The Princely Family celebrated National Day with the people of Monaco under pristinely clear skies on 19 November. Flags were waving and people were cheering during a very special National Day, which paid homage to the centenary of Prince Rainier’s birth.
Fireworks and music were enjoyed by onlookers on Saturday 18 November at 8:15pm. Then, National Day began with a ‘TeDeum’ mass of thanksgiving at the Cathedral. Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Princess Stephanie and Princess Caroline took in the sermon, given by Monsignor Dominique-Marie David. Prince Rainier III is buried in Monaco’s Cathedral.
After the service, the taking of arms and the presentation of medals took place in the Palace’s Court of Honour at 11 am before a military parade on the Place du Palais Princier. Military musical group ‘La Nouba’ performed during the parade. The group performed traditional Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisianmelodies, in honour of Prince Rainier’s time in the French Army with the 7th Algerian Tirailleurs Regiment. The taking of arms took place with the participation of the 1st Tirailleurs regiment, which Prince Rainier III served with at the end of the Second World War. Prince Albert II and Hereditary Prince Jacques were dressed in military regalia.
Special guest: a ‘good luck’ ram!
The riflemen of North Africa who participated in the parade brought a very special guest with them to the celebrations: a ram, the mascot of their regiment. The mascot, named “Messaoud VI” is considered to bring good luck.
Other highlights of this year’s festivities included the presence of Colyne Gorgone in the parade. She is first female military personnel in the Principality and joined Monaco’s firefighters this year. Following the parades, a beautiful presentation by the “Sbandieratori dei Borghi e Sestieri Fiorentini” (‘Flag-wavers of the Villages and Sestieri Fiorentini) took place. The group, who performs historical re-enactments of military life in the MiddleAges, was present during the 25th Anniversary of the Reign of Prince Rainier III in 1974.
Princely family waves from the Palace Balcony
The Princely family made their traditional appearance on the Palace’s balcony. Crowds cheered as Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Princess Gabriela and Prince Jacques waved and demonstrated their deep bond with the Monegasque people.