Saturday, November 19, 2011

National Day: Monaco, November 19, 2011

This week there were numerous events and activities in celebration of Monaco's National Day on November 19, 2011. The festivities kicked off on Saturday, November 12 when Princess Stephanie, along side her daughter Camille Gottlieb and a friend of Camille's, went to Port Hercules to start the “No Finish Line” charity foot race which will run until this upcoming Sunday. This is held every year by the Children & Future Charity and raises money for other charitable causes as well, including Stephanie’s own organization Fight AIDS Monaco. The festivities continued throughout the week with various members of the Princely Family and Government pitching in. Many events were closed to the public, and several were open to the public.

On Tuesday, November 15, Michel Roger, the Minister of State of Monaco presented Medals of Honour at the Oceanographic Museum. Also on Tuesday, Prince Albert II presented Medals and Distinctions in the Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Monaco, followed by a reception.

On Wednesday, November 16, Prince Albert II  presented Medals for Public Service in the morning, including the orders of St. Charles and Medals of Honour. The Orders of St. Charles went to fourteen recently retied members of the palace staff, including: Ansaldi M. Barthelemy, FIA Pierre, and Mr. Jacques Roattino ( former butlers to the Prince's Palace), René Cattalano (former Chief Silversmiths in Palace), Laura M. Antoine(former Silversmiths to the Palace), Mrs. Honorine Rebaudo and Jeanne Pionzo (former private maids to the Palace. In the afternoon, there was a magic show, Les aventures magiques, for children ages 3-10 and a presentation of medals to the Princess Grace Hospital.

On Thursday, November 17, the festivities really began. The first event of the day was when Prince Albert, Princess Stephanie and Princess Charlene presented gifts to Monaco's Croix-Rouge. After that, there was a Ceremony of the Guard and presentation of medals at the Grimaldi Forum. In the afternoon, Prince Albert presented Medals for Physical Education and Medals of the Ministry of Sport, as well as the Orders of St Charles and Grimaldi. Also present at the awards ceremony were Princesses Charlene, Stephanie, and Caroline, and Charlotte Casiraghi. Over fifty people received the honor, for a full list, please click here 

On Friday, November 18, there were several more medal presentations including medals for Blood Donors, Red Cross, Order of Cultural Merit (by Princess Caroline of Hanover), gifts to Monaco's senior citizens (by Princess Stephanie) in the Foyer of the Auditorium Rainier III,  and to the two recipients of La Légion d'Honneur. There was also a  Diplomatic Corps reception, Ambassadorial Dinner, fireworks display, and comedy with Roland Magdane 'Attention c'est show' (Salle du Canton) for children 10+ years of age. Princess Charlene also went down to where the day's No Finish Line event was happening, and met with students from The International School of Monaco and ran a few miles in the race herself.

On Saturday, November 19, the major event of the week began. The Princely Family-Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Princess Caroline, Princess Stephanie, Andrea, Charlotte & Pierre Casiraghi, Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy, Melanie-Antoinette de Massy, K. Sebastien Knecht de Massy, Dontella Knecht de Massy and American cousin D. Christopher Le Vine attended the Thanksgiving Mass and Te Deum in Monaco Cathedral. After the mass, the family was joined by twelve year old Princess Alexandra of Hanover, the youngest of Princess Caroline's children, and they attended a Ceremony of the Guard in the Court of Honour & presentation of badges and medals to the Police and Security Officers of the palace by Prince Albert. Then the princely family watched the ceremony of the guard from the palace balcony (NOTE: It's 2 seperate photos), attended the official lunch, Cocktail party for Diplomatic Corps, and ended the day with the Gala Soirée at Salle des Princes.

On Sunday, November 20, there will a  Gospel concert for children 10 and above with the Golden Gate Quartet.

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