The Principality with its Royal traditions and prestigious Balls attracts the talents of the continent’s best ceremonial musicians. If you were fortunate to be invited to the Gala and Ball of Princes and Princesses you would have enjoyed the glorious trumpeting of the Alsatian hussars of Altkirch.
Luckily for Monegasques there was an additional opportunity to listen to those pearly notes. The Alsatian hussars of Altkirch, famous for their brass band performances, took over from the guard on the Place du Palais on the Saturday after Valentines Day.
And on the Place du Palais Princier, the sound of their trumpets sounded to the delight of the crowd gathered to witness the changing of the Prince’s carabinieri guard and able to see the hussars in their Napoleonic uniforms.
While the history of the Grimaldis in Monaco goes back more than 800 years, Alsatian history is also rich with exploits of the 8th hussar regiment of Altkirch, surfacing during the revolutionary troubles in 1793. There is a proud history of their feats of arms at the battle of Austerlitz (1805) and in the twentieth century during the bloody second battle of the Marne in 1918.
Monaco is the perfect welcoming environment for embracing other cultures’ customs and traditions. Thus the Alsatian Society of Monaco has taken root and thrived for seven years already.
In 2015, Prince Albert II had already invited their traditional brass band with its famous melodies for a gala. Since then, bonds between the two cultures have become strong. And Prince Albert has been known to attend several of their cultural evenings celebrating their heritage and also that of the Principality.
The changing of the guard at the Palace this month was an opportunity also for all the public who wished to discover this unique culture far from Monegasque traditions.