Photos

Prince Albert II, an exceptional President of Monaco Red Cross for 40 years

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© Philippe Fitte / Monaco Red Cross and Axel Bastello / Prince's Palace

Between its Gala and actions, the Monaco Red Cross is an integral part of the Principality.

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Since its foundation in 1948 by Prince Louis II, the Red Cross has come a long way and has been present during the most difficult of times. On the tragic death of Princess Grace in 1982, the then 24-year-old Hereditary Prince Albert was called upon to succeed his mother.

“My work in the Red Cross is your work. Let’s give it even more strength, it’s our Red Cross.”  Prince Albert II began his presidency with these words in his first speech at the head of the Monegasque Red Cross (MRC).

Since then, the Prince has endeavoured to support the organisation and its volunteers in their ideas for carrying out the Monegasque Red Cross’ mission: to assist the victims of natural disasters, conflicts and, at a local level, the most disadvantaged.

Galas and shows are part of the association’s fundraising DNA. They were organised from the outset in 1948, but it was Princess Grace who popularised them during her presidency between 1958 and 1982, inviting big stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Trenet, Josephine Baker, Gloria Gaynor and Frank Sinatra.

A tradition that Prince Albert II decided to continue, with the legendary Red Cross Gala every summer. Since the health crisis, the Gala has been held outdoors, making it an even more popular event.

40 years of working with the most disadvantaged

Over the past 40 years, the MRC President has also faced difficult times. Everyone remembers Storm Alex in 2020, which ravaged the valleys near Monaco. Prince Albert II took action, visiting the scene of the disaster regularly to appreciate the extent of the damage and coordinate the MRC’s actions as best as possible.

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© Philippe Fitte / Monaco Red Cross and Axel Bastello / Prince’s Palace
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© Eric Mathon / Prince’s Palace

In line with the Prince’s wishes, the MRC and its Social department work throughout the year in and around the Principality to protect and help people in financial difficulties.

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© Éric Mathon / Prince’s Palace

The President wanted the Red Cross to support people affected by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Through its fundraising appeal, the organisation has raised €600,000 for Ukraine and €350,000 for refugees.

Apart from Ukraine, the MRC is currently running 10 projects, mainly focused on child protection, health and access to water in seven different countries, mostly in Africa. These actions are important to the Prince, who is particularly attached to humanitarian work.

A happy anniversary

In December, the Monegasque Red Cross paid tribute to its President in the Chapiteau de Fontvieille. The event continued into the evening when the Prince, Princess Charlene, their children and Camille Gottlieb joined the volunteers.

The Minister of State Pierre Dartout and the Secretary General of the MRC, Frédéric Platini, were present among the 320 guests. Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella presented their father with a photo of themselves holding up the 40th anniversary logo with “Bravo Papa” (Well done Dad) written on it.

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© Monaco Red Cross
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© Monaco Red Cross

A 40-year presidency in pictures

The Monegasque Red Cross has published a video on its social media, illustrating the Prince’s work over four decades.

At the same time, the Red Cross shared some archive photos of Hereditary Prince Albert, later Prince Albert II, when he took up his post as head of the organisation and throughout the last four decades.

Original article by Théo Briand and Camille Esteve.