Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Giballin Grimaldi displayed qualities that would later come to characterize the personality of the Princely Family of Monaco; a concern for issues greater than his own, sympathy for the downtrodden and a willingness to help those in need. This was combined with great courage in times of conflict. During the capture of Fraxinet, Giballin Grimaldi and his men scaled a steep, rocky position which the Moors had left undefended as they were certain no one could possibly accomplish such a feat. As a result, Giballin and his men were able to surprise the Moors with their attack through the back door and divert their attention from the main assault by the Christian forces at the front door. Because of his crucial role in this victory, with only a small band of hand-picked soldiers to help him, Giballin Grimaldi was rewarded with the grant of a sizeable tract of land from St Tropez to Frejus. Because of his valor in battle the Muslims were driven from Villafranca, Castellare, Turbia, St Hospice and the Little Fraxinet. The Ligurian borders were firmly secured from the Moorish threat.
There is also the story that the second son of Grimaldi I, Lord of Antibes, father of Giballin Grimaldi, led a similar campaign to liberate the area that is today Monaco with dates for this given as 920 AD, 962 or 968 and that the Holy Roman Emperor gave the Grimaldi family this liberated territory of Monaco to them as their own sovereign state, as a reward for their heroism. Later historians have raised doubts about this story and that long ago, in such a chaotic time, obviously evidence is scarce but it was told for a long time as a nice story to show the House of Grimaldi having very, very deep roots in the region of Monaco. However, whether it is accurate or not, Monaco was not retained by the Grimaldis since, as we know, other powers (principally Genoa) took over the region and Grimaldi rule was not firmly established until the famous nighttime attack by Francesco Grimaldi (“the Cunning”) and his Guelf faction of warriors. However, many historians a great many centuries ago reported the story as fact, and it may well be, it is simply hard to tell with absolute certainty when it comes to almost anything in history so long ago.
What is not disputed is that Giballin Grimaldi played a critical role in the campaign to evict the Muslim invaders from the region of Liguria at a critical time in the development of Europe when Christendom was in real danger of being completely overrun by enemies from the north, east and south. Thankfully, when the people came to Giballin Grimaldi for help, looking for someone to defend them and make right the wrongs they had suffered, he did not turn them away but devoted himself to effecting their rescue and the return of their lands and security. It was the start of what would be a long and colorful history of involvement on the part of the House of Grimaldi in the struggles between Christendom and the expanding world of Islam. They would go on to participate in the crusades, becoming quite prominent as both diplomats and naval military commanders, before that page of history finally came to an end and focus shifted to other areas.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Last night, TSH Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene hit the Hollywood red carpet to attend the Academy Awards (their first). Being not far from the anniversary of the late Princess Grace joining that elite club of Oscar-winners and her tragic end. The Princely couple are 'paving the way' so to speak for an upcoming film about Princess Grace. It is worth taking a look back at Princess Grace at the Oscars:
Grace Kelly presenting the Oscar for Best Actor to Ernest Borgnine in 1955 for his starring role in the film "Marty"
Grace Kelly and Marlon Brando with their new Oscars in 1954, a great year for movies. Brando won for "On the Waterfront" and Grace Kelly for "The Country Girl"
Grace Kelly, the new Oscar-winner, alongside her co-star Bill Holden
Three Hollywood icons: Bette Davis, Marlon Brando and Grace Kelly
Edmond O'Brien with Grace Kelly on Oscar night. O'Brien won Best Supporting Actor for his role in "The Barefoot Contessa"
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
HSH Prince Albert II is back from Africa and joined Princess Charlene for the Red Cross graduation ceremonies on Tuesday at the Rainier III Auditorium in Monte Carlo. Prince Albert had the honor of handing out the diplomas to the happy graduates.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Evidently it all went down at the Double Seven nightclub in Manhattan where Pierre had some sort of confrontation with former nightclub owner Adam Hock. Who knows what it was about but words were exchanged, harsher words were exchanged and then someone took a poke at someone else and the 'almost royal' rumble was on. Pierre is alright but, as stated, had to be taken to the hospital to get patched up (I hope he gave as good as he got, surely he did some hand-to-hand combat training in the French army) and hopefully he will emerge from this unfortunate incident a little wiser with some (hopefully not permanent) scars to impress the girls with.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Meanwhile, the Palace announced that, starting next week, HSH Prince Albert II will be off to visit the African continent himself with a state visit to the Republic of Mali from 13 to 15 February followed by an official visit to Burkina Faso from 15 to 17 February. In Mali His Serene Highness is scheduled to meet with the Prime Minister, President and President of the National Assembly (the President visited Monaco last October so this will be formal reciprocation for that event). While there he will visit medical, education and sporting facilities which were built in part thanks to funding from the Monegasque Office of International Cooperation. Over 16,000 citizens of Mali have benefited from the projects enacted due to cooperation from the Principality of Monaco. The Sovereign Prince will also open the first Honorary Consulate of Monaco in the country (I'm still holding out for mine!).
Likewise, in Burkina Fasco Prince Albert II will meet with the Prime Minister and have a working meeting with the President. He will also visit the National Fire Brigade and some other sites where assistance is being given thanks to the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and other Monegasque government agencies. The visit of the Prince to both African countries will be followed up by a delegation from the Chamber of Economic Development.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Alas, however, we do not and privacy issues involving royals can be a little bit thorny. Many people would say that a lack of privacy is simply the price that has to be paid for some of the other perks that come with royal status. There is also no denying the fact that the attention royals draw is often harnessed by them to use their status to raise awareness of important issues, causes and to raise money for worthwhile charities all around the world. That is certainly true and some would say that a lack of privacy must be accepted as going with the territory of being a royal or a celebrity or any sort of public figure or public servant. I would disagree, at least to an extent, with that assertion.
Princess Caroline, it is important to note, brought this case against a German magazine. The Federal Republic of Germany does not recognize her title as Princess of Hanover (nor does it recognize the title of her erstwhile husband Ernst August IV) and when in Germany she should be entitled to the same rights to privacy as any ordinary citizen or foreign visitor because, legally, that is all she is in that country. The way I see it, some amount of public attention is certainly to be expected but especially when it comes to photographs it does not seem to me that the public would be harmfully deprived if the attention was limited to official events and appearances. Private time is private and family moments should be sacrosanct. I’m sorry the European Court of Human Rights doesn’t see it that way. Regardless of what titles or status someone holds they are just as human and you or I and should be accorded the same rights, including privacy, as anyone else.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The Royal Digest (with a tug of the forelock to Tea at Trianon for bringing this great blog to my attention). What more can be said about Princess Grace that hasn't been said already? I'll simply repeat myself: never did a princess so live up to her own name.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Today marks the 60th anniversary of the accession of HM Queen Elizabeth II to her British and Commonwealth thrones. A very special and historic occasion for all those people over whom the Queen reigns to be sure. In all of British royal history only Queen Victoria has reigned longer than the current Queen and Her Majesty may break even that record before all is said and done. This date made me curious though as to how this record compares to the Princely House of Grimaldi who have reigned over Monaco far longer than the current British Royal Family has reigned over their array of countries yet whose position has often been far more precarious than that of the British Royal Family. After looking into it, I have found, not surprisingly, that no Prince of Monaco has reigned so long as the current Queen of the United Kingdom etc. However, the longest reigning so far did come pretty close. That honor goes to His Serene Highness Prince Honore III of Monaco, the longest reigning Sovereign Prince in Monegasque history. He acceeded to the Princely throne on November 7, 1733 and reigned until January 19, 1793 when he was sadly brought down by the spreading forces of the French Revolution for a reign totalling 59 years and 73 days. When looking into this subject I had expected the record would go to the great Prince Rainier III who was, for a time, the longest reigning monarch in Europe and the second longest in the world after the King of Thailand. However, Prince Rainier III was several years short of the record set by Honore III though he was one of the longest reigning princes in Monegasque history at 55 years and 332 days. And, of course, who knows, HSH Prince Albert II may yet beat them all. So long live the Prince and may he beat the record of Honore III!
Saturday, February 4, 2012
HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco is making her mark on the principality. On Wednesday, along with HSH Prince Albert II, underneath their wedding portrait hanging on the wall, the Princess consort officially opened the first building in Monaco to bear her name, the "Princess Charlene Home for Children". The place will serve as a shelter for children going through troubled times at home. The Princess and the Sovereign Prince inspected the dorms, the recreation room and Princess Charlene even tested the fooseball table, everything designed to make the children staying there feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible during difficult times. There's nothing like unveiling a plaque to tell someone new they've really joined the royal club.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Yesterday, HSH Princess Stephanie of Monaco teamed up with renowned footballer Pascal Olmeta for a press conference to discuss the upcoming charity football match to benefit AIDS victims. This will be the second Fight AIDS beach soccer event so far and some of the official sportswear for the game was displayed featuring the organizations involved in sponsoring the event, including Princess Stephanie's own charity Fight AIDS Monaco of course. A good game for a good cause.