Saturday, July 14, 2012
The Facts About Bastille Day
covered it all before; the Grimaldis being stripped of their French titles, Prince Honore III being deposed, Monaco annexed to France, many going to prison (even the little future Sovereign Prince Florestan) and most horribly the wife of Prince Joseph of Monaco being among the last to be sent to the guillotine. But, in France itself, it is worth remembering on a day like today just how little most people know about the actual facts surrounding the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution.
Monaco was, of course, much more fortunate than France. Most of the family survived, Monaco was ultimately given back her independence and the Sovereign Prince was restored to his rightful throne. The French monarchy was restored as well but, sadly, the Revolution had done too much damage in France. The mentality of the country had changed and the moral core of the country would never be quite the same again. The traditional monarchy would fall, replaced by another Kingdom of France that tried to reach an accomodation with the revolutionary mindset only to be undone in 1848 and all of this in between the two efforts at empire led by the famous Napoleon and his later nephew. It says something profound that, despite some minor problems, the Principality of Monaco in all that time has continued on in peace and ever-increasing prosperity, secure in the traditions of a centuries old monarchy led by a family everyone knows and loves while France had more revolutions, the Paris Commune and is currently on their fifth effort at a republic. Monaco has long depended on the protection of France but these facts, perhaps, suggest that France might benefit from taking a lesson from the little principality on her southern coast.
Vive le Roi!