During the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation held a 24-hour call for donations for medical research into an internationally available COVID-19 vaccine.
The initiative raised 21,500 €, which will be donated to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, accompanied by their children Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, visited the Automobile Club de Monaco to cheer on the StrongTogether team, which represented the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation during the virtual competition.
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At the Automobile Club de Monaco today, HSH Princess Charlene and Prince Albert II of Monaco cheered on the competitors at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, a first in the world of endurance esports. The royal couple are supporting the #54 Strong Together Ferrari, which sports the colours of the principality and the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation In their sim racing cockpit Francesco Castellacci, Giancarlo Fisichella and Tony Mella share driving duties with Felipe Massa in Brazil, with whom they have on-screen contact. Strong Together’s message to the race’s worldwide audience is to pool resources in the fight to contain Covid-19. The #54 crew all relay that sentiment and support the appeal for donations via the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. All donations will be gratefully received via https://donate.fondationprincessecharlene.mc/strongtogether
According to Princess Charlene, the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans proved to be a successful combination of sport, passion and generosity.
“The spirit of Le Mans is present in the attitude and behaviour of everyone involved in the race. It is passed on from one generation to the next. It represents the past, present and future of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Teamwork, pulling together, are part and parcel of this discipline. Le Mans and Monaco share a passion for motorsport and it was only natural for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual to relay the appeal initiated by HSH Charlene, Princess of Monaco. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who have pledged donations. It is essential to show our support for medical research and for frontline medical staff and carers at this challenging time. Thank you, all of you. Alone we sometimes go faster, together we definitely go further,” said Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, cited on the website of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.
The Princess Charlene crew and the StrongTogether car managed to finish in 8th place, but helping provide equal access to vaccines means that everyone is a winner.
GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance
GAVI is an international organisation aiming to provide equal access to vaccines for all. The Principality of Monaco has been a supporter of the alliance for several years. Prince Albert II attended the online European Commission Coronavirus Global Response Pledging Conference on 4 May, contributing to the initial funding to kick-start the global cooperation.