Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wedding Reflections

Many thought this day would never come but the once seemingly perpetual bachelor Prince Albert II has said “I do” and we now have a new royal in the ranks: Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco. I was very impressed with the ceremony, a great day for Monaco and the House of Grimaldi. Everything went off without a hitch, everyone looked good, you could feel the happiness in the air and all the glitz and glamour did nothing to take away from the feel that this was a Monegasque family wedding. My first and only real complaint had nothing to do with anyone involved but was the media coverage, specifically, the glaring lack of coverage in the American media. At the last minute, it was broadcast live on CNN International but that was it -and from what I have heard not many people even get CNN International. Evidently it is not included in most basic cable or basic satellite packages. This stands out all the more because of the intense media coverage of the British Royal Wedding which was on every network channel and every cable news outlet. Yes, the British monarchy is bigger, more pomp and ceremony and the attractive young couple are *the* “royal celebrities” of the day, but, come on, Prince Albert is American!

I don’t want to dwell too much on this but it bothers me as I know many people who wanted to watch were not able to or had to resort to computer viewing. The U.S.A. really has no connection with the modern British monarchy whereas Prince Albert IS an American, his mother was American, as a boy he spent nearly half his life in America, he went to school in America and so on. If there was any royal event one would think the American media would have every reason to cover intensely it would be this one. Well, it was America’s loss in any event because the ceremony was spectacular. Monaco itself was at its summer Mediterranean best, the skies were blue, the sun was shining so I guess Albert was not joking when he said he issued a Princely decree for sunny skies and no rain today! Being the old fashioned sort that I am, I prefer weddings to be held in church but the Princely Palace provided a perfect backdrop for the event. Everything looked spectacular though I’m sure the assembled clergymen were sweating up a storm under all those vestments. I loved the little local girls in their Monegasque dresses as flower girls, very cute, very appropriate and very inclusive -that really helped give the impression that this was a Monegasque affair from start to finish.

The royals were out in force amongst the crowd and it seemed to me that the promise was kept that we would get a better look at the assembled crowned heads than we did in London. Princess Charlene looked very much the “serene” highness today, she seemed to be floating the whole time. Prince Albert, dashing in his summer whites, was in full “Albie” mode, lots of reassuring touches, winks and funny faces and gestures for his bride. Yesterday and today he was always ‘on’ -could have been the star of his own show, which, in a way, he was, though he had to know all eyes were on the bride who managed to maintain her serenely detached look throughout the ceremony. Nieces Pauline Ducruet and Charlotte Casiraghi each did one of the readings, both looking very smart for the occasion. Princesses Caroline and Stephanie were both beaming with pride. Based on her past remarks, Princess Caroline may have been doing the ‘happy, happy, joy, joy’ dance in her mind, but she is ever the professional princess on such occasions. I did not notice Stephanie becoming as emotional as she did at the civil wedding but, one must keep in mind, yesterday was the anniversary of Princess Stephanie’s marriage to Daniel Ducruet, which produced some great children but otherwise did not turn out so well so it may have been a doubly emotional occasion for her that day. After Pauline’s flawless performance with her scripture reading, Stephanie did break out in a broad, beaming smile of motherly pride.

The ceremony was grand but still personal with an emphasis on faithfulness and forgiveness. These days that point seems to need to be emphasized a little bit, or a lot, marriage = faithfulness. When that doesn’t happen, the forgiveness part becomes rather more important. The vows were exchanged, the people cheered and the new Princely couple withdrew to the Princely Lexus hybrid (powered by electricity generated by pixie dust of course) for the drive over to the Chapel of St Devote where, like Princess Grace, Princess Charlene gave her bridal bouquet to the patron saint of Monaco and the Grimaldi Princely Family. In the intimate confines of the chapel, listening to the soaring spiritual singing, the new Princess finally got a little emotional and had to dab at a few tears. Of course, the day would not be totally out before the yellow press gave the family something to cry about -but I refuse to go into that today. Refuse. One thing that was certainly evident was the genuine pride and happiness displayed by the crowd. It does my heart good to see it every time. The people of Monaco love their Prince, they count themselves lucky to live where they do, untouched by the problems of larger countries and they appreciate the value of their ancient monarchy, their Prince and they want things to continue. A happy day for the people of Monaco, a happy day I hope for everyone involved. I send them all my heartfelt congratulations.

Vive Monaco!
Vive l’Prince!
Vive l’Princesse!


  1. I'll be picking up this story and extending the official congratulations of Sam Starrett-Musings and The Rambling Royalist to Their Serene Highnesses in a bit. Meantime, Vive Le Prince, Vive La Princesse, and Vive Le MadMonarchist!

  2. Vive le Prince Souverain!
    Vive la Princesse Consort!
    Vive la Maison Grimaldi!


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