On November 19th hundreds of Monegasques took to the streets to pay tribute to the tiny territory which sits between the South of France and the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco National Day has been celebrated in the Principality every year since the first Fete du Prince was held in 1865.
And this year, celebrations began one day earlier with the unveiling of a new bronze statue of the late Prince Rainier III which was uncovered by the Royal family near the Prince’s Palace, in view of some of our most prestigious Monaco apartments for sale.
The statue is the work of Dutch artist Kees Verkade, who is already well known in Monaco for his famous statue ‘Il Malizia’ depicting Francesco Grimaldi, the royal family’s fearless ancestor who dressed up as a monk to capture The Rock in 1297.
The work of art which stands majestically at the feet of the Palace fortifications was unveiled by Prince Albert and his wife Princess Charlene, who were also accompanied by Prince Albert II’s two daughters Princess Caroline of Hanover and Princess Stephanie.
The Royal family was out in force again the following day for the traditional ceremony at Monaco Cathedral, a short amble from some of our exclusive luxury real estate in Monaco Ville.
The cathedral itself was full, with an audience of more than 500 people including the majority of the Royal family. However one member was noticeably absent: heavily pregnant Charlotte Casiraghi who is about to give birth to her first child with actor Gad Elmaleh.
After the celebratory mass, the Royal family took shelter from the unpleasant autumnal weather which has been lashing the South of France in recent days, and retreated to the Palace where they waved at the crowds from the balcony.
Considering the downpours, it was incredible that so many members of the public braved the weather to come out to celebrate the Fete du Prince, which is a national holiday throughout Monaco.
This year’s National Day – characterized by scores of white and red flags which looked slightly bedraggled due to the rain – came to a close with a powerful performance of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingol on Tuesday evening.
The opera was performed by Monte Carlo’s Philharmonic Orchestra after a rousing rendition of Monaco’s national anthem by the Opera Choir in the befittingly named Salle des Prince in the Grimaldi Forum.
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