CANAL+ aired the first behind-the-scenes look at Monaco’s Princely Palace and the Princely family.
A former student of the “Stanislas” Lyceum in Cannes, Ophelie Meunier, presented her first show with CANAL+ on “Zone Interdite” (“Forbidden Territory”). It gave a look behind the scenes of the Princely Palace in Monaco and wound up having a record number of spectators, with an average of 2.3 million viewers, making it one of the most popular TV shows on French television.
Nicolas de Tavernier, the director of channel M6, that broadcast the program, hired the charming Ophelia Meunier to present her first documentary about the life of Monaco and its rulers called: “A Year of the Princely Palace secrets.”
The idea was to show everyday life of the Princely Palace and the true face of the ruling family—icons of luxury and leisure. Behind all the lustre, it is difficult to see the hard daily work of the princely family, involving numerous activities at the state level, while the Prince and his wife also manage to be good parents and raise their twins. The highlight of the show was the interview that Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene gave to Ophelie Meunier, accompanied by their twin children, Crown Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.
28-year-old Ophelie Meunier, a former model and one of the most popular presenters on TV, is also the centre of everybody’s attention. She claims to be bringing her “own style to the program, without being limited by the show’s strict framework.” Ophelie has been working hard on the project for many months. She said: “The subtleties of filming behind the scenes, the etiquette of interviewing such dignitaries as the Princely Couple and the format of such an interview were explained to me beforehand.”
On September 4, 2016 the spectators got to enjoy this rare release for the first time. For over a year the team had been filming the life of the princely palace away from the public eye. Not only the everyday lives of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene were filmed, but also all the major events of the Principality, such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Rose Ball, the Red Cross Ball and others.
In addition to the interview with Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, the documentary also features such personalities as the Captain of Port Hercule, the Head of the Palace Carabinieri and many others who are make the Principality’s daily life, but do not get public exposure.
“We did not shoot this film to advertise the beautiful life of the Principality. It is an interesting topic for a documentary, it really shows something new that has never been open to cameras before,” said Ophelie.
“Among the many videos taken during the year, it was sometimes difficult to select the ones for the program. All these many hours of footage simply do not fit into two hours of airtime. We may be using the filmed material for many years to come,” continued the TV-presenter.
“Among others, we have a video from the nursery, where the Prince Albert II and his wife are discussing the future of their children and the role of the Crown Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella in society. We have never seen the ruling couple in this setting, and I believe it is a very intimate and private video.”
“I do believe that Monaco is a very clever country. Our documentary used anything but an old-fashioned approach. Quite the opposite, the tiny Principality is entirely modernized and continues to change constantly. The government does not spare money on innovative projects, while also engaging in charity and environmental initiatives. I think that many other countries have much to learn from Monaco,” concluded Ophelie.
You can watch the documentary from the link below: