It was on this day in 2005, some time after succeeded his great, beloved father, that HSH Prince Albert II had his formal enthronement as Sovereign Prince of Monaco. It is at such a time that one can truly appreciate the benefits of having monarchy, which are not always so easy to explain, it has to be felt. HSH Prince Rainier III was such a grand and familiar figure, his loss was truly the end of an era and one of the greatest reigns in the centuries-long history of the House of Grimaldi. Yet, the presence of Prince Albert II made everyone feel that things were going to be okay. Everyone knew him, the world had watched him grow up, he had been educated, trained and prepared and simply his presence was a reassurance to his people that life would go on, that everything was under control and that Monaco, as ever, would endure, as it has for over seven hundred years under the watchful eyes of the Lords and Princes of the House of Grimaldi.
Here we see the new Sovereign Prince taking the salute of his guard, and catching attention is little Princess Alexandra looking adorable in her Monegasque costume. Looking back at photos of the enthronement ceremonies, one cannot help but notice how much things have changed. Prince Ernst August was still in the picture, Charlotte was still with Alex and there was no Princess Charlene. The sisters though were as true to form as they always have been; Princess Caroline a dignified tower of strength, Princess Stephanie worrying about her big brother like a mother hen. Many things change, but some things always stay the same.