Remembering Princess Grace: 40th anniversary of her passing

September 14th is a difficult day for the Princely family as it is the day they lost their beloved mother, Princess Grace, who died of injuries sustained in a car crash in 1982. Wednesday marks the 40th anniversary of her passing.

It’s hard to imagine four decades have passed since the death of Princess Grace. Her memory and spirit are still so much a part of the Principality, and her legacies continue to touch people to this day, making her presence seem as if she were still here on some level.

Her son, Prince Albert II, spoke about his mother to Monaco Matin, saying he talks to his children, Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, about their iconic grandmother and what a source of light and inspiration she was. He also shares what his plans are to mark the anniversary of her death on 14thSeptember.

“I think we’ll go to her grave, and we’ll have some family time. There’s been a lot of evocations of my mother in recent years. Documentaries, exhibitions, lots of events that invoke her memory. We thought that it was not absolutely useful to do something special for these 40 years,” said the Prince.

Her untimely loss aged only 52 was a shock to the world, and provoked great outpourings of grief and emotion, similar to another royal passing being played out in the UK this week with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Grace led a fairy tale existence, first as an Oscar-winning screen idol and Hitchcock blonde, and then as a real-life Princess upon marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956.

“It’s so incredible and it warms the hearts of my sisters and the whole family,” the Prince went on to say. “Her memory is not only very vivid, but it has crossed generations who have taken the time to be interested in my mother, in her life, in her image and what she was able to leave as a memory. Her presence is still very much felt. Her heritage is still very present in the Principality and elsewhere in the world. All the time, people I meet talk to me of her, even people who did not know her.”

The Princess’s contributions to Monaco are felt even now. She has been credited with not only turning the Principality into an international centre for glamour, but also for her charitable works, which focused heavily on the welfare of the sick and children.

Princess Grace, photo source Palace Archives

The story of her death is now legend. On the morning of 13th September 1982, the Princess and her youngest daughter Princess Stephanie leave their country house, Roc Agel, in the hills above Monaco in a Rover 3500 at about 9:30 in the morning.

As they descend, they pass a truck driver who notices the car speeding toward a hairpin turn and watches helplessly as the car careens over the cliff, falling 40 metres in the garden of the former artistic director of Loews, Jacques Provence.

“The Rover fell three meters from us!” Provence later told Jean des Cars in the 1990s. “This place on the road was reputed to be very dangerous: we had already experienced four car crashes. In the seconds that followed this terrible shock, we did not know who was inside of the car.”

Firemen arrived on the scene and extracted Stephanie, before using a blowtorch to free Princess Grace. Both were rushed to the hospital, but it was Grace who was by far in the worse shape. Despite all efforts being made to save her life, she died the following day of her injuries.

Investigations following the accident concluded that the Princess suffered a stroke which made her lose control of the car.

Prince Albert recalls that day, saying “there were never any doubts” as to the official word on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, despite a flurry of rumours spread at the time.

To celebrate the life of Princess Grace, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and the De Dannan group will pay tribute to Princess Grace with a concert featuring traditional Irish music and the world premiere of a new piece entitled the Princess Grace Symphonic Suite.

The show will be held on Thursday 15th September at 8pm at the Rainier III Auditorium. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the website on




Photo above source: Palace Archives




Prince and Princess lay first stone at future SPA site

Nearly two years after the decision was made, the first stone was laid for the future building that will house the Society of the Protection of Animals in the picturesque mountain village of Peille.

Situated between Monaco and Menton in the hills lies the “perched” town of Peille, future home of the Society of the Protection of Animals (SPA) animal shelter, which officially broke ground on Monday in a ceremony attended by both Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene.

The Princely couple lay the first stone at the site, and a plaque noting the moment has already been placed to commemorate the occasion. Both the Prince and Princess have been active in animal rights and protection acts: the Prince through his foundation’s environmental actions and the Princess through hers, most recently her trip to South Africa working with the highly threatened rhinoceroses of the region. 

It was revealed during the ceremony that Princess Charlene is the new president of the Monaco SPA, taking up a position left vacant since the death of Baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy in 2020.

Photo credit Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace

The SPA location in current use in the village of Èze is woefully inadequate, being both too small to accommodate the animals in residence as well as being rather run down. After over a decade of deliberation, the French authorities and the government of Monaco finally found a suitable alternative, being the Peille site.

The hold-up stemmed from reluctance by the mayors of local municipalities to build and house a new refuge and in the end, two towns were selected as possibilities, namely Blausasc and Peille. Ultimately, it was Peille that was selected.

Monaco had considered a site near the Jardin Exotique, but found it unsuitable as space is at such a premium in the Principality and the room needed to allow animals some leg room just wasn’t there.

Photo credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace

Works were originally set to start in the summer of 2021, but due to unforeseen delays, the ground-breaking only began now, a full year later than expected.

The new SPA shelter is set to be move-in ready by the end of 2023 and will be home to abandoned and abused animals from all over the area. In the meantime, the Èze facility will continue operations as best as they can.



Photo above credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace





Operation Ilot Pasteur: Partial closure of Avenue de Fontvieille

As the ‘Ilot Pasteur’ construction project continues to progress at a steady pace, the government has announced traffic disruptions that will last until the end of the year.

The project, which will see the creation of a set of buildings with a surface area of ​​more than 100,000 m², is one of the most important public projects in the Principality. It will accommodate many useful facilities, including the new Charles III College, the new Espace Léo Ferré, the new media library and a public car park with 900 spaces.

From 12th September 2022 and until 15th January 2023, the project, which is due for delivery in 2024, is entering a new phase.

In order to extend the construction zone, which will eventually house the base of the future office building, authorities are closing the uphill direction of Avenue de Fontvieille for security reasons.

Until 30th November, this road will be completely closed to traffic, then from 1st December 2022 to 15th January 2023, occasional closures may occur to complete the work.





Image above of the future Ilot Pasteur project, source Monaco Government





Lots of new treats to be found at the Monte-Carlo Market

As the summer winds down, the Monte-Carlo Market is gearing up with new products and exhibitors offering a fantastic selection of culinary delicacies and delights. 

Since the start of September, the Monte-Carlo Market’s offerings have been significantly enhanced with the arrival of several new vendors.

Amongst the newcomers are producers of cheese, charcuterie, oils, nougats, spices, aromatic plants, Corsican products and even a rotisserie. Though the market takes place every day of the week from 7am to 1pm, Mondays have been proclaimed as the “producers market”, where fruit, vegetables, eggs, honey, jam and dried flowers are on offer.

Marjorie Crovetto and Mayor Georges Marsan at the Monte-Carlo Market, photo source: Mairie de Monaco

Additionally, following the success of last May’s Corsica Market, there will be a series of themed events, including wine and cheese, truffle, sea and picker’s markets, all organised by the Communal Domain Services of Commerce, Halls and Markets.

Even Mayor Georges Marsan got in on the fun, visiting the site with Deputy Mayor Marjorie Crovetto recently, welcoming newcomers and greeting the regulars. 

This revamped market is hoping to draw more interest and attention, and make this a destination for locals and tourists alike. 




Photo source: Mairie de Monaco 





Monaco’s football club launches ‘Kids Tour’

AS Monaco striker Myron Boadu delighted fans on the Digue de Fontvieille on Sunday for the first stage of the club’s ‘Kids Tour’.

One of the most supported clubs in France as well as Europe, AS Monaco’s new programme looks to strengthen local ties by travelling to neighbouring villages and promoting not only the club, but the sport of football itself.

As Monaco CEO Jean-Emmanuel de Witt said, “We have to create a link so that young people have a good image of football. That’s the first thing, we want to develop this good image. The Principality of Monaco believes in the role of sport as an educational tool. There is that aspect that is very important for us, and also the aspect of creating future fans and creating this friendship between the club and young people.”

Whilst each step of the tour, which is set to continue this week, will be unique in its offerings, things couldn’t have got off to a better start in Fontvieille on Sunday. Children descended for an event that lasted nearly five hours. There were multiple activities including quizzes, which gave those in attendance the chance to win tickets to  Sunday’s match as well as Thursday’s match in the Europa League against Ferencvaros.

It also provided young fans the opportunity to meet the club’s mascot Bouba, Jonathan Paul, Monaco’s freestyle football champion in 2018, and even Boadu. The Netherlands international striker marked his appearance by chatting to fans, signing autographs and taking pictures.

As well as the ‘Munegu Family’, which has returned this year after a two-year absence due to Covid, the club’s latest scheme seeks to boost the popularity of the sport, and the club, and encourage attendance at the Stade Louis II.

De Witt told Monaco Life, “The ‘Munegu Family’ is part of a more global strategy. We hope to create links with our fans, no matter what age, and have targeted approaches. Taking into account the current context, having a secure stadium, where you can come as a family with the youngest kids without worrying about security is something formidable and I hope it is something that will define AS Monaco relative to other clubs.”

After a successful start to the ‘Kids Tour’ the club will next travel to Saint-Martin Vésubie on Saturday, before a more local trip to Cap d’Ail on Wednesday 21st September.



Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life 





Covid latest: situation stable, cases remain low

The circulation of Covid-19 throughout the Principality remains low, according to the government’s latest figures, with an incidence rate now sitting at just 87.

In its weekly communication on the health situation in Monaco, the government revealed that 876 PCR and antigen tests had been carried out by residents and non-residents in the week preceding Sunday 11th September. Of those, only 9.7% came back positive.

It reduced the incidence rate in Monaco to 87, down from 95 the week previously, and continues a downward trend that followed a peak of 994 on 10th July.

In the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes department, the incidence rate sits at 196, compared to 166 overall in France.