Saturday, January 22, 2011

Circus in Monte Carlo

The Circus is in town! Thursday night saw the opening of the 35th International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo with Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II, Princess Stephanie and Pauline Ducruet attending the opening ceremony. For the next ten days circus troops from all over the world will be in Monaco showing off their entertainment talents and competing in a number of tests of skill, daring and artistry. HSH Princess Stephanie of Monaco, long known for her love of the circus (even joining up for a time) is the patron of the festival and the Princess has spent the last week preparing for the event. The festival was first started in 1974 by HSH Prince Rainier III and has become quite a beloved and colorful tradition in Monaco. In an interview, Princess Stephanie said, “I have the eye of a child who grew up in the circus. The clowns always moved me so much. But now I also see the numbers with my professional eye. We have a quality to meet in Monaco. The public, accustomed for 35 years in Monaco has become a connoisseur and we have no room for error”.

Princess Stephanie herself has some experience with the circus, traveling with them while married to her second husband (for about five minutes) who was a circus performer. She has talked to many of the troops from around the world who have come to Monte Carlo to compete and she knows quality when she sees it. “There are a lot of circus schools [in Russia] and in this country, there is a real potential,” the Princess said. “Many directors, choreographers working in this country and present original numbers with traditional disciplines. That said, China also, the practice of the circus is very strong. In Shanghai, I met with circus schools some young people working with the single goal to go to the Festival in Monaco. It is unfortunate that in France, there is no culture. Perhaps due to a lack of circus schools”. Among those troops Princess Stephanie met with were the Americans. The Princess inspected their elephants and was given a ride while feeding them.

The treatment of animals has been a cause for some controversy and criticism of the circus but Princess Stephanie, a modern-minded woman if ever there was one, remains a staunch defender of the greatest show on earth in this, as in every other, area. “I find the debate on animals ridiculous. Zoos and circuses do much for the preservation of endangered species. The circus animals are treated as artists in their own right” the Princess said.


  1. As happy as I am to see Stephanie preside over a prestigious and significant event of their principality, I wish that Caroline and her family would support her with their presence.

    They used to attend this event a lot, and attract huge publicity for the Circus Festival. Pauline Ducruet has grown to be a charming girl, but she does not possess the magnetic appeal and natural glamor of Charlotte Casiraghi. Not yet, at least.

  2. Must be patient, just today Pierre, Beatrice and Princess Alexandra accompanied Princess Stephanie to the festivities.

  3. Thanks. Sorry for the "impatience" or over-eagerness -- the more members of the royal family in the picture, the better for us!

    That Beatrice Borromeo also has this innate elegance and glamor. I don't know anything substantial about this girl, but basing it on pictures alone, she seems to be a natural as a future member of the family. She brings a certain quality that compliments the Grimaldis. So difficult to describe. It's just like pointing out why the Monaco ruling family stands out among other royal families. Beauty? Glamor? Something intangible, that's for certain.

  4. That is so true -- you see pictures of other royal families and then those of the Grimaldis. Something sets them apart. They're obviously not boring nor predictable!

    I suppose the women have made the difference. Who could have competed with Princess Grace back then? Caroline's regal dignity and fashion sense top the contemporary royal women (those include heavyweights such as Queen Rania and the new princesses such as Denmark's and Spain's). Stephanie? A league of her own. Of course, Charlotte Casiraghi's beauty and glamor cannot be denied nor matched.


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