The trip marked the closing of the Centenary of the Explorer Prince’s death. He was born and died in the City of Light.
The Sovereign Prince visited Paris on 6 and 7 December as part of the centenary commemorations of Prince Albert I’s passing.
In addition to his great attachment to France, which he considered “his second homeland”, Prince Albert I also carried out a large part of his political, diplomatic and scientific activity in France, notably through the creation of the Oceanographic Institute and the Institute of Human Paleontology. He even took part in the universal exhibitions of 1889 and 1900.
As one of the “foreigners who made France” according to the historian Pascal Ory of the Académie Française, Prince Albert I is now entitled to his own plaque at 10, avenue du Président Wilson, his Parisian home, which was bought in 1899 and became the headquarters of the Apostolic Nunciature to France in 1923. The plaque was unveiled on Tuesday 6 December by his great-great-grandson, Prince Albert II.
Prince Albert I: very close ties with Paris
The tribute continued in the Trocadero gardens, with a floral display in Monaco’s colours at the foot of the “Avenue Albert I of Monaco” street sign, named on 22 January 1932 by the Paris Council.
The Sovereign then went on to the Institut de France, in the presence of Chancellor Xavier Darcos, to attend a special session of the Academy of Sciences dedicated to Prince Albert I, who was elected foreign associate in 1909. Patrick Flandrin, President of the Académie des Sciences, Eric Karsenti, biologist, Laure Saint-Raymond, mathematician and Philippe Taquet, palaeontologist, all three members of the Académie des Sciences, were present.
The day ended with the unveiling of a bust of Prince Albert I, donated to the Institute by the Sovereign, and the presentation of the Academy of Sciences’ archives on the Explorer Prince. On Wednesday 7 December, the Sovereign visited the Maison Zola-Musée Dreyfus in Médan in the Yvelines. It was an opportunity to recall Prince Albert I’s involvement in the Dreyfus affair and his support for Emile Zola in 1898.
The day, and the trip, will end with a conference entitled “Science in the service of humanity: Prince Albert I of Monaco and his work”, given by Erik Orsenna, of the Académie française, at UNESCO, in the presence of the organisation’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay.