St Devote is also, after all, the special spiritual protector of the Princely Family. It is, perhaps, on such occasions as this that Prince Albert's lack of a family of his own is so especially evident. Events such as this seemed to have a different sort of feeling in the old days when Prince Rainier III, Princess Grace and the children were all on hand. One cannot criticize the lack of such a presence these days but it is noticed and felt nonetheless. Again, Princess Caroline's absence can be well understood, but given that in the absence of any heirs from Albert it is Andrea Casiraghi who will one day be Sovereign Prince of Monaco, his presence at least would have been a good sign that he is taking care to prepare for that eventuality. In any event, at least everything went off without a hitch and all can join in a prayer to St Devote for the continued protection and prosperity of the Principality of Monaco and the Princely Family. Vive l'Monaco!

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