Monday, May 27, 2013

Monaco Grand Prix 2013

It's that time of year again, gentlemen start your engines...
The big winner this year was Nico Rosberg, a racer with dual Finno-German nationality, who has said he considers Monaco "home". Something tells me he would have been the local favorite with sentiments like that. As usual the Princely Family was out to watch the race, Princess Charlene congratulated the winner and then all had a fun and flashy night at the evening gala afterwards.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ancestral History and a Pilgrimage

Recently, HSH Prince Albert II was in France visiting one of the former estates of the Grimaldi; the former Duchy of Valentinois (Duke of Valentinois still being one of the titles of the prince). In Chabeuil the Sovereign Prince visited the old Hotel des Princes and opened the Place "Marie-Pelline Grimaldi of Monaco, maid of Chabeuil". Marie-Pelline was the daughter of Prince Antoine I of Monaco and gained lasting fame thanks to the harpsichord piece written for her by Francois Couperin. Prince Albert II visited some other historic villages and landmarks in the area, met with local officials and even took the "Promenade des Princes de Monaco" in Buis-les-Baronnies as well as attending the medieval festival in Crest (bet that was fun). The Duchy of Valentinois was ceded to the House of Grimaldi a year after the Treaty of Peronne in 1641 between King Louis XIII of France and Prince Honore II of Monaco which ended the Spanish protectorate over Monaco and by which the Kingdom of France recognized and guaranteed the independence of the Principality. Although the title is still retained, the actual Duchy of Valentinois was lost to the Prince of Monaco during the French Revolution and the abolition of the Bourbon monarchy.
On Tuesday TSH Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene visited the French island of Corsica on a pilgrimage to Bastia honoring St Devote, the patron saint of Monaco and the House of Grimaldi. St Devote is also patron saint of Corsica and Monegasque survival of a French-Corsican attack on the tiny country is attributed to the miraculous intervention of St Devote who is said to have appeared over the Monegasque battlements to reprimand the attackers, particularly the Corsicans who so revere her.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Princely Couple Current Events

The Princely couple are seen above at the formal opening of the Lycee Technique & Hotelier which had a formal inauguration indeed with Monsignor Barsi blessing the new establishment and the Sovereign Prince to perform the official ribbon-cutting after which he and Princess Charlene sat down to dinner at the included Cordon d'Or. The Prince also unveiled two plaques commemorating the occasion.

Next Their Serene Highnesses presided at the opening of the new foyer at the church of St Devote, the patron saint of Monaco and the House of Grimaldi.

Finally, HSH Princess Charlene is set to oversee Dior presenting his new collection called "Cruise" at the Stefano Casiraghi port in Fontvieille which will bring together numerous big-name celebrities from the world of fashion.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Where Was Princess Charlene?

Some people must have thought the Sovereign Prince looked a bit lonely at the recent Dutch inauguration and have asked, 'where was Princess Charlene'? She was in South Africa, doing some essential work for her new Princess Charlene Foundation and standing as the matron of honor at the wedding of her best friend (who was probably not thinking about the Dutch Royal Family when she made out her wedding schedule). The Princess Charlene Foundation has funded a new swimming pool at Lahee Park in Pinetown where the Princess herself once trained for her Olympic swimming career at which is now home base for swim champion Chad le Clos. In an interview the Princess said that thoughts of motherhood are not far from her mind these days, that she initially took a 'wait and see' attitude on the subject but expects that once her foundation is fully up and running in a couple of months she will expect some progress on the baby front. She is ready to be a mom and I have no doubt she will be a great one as the Princess has always seemed to be at her best when surrounded by little ones. I also have no doubt that, if a little boy happens to come along, Princess Caroline and the Casiraghi trio will breath a sigh of relief (or Andrea at least). Just to be clear, I am just as certain that Andrea would make a fine 'Prince Albert III' but the Casiraghi trio have all always rather enjoyed their freedom to pursue their own interests and having royal duties and responsibilities would likely be seen as crimping their style. I'm sure they would be more happy than anyone to see the Grimaldi-Polignac line continue and let the Casiraghis carry on doing their own thing.

Bishop Louis-André de Grimaldi

Wikipedia (which must always be taken with at least a cup of salt) gave front page coverage to an article on Louis Andre de Grimaldi, member of the French aristocracy and a bishop of the Catholic Church who, in a number of ways, embodied both the good and the bad of the French clergy at the time of the outbreak of the French Revolution. He was actually the man who ordained Talleyrand (would that be considered a good thing or a bad thing these days?) but I will always give him some credit at least for refusing the oath.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Prince Albert at the Dutch Inauguration

It was a big day for the Kingdom of The Netherlands yesterday as the Dutch celebrated the beginning of a new era with the abdication of HM Queen Beatrix (now Princess) and the inauguration of HM King Willem-Alexander, the first Dutch king in 123 years. Of course, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who has known Willem-Alexander for many years, was on hand to welcome him into that exclusive club of sovereign monarchs.
At the Nieuwe Kerk for the oath, the Sovereign Prince was looking quite dashing in his collar of the Order of St Charles. He was seated next to Sjeikha Moza bint Nasser al Misned of Qatar and Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco. Behind him are Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary of Denmark, possibly Prince Daniel of Sweden and there's no mistaking the familiar scowl of Herman Van Rumpuy way in the back.

Later, at the "after party" the Prince of Monaco came in alongside the newlyweds from Luxembourg, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Grand Duchess Stephanie.

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