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“We are very attached to the Princely Family”: Monaco celebrates National Day 2023

prince-fete-nationale
November 19 is the feast day of the blessed Raynier of Arezzo and the date when the ruling prince accedes to the throne, since Prince Rainier III - © Monaco Tribune

Princess Charlene chose an all-red outfit for the special day.

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As last year, Monegasques, residents and admirers of the Principality were able to celebrate Prince’s Day under a beautiful blue sky on Sunday 19 November. Everyone eagerly awaited the arrival of the Princely Couple in front of Monaco Cathedral at 9.30 am, including many photographers stationed on a platform opposite with their telescopic lenses.

The two Lexus cars arrive, escorted by several carabinieri. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlène alight and climb the Cathedral steps, which are decked out with a red carpet for the occasion. The Princely Couple is followed by the Sovereign’s two sisters, Princess Caroline and Princess Stéphanie, as they prepare to attend the Mass of Thanksgiving with Te Deum, which will go on until 11am.

They then head to the Prince’s Palace for the taking up of arms and the presentation of rank insignia in the Cour d’Honneur. This moment is broadcast on a giant screen on the Place du Palais, for the crowd gathered behind the barriers. Among them are Monegasques and residents, of course, but also all the visitors who wanted to attend the event, like Corine and her husband from Bordeaux, who attend all the Principality’s major events and wouldn’t have missed National Day for anything in the world: “We are very attached to the Princely Family. In fact, I was born on the same day as Princess Grace,” says Corine, dressed in white and red. And after having attended the event for so many years, the emotion is still the same. “We’re delighted to see the Prince and Princess up close.” The couple will definitely be back for the Saint Devota festivities.

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An outfit to honour Monaco

While in 2022, Princess Charlene opted for a white outfit with touches of black, Prince Albert’s wife chose Monaco’s colour, red, for this year’s National Day. Including her coat and gloves as well as her boots and hat. A lovely nod to the Principality that was appreciated by the locals.

The image of the Prince and Princess on the balcony of the Prince’s Palace with their children, Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, was picked up by all the media. A moment full of emotion and pride: “There’s a lot of respect and adoration for the Prince, it’s lovely,” said one woman in the crowd as she watched the taking up of arms and the military parade on the Palace square.

Crown Prince Jacques was in his Carabinieri uniform, while Princess Gabriella wore a pretty navy blue outfit – © Monaco Tribune 

Nearby, Gianfranco and Anita, who live on the Riviera, come to the square every year on 19 November: “We absolutely adore everything here, and we’re amazed by how elegant people are. It’s another world, you don’t see that anywhere else.” Chloé, who hails from Alsace, also attends National Day every year. “The day gives us a chance to see another side of Monaco, and in particular its traditions. There is always a warm welcome, and we’ve had lovely weather, which is very pleasant,” the young woman says with a smile.

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The morning ended, as usual, with much cheering by the population, which had manage to get a little closer to the Palace, waving red and white flags as the Princely Family looked on. However, the festivities were set to continue for Monegasques and residents who wished to take part. The Town Coucil organised a series of free shows and events (by invitation only) as part of the Prince’s Day festivities. At 6pm, singer Anna Chedid, better known by her stage name Nach, performed at the Espace Léo Ferré. A highly original French-language pop-rock concert for adults and children aged 10 and over accompanied by an adult.