Ensuring the Guard of His Serene Highness the Sovereign Prince, His Family and the Palace is their primary mission. This pivotal role implies dedication, vigilance and helpfulness by each member of the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince (Prince’s Company of Carabiniers), forming a network of close cooperation. Since its establishment, simultaneously with the Grimaldi throne, all members of the Prince’s Family and the Principality of Monaco have been protected by an elite military unit, more than bicentennial.
“Serving is our mission; it requires an ongoing commitment and an unfailing determination. Self-denial, discretion and courage lead the Carabiniers towards excellent achievement”, as underlined by Commander Gilles Convertini, Chief of Prince’s Carabiniers Corp. Strongly anchored to the values of the past the Carabiniers are constantly ready to face the challenge of the present and the future with pride, humility and discipline. HelloMonaco had the unique chance to feel tangibly those high human values for the service within an exclusive interview with the Brigadier Benjamin Bogreau (B.B.) and Rodolphe Perruchon (R.P.), respectively first and second deputy to the Communication Unit led by Ajudant Jean-Louis Bouviala.
HelloMonaco: Mr. Bogreau, what are the main Carabiniers missions and where do they come from?
B.B.: Ensuring honourably security to the Sovereign Prince and His Family as well as the custody of the Palace and its belongings, guaranteeing law enforcement and executing ordered missions in the best possible ways are our cornerstones according to Article I of the Statutes of the Public Force. Among our multi-functional roles, the Military First Aid Unit has been implementing Monegasque Red Cross Ambulances for a long time. Then we help securing the most relevant sport and artistic events held in Monaco, including the implementation of contingency and emergency plans as well as the ones of the Monegasque Relief Organization (OR.MO.SE.).
HelloMonaco: Are you accustomed to performing several activities simultaneously?
B.B.: Absolutely yes, we are. The Prince’s Palace Guard, for example, involves different tasks at the same time like providing perimeter security, guaranteeing constant surveillance, ensuring fire prevention, managing tourist flows and filtering the Palace’s access only to those authorized. Our commitment lasts for twenty-four hours starting from the famous Ceremony of the Changing of the Guard every day at 11:55 a.m. Safety drivers, motorcycle platoon, divers, Grand Prix guardians, ICT providers, administrative and financial officers are just some of further charges.
HelloMonaco: How do you feel guarding the Princely Family?
B.B..: Being part of the Compagnie means to offer our loyal and wholehearted devotion to H.S.H. the Prince and to the Principality. Serving this cause eagerly is for us a rare privilege aimed at laying the groundwork for a confident and prosperous future. The Palace Guard is the core of our mission to which we are specifically trained. Each of us is usually involved in one on-call duty per week that includes attending the Change of the Guard twice, named ‘ascendant’ and ‘descendant’.
HelloMonaco: What matters most, in carrying out your mission?
B.B.: A harmonious mix of physical, moral and intellectual abilities. Being loyal, dedicated, athletic, versatile, educated and well-raised are crucial in our daily activities.
HelloMonaco: How do you coordinate with other Security Forces on the Monegasque territory?
B.B.: First of all, we act synergistically with the Firemen Brigade in many of our key missions as with other parties in charge of public safety in each individual case. The various directorates are constantly in contact encouraging an effective collaboration. We have recently participated in the various technical joint actions to support municipalities severely harmed by Storm Alex.
HelloMonaco: At the beginning of the pandemic, you played a strategic role in receiving and distributing all prevention devices, how did you deal with this unexpected situation?
B.B.: Since the outbreak, we have dealt with this health emergency fairly quickly by putting in place effective barriers in all barracks and guard stations, avoiding any gathering in the operational stages. Moreover, we activated a special sanitization cell and put in lockdown colleagues who presented symptoms. From the 27th March 2020 on, a second unit focused on the organization and management of the State’s strategic stocks by appointment of the Gouvernement Princier and the validation of Monaco Directorate for Health Action (DASA) in charge of personal protective equipment. By February the 15th 2021 we have completed 760 missions.
HelloMonaco: Mr. Perruchon, what event or ceremony do Carabiniers remember with more pleasure?
R.P.: Each National Day is a day of pride for the whole Military Company. We had the honour to be present in the saddest moments like the death of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III and in the most joyful occasions such as the wedding ceremony between H.S.H. Prince Albert II and H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco or the birth of the Princely Twins. These events will remain forever etched in our hearts and memories.
HelloMonaco: Do you organize friendly events to strengthen diplomatic relations with armed forces of other nationalities?
R.P.: We have been organizing several cross-border shooting challenges since we have the largest intervention units in the whole area. We have also organized football matches and a beach volley tournament to which several professional sportspeople took part together with members from foreign Guards. Furthermore, the Orchestra of the Prince’s Carabiniers has been gaining international prestige for fifty years through its rich music repertoire, combining tradition and modernity.
To know more about the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince please visit its official website.