Monday, January 30, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Statue of Prince Rainier in Bucharest
Friday, January 27, 2012
St Devote Celebrations
Thursday was St Devote Day in Monaco and the Grimaldis were out in force:
Princess Charlene was in fine form for her first St Devote Day as Princess
The Prince and Princess of Monaco cross themselves as the procession passes before the palace, bearing the relics of St Devote, the patron saint of Monaco and the Grimaldis. The faithful family dog "Mila" can just be seen peeking through the balcony.
Archbishop Bernard Barsi of Monaco greets the Princely Couple after the St Devote mass
Princess Alexandra and Princess Caroline of Hanover join Princess Charlene and Prince Albert II for the final festivities of the day at the seaside.
Finally, like every St Devote Day, it all ends with a good ol' Monegasque boat burning! This tradition goes back hundreds of years when an attempt was made to steal the relics of St Devote, but it didn't work and the perpetrator ended up having his boat burned. For more information about the patron saint of Monaco and the House of Grimaldi read about Saint Devote.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
After considering this photo of our Steph and this troop of flamboyant Asian acrobats the thought occurred to me; Stephanie is probably the only princess in the world I could see in a photo like this and it all seem completely normal. That's why we love ya Steph. That's why we love ya.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Andy Joins the Guard, Charlie Goes to Court
Remember when the little Casiraghi boys used to dress in miniature Princely Rifles uniforms? Prince Albert II and Prince Rainier III did the same thing back in their day and it always made for a cute sight. Well, we may see it again soon for real. On Saturday, HSH Prince Albert II and nephew Andrea Casiraghi attended a special mass for the Feast of Saint Sebastian, patron saint of soldiers and the patron saint of the Prince's Company of Carabiniers, the military and palace guard of Monaco. Colonel Fringant, chamberlain to the Prince and High Commander of the Public Forces (that's right, he IS the "high commander") along with Philippe Rebaudengo, commander of the Princely Carabiniers were naturally among those who attended. The Sovereign Prince took the occasion to formally bestow the rank of "Brigadier" on Andrea at a reception held after mass at the Oceanographic Museum. The senior Casiraghi (and currently still the second-in-line for the throne) is now officially a soldier. I wouldn't expect to see him turning up for guard duty any time soon, but this is good news to me. Royals always look their best in uniform anyway.
News has not been so good for our beloved Charlotte though. Following the example of her often media-harassed mother, lovely Charlie has evidently come to the end of her patience with the press and Charlotte has decided to sue. The paparazzi, according to her lawyer Alain Toucas, follow her relentlessly day and night and have put her through, "daily hell". He even went so far as to compare her to the late Lady Diana, Princess of Wales who, as we know, was hounded to her death by the paparazzi in 1997. Of course, us sticklers for protocol could not fail to point that, like many (alas even many media "royal watchers"), Toucas referred to our Charlie as "Princess Charlotte" which she is not. The only members of her immediate family to hold that title are her mother and little half-sister Princess Alexandra of Hanover. True, she has the Grimaldi blood and all the proper qualifications (and we certainly think no less of her) but she is not a princess nor are her brothers princes. If she were to marry a handsome young prince and gain the title, of course, we would all be properly thrilled. In any event, I am glad she is taking her case to court as Princess Caroline has done in the past. I do think we live in a litigation-soaked world but this is not someone suing "for" something like so many frivilous cases, this is someone suing to get something to stop -and so she should. And this is why her lack of a title is someone pertinent. Charlotte is not a princess, she holds no hereditary title in Monaco and is a private citizen. Granted, she is an extraordinary one who comes from the Princely Family but she is still entitled to her privacy as anyone else should be. I certainly hope she wins and expect she will.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Imagine Lord Rainier I
However, Rainier I was not a man to shrink from danger. Along with government offices, the Grimaldi family even then had a history of being sea-faring warriors. Rainier carried on the fight as best he could. We can imagine him, wearing his red and white family colors, standing on the deck of his galley dressed in armor, clenching his sword, the wind blowing sea spray in his face as his vessel plowed through the Mediterranean. Imagine his eyes squinting against the wind, keeping a sharp eye for Genoese galleys but also, in a larger sense, looking for any opportunity to restore the fortunes of his family and gain and advantage over those who had driven him and him from his home. At times he had to accept employment from neighboring royals to stay afloat (in more ways than one) such as King Charles II of Anjou. In his service Lord Rainier gained quite a reputation for skill and daring across the Mediterranean area. Imagine it: an enemy galley is sighted, the course is changed toward it as the men below decks groan with all their strength at the oars to increase their speed. The guns thunder, the galleys collide and Rainier pulls his sword and leads his men in boarding the enemy ship, wrenching it from them in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Quite a far cry from car races, football games and roulette wheels isn’t it?
Friday, January 20, 2012
Send in the Clowns
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The Prince and the Pole
There is, of course, a tradition of interest in the polar regions amongst the Princes of Monaco named Albert. The Scottish explorer, William Speirs Bruce, who almost accompanied Scott on his famous voyage, joined Prince Albert I in some of his scientific voyages and the Prince placed Bruce in charge of the scientific observations made during his studies. Prince Albert II also accompanied a Russian arctic expedition in 2006 and became the first head-of-state and reigning monarch to reach the North Pole. In 2009 he visited Antarctica on an expedition to study the effects of global warming on the south polar region. The great concern Prince Albert II has for the environment has fueled most of his studies and interest on the state of the northern and southern polar regions.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
New Beau for Charlotte
I don’t keep up with the French stand-up comedy scene and this Gad may be the nicest Gad in the world, he may be a super-duper Gad and for Charlotte’s sake I hope he is. It is entirely possible I am overreacting about this due to an over-protective nature when it comes to my dear Charlie but … did I mention he’s forty? For someone as young as Charlotte, latching on to someone more than a decade older seems a little odd to me. I may also be influenced by the predictable disaster that was Princess Caroline and Philippe Junot. When I first heard about this new “glamour couple” (as labeled by the mags) that was the first thing that popped into my head, along with the hopeful assumption that this was not true and had been blown out of proportion as the gossip magazines have been known to do. That is probably unfair, but I cannot help it, that’s what I thought of first. I will also admit to being terribly “old fashioned” for this day and age. I certainly did not like Charlotte and Alex (or anyone for that matter) living together without being married. I realize no one these days thinks twice about it, not Haakon and Mette-Marit, not Will and Kate, not Carl Philip and his risqué model girlfriend whose name escapes me at the moment, etc and so on. They pretty much all do it, I just don’t like it and they don’t need me to like it, I just want to be clear I’m not picking on anyone here.
Time will tell if this will be another long-term relationship or just a passing flavor of the month. So far, just speaking for myself of course, I hope it is a passing fancy and Charlotte moves on to some dashing young gentleman more her own age. In any event, I do sincerely wish her the best.
Prince Albert in Austria for Youth Olympics
here. Once all was done and dusted there, the Sovereign Prince spent the evening at the opening ceremony of the 75th Congress of the International Sports Press Association at the Innsbruck Conference Center. While there Prince Albert II was presented with an award for his longtime devotion to the field of sports, "...at the service of peace and social progress worldwide." Which is great, congratulations and all that ... just not too sure what that really means. Just me? When it comes to things like "social progress" I wonder if any of them really have a concrete definition or just went with it because it sounded like something no one could object to? Anyway, after the evening being honored the Sovereign Prince will be back at the games today , specifically to attend the downhill skiing competition where he will be cheering on Brian Pelassy of Monaco. How cool is that? How many other kids at the Olympics can say that their monarch came just to watch them? Not too many I'm thinking, but that's one of the great things about Monaco, it's a close-knit little monarchy.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Olympic Honor for Prince Albert
died last year. Prince Albert is the perfect man for the job, being a five time Olympian himself, married to an Olympian and is a longtime member of the International Olympic Committee. WOA President, Joël Bouzou, issued a press release in which he stated what an honor it was to have the Prince of Monaco as their new patron, both due to his extensive experience with the Olympics and his international standing as a man dedicated to making the world a better place. To quote the President speaking of Prince Albert, “He is an Olympian and a true humanist who has always believed that the values of sport can change lives and can change society for the better. I can’t thank him enough for his support.” The decision to bestow this honor on Prince Albert was approved without opposition by the WOA board members and by President Jacques Rogge of the International Olympic Committee. Congratulations to the Sovereign Prince on this distinction!
New Film About Princess Grace
Deadline.com. The film will focus on a six month period in 1962 when French President Charles DeGaulle and HSH Prince Rainier III were feuding over Monaco's position as a tax haven. Although little remembered today, that spat between protector and protectorate became so serious that the borders were actually closed for a while and Paris considered taking punitive actions against Monaco for Prince Rainier daring to defy their wishes. It was quite an intense period. No word yet on what actress is set to play Princess Grace but the world will certainly be watching.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Today in Monegasque History
It was on this day in 1662 that His Serene Highness Louis I became Sovereign Prince of Monaco upon the death of his grandfather Prince Honore II. His reign would be noted for the legal code he gave the principality, his tumultuous marriage to Princess Catherine-Charlotte and his elaborate and eventful time as the ambassador for King Louis XIV of France to the Papal court in Rome in an effort to settle the dispute over the Spanish succession.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Relaxing After the Holidays
With the busy holiday season now behind them the Prince and Princess of Monaco have been off for a little Caribbean vacation. The Princely couple are seen here visiting the island of Barbuda (as in "Antigua & Barbuda") in the eastern Caribbean. I could go for some warm, sunny weather myself right about now...
Friday, January 6, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Today in Monegasque History
Prince Antoine I (aka "Goliath") became Sovereign Prince of Monaco.
Monday, January 2, 2012
The Prince's New Years Address
Tonight I am here to express, on behalf of us both, our hope that each of you, I remember this shared joy.
While around us, several countries are or are marked by a financial crisis, severe economic and social, the dynamism of the Principality allows us to resist.In this delicate situation, particularly wise management of public finances is necessary to integrate the constraints on us, while preserving our social model and our growth prospects. That is why we must make balanced choices, reasonable and fair.
Do not lose sight of that in situations of economic crisis that the urgency of solidarity is strongest to protect against stress. The holiday season is a special time of reunion for families and between generations.
These periods also sensitizes us to the values of tolerance, respect for others and cultural diversity. It is my wish that Monaco remains a model of “living together” based on a common set of values.
Tonight, my thoughts especially go to our community experienced the death, illness or loneliness. I also want to provide my warm encouragement to our young people who embody the future. We believe in their imagination, their ideals, their will, their capacity for hard work and generosity.
Women and men who work, invest or choose to live among us, I hope that their contribution to our country brings them, in turn, an authentic personal development.
To one and all, in the Principality or who are away but remaining near in heart, I say again with confidence: “Happy New Year!”
Sunday, January 1, 2012
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