Princely Family gives out Christmas gifts to Monaco’s Children and other news
Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella gave out gifts and sweets to children aged 5 to 12 in the Palace’s courtyard on Wednesday 14 December. The courtyard turned into a winter wonderland, with iceberg decorations, penguins, moose and seals. Titled “Christmas on ice” the decor was a special centenary tribute to Prince Albert I and his Arctic expeditions. Nearly 700 Monegasque children received gifts on the occasion. The gift-giving tradition was started by Prince Rainier III in the early 1960s as a way of introducing Princess Grace to Monaco’s children.
Princess Charlene celebrates Her Foundation’s 10th Anniversary
Princess Charlene celebrated one decade of her foundation on 14 December. The Princess, her brother, Gareth Wittstock and her husband, Prince Albert II all gathered before hundreds of supporters on the quai Antoine-1er.
In ten years, the foundation has carried out over five hundred projects in 43 countries, which have benefited over a million people. Helping children learn how to swim, spreading lessons on water safety and education through sport are the main goals of the Foundation. According to the Princess during an emotional speech, statistics show that many lives have been saved because of the Princess Charlene Foundation.
Princess Caroline attends Preview of Ali Kazma Exhibition
Princess Caroline visited the preview of the Winter Video Days program at the Villa Sauber, featuring Turkish video artist Ali Kazma. The program runs until 15 January 2023. The artist, and winner of the prestigious Nam June Paik prize, creates videos which raise fundamental questions about the meaning of human activity, the economy, production and social organization. Winter Video Days is devoted to video and digital media as contemporary art.
Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene attend Record-Breaking Christmas Tree Auction
Action Innocence Monaco celebrated its 20th anniversary by auctioning twenty gorgeous Christmas trees on 13 December during a record-breaking event attended by Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene. Every holiday season, the NGO creates a glittering forest of Christmas trees in the lobby of the Hôtel de Paris to raise money for its work in protecting children from online crime. In total, the auction managed to raise an incredible 156,100 euros for the organization.
For the special 20th anniversary auction, trees weren’t the only thing up for auction, unique experiences were up for grabs too, including a private cooking class at the Palace with chef Christian Garcia, a graffiti class with street artist Mr OneTeas, hotels stays in Monaco,VIP access to the Monaco Grand Prix or the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and more.
One Christmas tree seemed to captivate the audience more than the others: offered by the Zegg & Cerlati jewelry store, the tree also included a two-day trip to the Arctic Ocean with famed explorer Mike Horn. The tree and experience sold for a record-breaking 30,000 euros.
Red Cross Holiday Visits by Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene
Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene made their traditional holiday tour of Red Cross establishments, giving out gifts all over Monaco on Tuesday 13 December. The tour began at the Rosine Sanmori crèche before heading to the Princess Charlene Children’s Home and the headquarters of the Monegasque Red Cross, where 141 elderly people and 69 Ukrainian families were greeted by Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene. Everyone received gifts, sweets and gourmet parcels from the hands of the princely couple.
For seniors, this year’s Christmas parcel contained champagne, festive dishes and a tray of aromatic herbs. More gourmet parcels were donated to the Beausoleil Red Cross, La Turbie Red Cross and the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. For Ukrainian families, a tote bag was filled with goodies from the Red Cross, sweet treats, entry tickets to the Oceanographic Museum and the Car Collection of HSH the Prince of Monaco, an Albert Ier the Explorer Prince graphic novel and The Principality of Monaco in Pictures book.
Historical Discovery: Grimaldi Family Member buried in Var in 1770
Var’s council recently announced that Prince Albert II will make the first official visit by a foreign head of state to the town on 10 March. In Ollioules, the Prince is expected to unveil plaques in memory of two of his ancestors: one who established the “Le Château” school in the 18th century and the second was the bishop of Rodez, who is buried at the parish.
The visit comes on the heels of an unexpected revelation into this branch of the family, which almost fell into oblivion. The historical discovery is due to research by Edmond Fenouillet, who is passionate about parish registers and is a member of the Research Group on Ollioulais Heritage. Two months ago, while looking at a photo of the parish register of 1770, he announced, “We have a bishop of the Grimaldi family buried in Ollioules!” The death certificate uncovered the identity of a certain Jean-Charles “Charles” de Grimaldi d’Antibes, born in Cagnes in 1705 and died in Ollioules on 10 March 1770, at the age of 65.
In 1770, Bishop Charles de Grimaldi d’Antibes died while visiting his little brother, Charles de Grimaldi, who lived in Ollioules, where he owned the building which is now the “Le Château” school. After the discovery was made, the mayor wrote Prince Albert II to ask him to unveil a plaque at the end of a high mass in the parish church. The sovereign, enthusiastic about Grimaldi family history, accepted and will be in Ollioules on the 253rd anniversary of the death of Bishop Charles de Grimaldi of Antibes.
Marie and Louis Ducruet: “It’s a GIRL!!!”
Marie and Louis Ducruet revealed the gender of their baby by sharing a photo of themselves surrounded by pink balloons, captioned with “It’s a GIRL!!!” At the beginning of December, the couple announced that they are expecting a child by snapping a photo of their dog, named Pancake, wearing a shirt that said, “Soon to be Big Brother.” The new baby will be Princess Stephanie’s first grandchild.