Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Legal Victory for the Prince

TSH Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco have won a legal victory in the court case against the Sunday Times, News International, over a false and slanderous article printed in July of 2011 just two days after the princely wedding. The Sunday Times has had to deliver a formal apology in court and pay three hundred thousand pounds in damages as well as covering the cost of the Prince's legal team. This was part of a slew of such articles, full of malicious gossip rather than facts, that came out around the time of the princely wedding in a despicable effort to ruin that happy occasion. They included a range of accusations, each more ridiculous than the last and each one conveniently lacking any sort of verifiable evidence. The court found than none of the allegations were true (no surprise there) and Prince Albert has another lawsuit against the Sunday Times over stories printed about his marriage, in particular against the editor, John Witherow, and the author of the article in question which is being heard in France where the paper is distributed. Hopefully, a few more rulings like this will make newspaper editors change their ways and, oh, I don't know, maybe verify their facts before printing wild rumors dreamed up by some nut with an ax to grind and too much free time? Let's hope so.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Palace Drops Support for Film

The upcoming film "Grace of Monaco" has been creating a great deal of buzz and, previously, seemed to have the full support of the Princely Family with TSH Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene even attending the U.S. Academy Awards last year to draw attention to the film and the late, beloved Princess Grace, herself an Oscar-winner as I'm sure everyone knows. However, all of that seems to have changed and whatever support the House of Grimaldi had for the film has been withdrawn. A statement from the Princely Palace, endorsed by HSH Prince Albert II, HRH Princess Caroline and HSH Princess Stephanie said that the Princely Family was not endorsing the film, that it is not a biopic, was overly glamorized and contained many falsehoods about the family and the Principality of Monaco. They stress it is "purely fictional". Those behind the film said that the Palace had, in the past, made some suggestions related to the film, including corrections about certain people and historical events but admitted that they paid little attention to what the Palace told them and more or less made it clear that truth and accuracy is not their primary goal in making this movie about Princess Grace.

Considering how supportive the Grimaldis seemed to be in the past toward the film, this came as a surprise to me. However, perhaps it should not be as the time period the film is focused on; when relations between France and Monaco were extremely tense over French citizens relocating to Monaco to avoid taxes and when Princess Grace was invited back into the movie business by her former director (and admirer) Alfred Hitchcock. It is a sensitive period to look at it and, perhaps, it should not be surprising that filmmakers would disregard the truth and the wishes of the family in an effort to make an even more dramatic story. That is quite normal, however, speaking for myself, I am far less interested in seeing this movie if it is just going to be another carbon-copy Hollywood drama rather than the real story of what actually happened to Princess Grace in Monaco at that time.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Pontiff and the Princely Couple

HSH Princess Charlene (Catholic convert) looking pretty and proper in a veil

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI welcomed TSH Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene to the Vatican for a private audience at the Apostolic Palace. I believe this was the first time Princess Charlene has met the Pontiff and it was an occasion to renew and highlight the very long history of close relations between the Principality of Monaco and the Holy See.
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