Saturday, September 4, 2010

Liberation Day in Monaco

Yesterday HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and sidekick Michel Roger attended the festivities marking the anniversary of the liberation of Monaco from German forces during World War II. The Sovereign Prince reviewed a parade of men costumed in period uniforms and driving historic vehicles. The Germans had left Monaco shortly after evacuating Paris on August 25, 1944. The following week was spent in confusion, not knowing if the Allies were coming or if the Germans would return, comforted only by the solid presence of their battle-hardened monarch of Great War fame Prince Louis II. Then, on September 3, 1944 a jeep with two American GI's came racing down the road from Menton. The jeep drove into Monte Carlo, pulled up to the 'Tip Top Bar' and one of them, future author Irwin Shaw, jumped out, ordered some drinks and announced that Monaco had been liberated. In no time at all crowds of adoring Monegasques were crowding around the Americans to express their gratitude. Later more Allied troops arrived for some formal ceremonies, presided over by a proud Prince Louis II and his grandson and fellow French army veteran Prince Rainier.
HSH Prince Louis II reviewing French-African troops as part of the celebration of the liberation of Monaco and the Allied victory in World War II.

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