Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year in Review

So, what was 2010 like for the Princely Family of Monaco? Well, here it is in a nutshell: In January, Prince Albert talked about the environment. Prince Ernst August V of Hanover was photographed frolicking in the surf of Thailand with his paramour but Princess Caroline still testified on his behalf in Germany. Prince Albert talked about the environment, sent emergency aid to Haiti after the disastrous earthquake there and flew solo on St Devote Day. The UN declared 2010 International Biodiversity Year and Prince Albert talked about the environment. In February, Princess Stephanie turned 45 (hard to believe I know), the Monegasque fire brigade got a new commander and Prince Albert talked about the environment. The Prince and Charlene Wittstock attended the Winter Olympics in British Columbia where the Prince handed out medals to the winners of the Alpine Skiing Men’s Super-G event. Charlotte Casiraghi and boyfriend Alex Dellal attended the Love Ball London to benefit the Naked Heart Foundation and rumors of an engagement between the two again proved unfounded.

On March 4, Albert’s daughter Jazmin Grace Grimaldi turned 18. The Prince honored His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I for his efforts at improving relations between the Roman Catholic and East Orthodox Churches and Princess Caroline oversaw a charity fair in Monaco. Her husband, the Prince of Hanover was fined $270,000 for slapping a hotel owner in Kenya and Prince Albert paid a formal visit to the Republic of San Marino before participating in the 5th World Stars Ski Event in Turin. Princess Caroline stole the show at the annual Rose Ball which had a Moroccan theme as part of increasingly close relations between the two countries on opposite shores of the Mediterranean. In April the Sovereign Prince appointed his first Minister of State after new agreements took effect putting that power in his hands rather than those of the French government as had effectively been the case previously. Prince Albert visited Portugal, talked about the environment and congratulated the winners of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters Tournament, presided over by cousin Elizabeth-Anne de Massy. The Credit Foncier Monaco Bank was robbed of 100,000 euros and Prince Albert welcomed the King and Queen of Sweden to Monaco for the 59th World Bade-Powell Fellowship event.

Pauline Ducruet celebrated her “Sweet 16” on May 4 and Prince Albert, Charlene and the Casiraghi trio were on hand for the Formula One Grand Prix. The Casiraghis hit the best parties at the Cannes Film Festival and the Prince visited his former ship, the French aircraft carrier “Joan of Arc” on which he served during his military service as the vessel was retired from service. Princess Caroline visited the new mommies at the Princess Grace Hospital for Mother’s Day. June saw Prince Albert talking about the environment, opening a whole week dedicated to environmental awareness in Monaco. The Prince and Charlene attended the 50th anniversary of the Monte Carlo TV Festival and traveled to South Africa to attend the World Cup. Jazmin Grace Grimaldi graduated with honors from high school and after attending the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden to Daniel Westling in Stickholm, Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock announced their own, long awaited engagement.

In July Princess Stephanie opened La Maison de Vie to care for victims of HIV/AIDS. Prince Albert talked about the environment and signed new fiscal transparency agreements with a number of countries. Pauline Ducruet competed in diving competitions in Finland and Princess Stephanie welcomed Prince Albert and Charlene to the gala dinner for her charity Fight AIDS Monaco. Prince Albert, Charlene and Princess Stephanie also made a ‘splash’ at the 62nd Red Cross Ball which had a luxury cruise theme. In August the Prince and Charlene visited the United States, checking in with a friend in Missouri and touring the “King’s castle” at Graceland. Monaco signed on to a joint Catholic and Orthodox effort to defend the Christian heritage of Europe and Pauline Ducruet competed in diving competitions in Singapore with her father, mother, siblings and uncle Albert cheering her on. The Prince talked about the environment and sent a financial aid package to Pakistan after devastating floods hit that country.

September saw Charlotte Casiraghi back in uniform as “Godmother” of Public Safety for the 50th anniversary off the Maritime Police Force of Monaco, Prince Albert and Princess Caroline opened the new National Museum of Monaco and the Prince was honored in New York City for his environmentalism and commitment to sport. He attended the Monaco Yacht Show, honoring a particularly “green” yacht and, yes, talked about the environment. Prince Albert went to India in October for the opening of the British Commonwealth Games, joined Princess Stephanie in Shanghai for the World Expo and later Charlene joined the Prince for the first time on an official visit when the couple traveled to Japan, meeting the Imperial Family and where Albert talked about the environment. In November, Charlotte Casiraghi and Beatrice Borromoeo strutted their stuff on the red carpet at the Rome Film Festival, Princess Caroline handed out the Princess Grace Awards in New York and Prince Albert celebrated five years on the throne of Monaco. Charlene made her first appearance on the balcony with the family on National Day, Louis Ducruet turned 18 and word came that Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit Monaco in early 2012. Finally, in December, Princess Stephanie continued her efforts, in person, on radio and television to raise awareness of and ease the suffering of AIDS victims. Princess Caroline attended the International Night of Childhood charity event at Versailles and Charlene joined the Grimaldi siblings in the official Christmas festivities for the first time this year. Finally, Princess Antoinette passed a milestone in Grimaldi family history when she turned 90 years old.

And that, my friends, was the Princely Family in 2010 in a nutshell. I hope you had a good year, I appreciate you keeping up with the blog and my sympathies to Mr. Mann, whoever you are. So long 2010!

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