Princess Charlene celebrates her Foundation’s 10th anniversary and opens new headquarters

Princess Charlene of Monaco on Wednesday celebrated the 10th anniversary of her Foundation with a ribbon cutting ceremony at its new headquarters and a giant birthday cake.

Princess Charlene, a former Olympic swimmer and witness to the devastating reality of drowning and aware of the positive changes that sport can bring to a life, created her namesake Foundation in 2012 with the aim of offering more positive opportunities to children around the world.

For 10 years, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation has been working to prevent drowning and inspire children through the values of sport.

“Sport has the power to change lives – positively affecting an individual, a family, a community. Sport teaches compassion, inspires and gives hope, and can unite people and countries,” says her Foundation.

Princess Charlene and her brother, Gareth Wittstock, General Secretary of Her Foundation. Photo credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace

Over the past decade, more than one million people have benefited from the Foundation’s and its partners’ programmes in 43 countries through 510 different projects.

 More than 510 projects have been supported and created by the Foundation in countries such as Argentina, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Greece, Japan, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, to name but a few. 

In 2022, new projects were implemented in countries such as Brazil, Haiti, and Jamaica and in the French overseas departments of La Réunion and Martinique. 

Prince Albert helps Princess Charlene cut the ribbon of her Foundation’s new premises. Photo credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace

To mark its 10th anniversary, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation invited donors, partners and personalities, in the presence of H.S.H Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, H.S.H. Princess Stephanie, Gareth Wittstock, Secretary General of the Foundation, and Pierre Dartout, Minister of State. 

After a blessing by Monseigneur Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco, Princess Charlene inaugurated the new premises of Her Foundation located at 4, Quai Antoine 1er. 

Monseigneur Dominique-Marie David, Minister of State Pierre Dartout, Princess Charlene, Prince Albert, Princess Stephanie, Gareth Wittstock and Mayor Georges Marsan. Photo credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace


Photo above credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace

Princely couple hand out gifts for Monaco Red Cross tradition

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene have handed out Christmas gifts as part of a celebrated Monaco Red Cross tradition for those most vulnerable in the Principality.

The gift giving tour, organised by the Monaco Red Cross (CRM), began in Fontvieille, where Prince Albert and Princess Charlene were welcomed by children at the Rosine Sanmori crèche, who performed a show for the Princely couple before receiving gifts and treats.

Afterwards, the special tour took the pair to the Princess Charlene’s Children’s Home (Foyer de l’enfance Princesse Charlène) where they spent time with the young residents and handed out some Christmas gifts. They then finished at the headquarters of the Monaco Red Cross (CRM), where they distributed gifts to people in Monaco’s social services scheme. In total, gifts were handed out to 141 retirees and 69 Ukrainian families who have been welcomed in the Principality and supported by the social services and Ukrainian-speaking volunteers, recruited by the CRM.

Christmas packages for seniors this year included champagne, festive food, and aromatic herbs to sow. Ggourmet parcels were also donated to the Beausoleil Red Cross, the Turbie Red Cross, and the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.

For Ukrainian families, a tote bag had been filled with goodies from the Red Cross, sweet treats, entry tickets to the Oceanographic Museum as well as to the Car Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco, an Albert I the Explorer Prince comic strip and a book of The Principality of Monaco in pictures.

In their packages, children received Decathlon vouchers. Gifts were also sent to over 30 inmates of the Monaco Remand Prison.

As part of celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of Prince Albert II as president of the Monaco Red Cross, the public are invited to the Big Top in Fontvielle from 1pm to 4pm Friday for a fun afternoon of workshops and games for children and adults. Entrance is free.


Photos credit: Eric Mathon/Prince’s Palace

Legacy of Prince Albert I lives on through Monaco-UNESCO partnership

In recognition of the legacy of Prince Albert I and coinciding with the centenary of his death, the Monaco has signed a partnership agreement with UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere programme to provide financial support to young scientists.

In line with UNESCO’s long history of work related to the environment and its commitment to protect the earth’s biodiversity, the Principality on Tuesday 5th December signed a formal partnership committing to provide financial backing to UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme, by recognising and rewarding young scientists. Anne-Marie Boisbouvier, Ambassador of Monaco to UNESCO, signed the partnership with the Man and Biosphere (MAB) program to financially support young scientists in their research programs, together with Noëline Raondry Rakotoarisoa, representative of the Deputy Director of UNESCO’s Science Sector.

Created in 1971 and celebrating its 50-year anniversary last year, the Man and the Biosphere Programme’s vision is to “promote a sustainable connection between people and nature”. This core ideal has evolved into the designation of biosphere reserves, and a number of global projects and initiatives to increase community involvement and engagement. One such project is the UNESCO-MAB Young Scientists Awards.

Created in 1989 and with the purpose of “investing in a new generation of scientists” by “supporting young researchers in their research on ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity”, the programme has recognised and rewarded 300 young scientists in its 30+ year history – notably, some 45% of which were female – and offers prizes of up to €4,692 per winner.

Entry is open to applicants all over the world, with the objective to encourage young scientists, in particular those from developing countries, to use MAB research, project sites and biosphere reserves in their research. For the first time, six of the seven winners for 2022 were female, from countries such as Bangladesh, Nigeria, Cuba and Oman.

Through its support of the program, Monaco hopes to encourage the younger generation of scientists and to provide the world with a greater understanding of the ocean and environmental issues.



Photo of the Huascaran Bioreserve Peru, source UNESCO Man and Biosphere


ASM transfer round-up: Zaha, Jean Lucas, Jakobs

As the January transfer window nears, Monaco Life returns with the AS Monaco transfer round-up, with multiple players linked with moves either to or from the Principality club. 

Wilfried Zaha – linked by 90mins to Monaco. Having spent the vast majority of his career at Selhurst Park, Ivory Coast international Zaha is looking to move on from Crystal Palace. Zaha is looking to play Champions League football and is considering a move abroad. Monaco are just one of three clubs interested in the player. PSG and Marseille are also said to be tracking the forward, whose contract expires this summer. It is the latter who are seemingly the most active in signing the player to a pre-contact agreement with Les Phocéens already making contact. Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig are also interested.

Jean Lucas – linked by UOL Esporte to Santos. The Monaco midfielder is being linked with a potential return to Brazil. However, it is thought that Jean Lucas, who is struggling for game time at the Principality club, favours a move to another European club. Monaco’s reported pursuit of Danilo could provide an added incentive to sell Jean Lucas. Should they wish to sign the Palmeiras midfielder, they would have to sell one of their non-European players.

Danilo – linked by ESPN to Monaco. The player has been linked with a move to Monaco since the summer. He was touted as a possible replacement for Aurélien Tchouaméni before the club ultimately signed Mohamed Camara. However, according to ESPN, the club would still like to add him to their squad. Les Monégasques could face competition from Arsenal and Ajax, both of whom have the financial means and reputation to convince the €24m-rated player to join.

Ismaïl Jakobs – linked by Bild to Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengldbach and Eintracht Frankfurt. Jakobs may struggle for starts at Monaco, a result of being in direct competition with Caio Henrique. However, he has shone at the World Cup with Senegal, catching the eyes of clubs in Germany. Monaco aren’t interested in selling the player and are only willing to loan the fullback.

Valentin Decarpentrie – linked by Luke Entwistle to a loan move. According to sources contacted by Entwistle, the winger, who currently plays with the Group Élite could be set for a January loan move. He signed his first professional contract earlier this year, and is now looking for some first-team game-time in order to bolster his experience.

Jesper Daland – linked by Nieuwsblad Sport to Monaco. The Cercle Brugge centre-back trained with Monaco and even played for the Ligue 1 side during a recent mid-season training camp in Spain. The Norwegian player came off the bench during a 1-1 draw against Sevilla earlier this month. He impressed manager Philippe Clement during this time and the Belgian manager reportedly wants him as part of his squad next season. Other teams hold an interest, however, as the satellite club of Monaco, Cercle Brugge would give priority to any offer from the Principality club.


Photo by Monaco Life

Action Innocence Monaco raises record figure at Christmas tree auction

Supported by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, Action Innocence Monaco has celebrated its 20th anniversary with a record-breaking sum of €156,000 raised at its annual charity Christmas Tree Auction in the Hôtel de Paris.

In today’s world, the internet is ubiquitous in all parts of life. This is not just true for adults, but also for children who are being exposed to the internet earlier and earlier. Founded in 2002 with the support and patronage of HSH Prince Albert II and the cooperation of the Direction de la Sûreté Publique of the Principality of Monaco, Action Innocence Monaco was born in response to the ever-growing concern for parents and the wider community around how to educate both parents and children about the hidden dangers of the web, whilst also providing protection for the younger users.

Sponsors are invited to decorate the Christmas trees that go on display in the lobby of the Hôtel de Paris before being auctioned off for the charity. Photo by Monaco Life

In order to meet its objectives, the organisation’s primary means for generating funds is through an annual auction of Christmas trees, created and donated by some of the Principality’s most exclusive boutiques and artists. Each year the lobby of the Hôtel de Paris becomes the home of Action Innocence’s stunning Christmas Tree forest, displayed in full splendour for several days before the auction. This year’s charity event, held at 6pm Tuesday 13th December, broke all previous records, with an impressive €156,000 raised, thanks to the generosity of the contributing businesses and participants in this popular event.

Originally formed under the Action Innocence umbrella foundation in Geneva, in October 2014 the foundation officially became autonomous in its own right. Since year one, Louisette Lévy-Soussan Azzoaglio, President of the organisation, has organised and run the annual auction of Christmas trees to raise much-needed funds, and each year the event has grown in size and popularity, and has now become one of the most anticipated events of the season, featuring stunningly original and beautifully decorated trees, adorned with gifts and put up for sale to the highest bidder.

Photo by Monaco Life

Action Innocence Monaco chose to include just 20 trees in this year’s forest, compared to over 30 last year, in a representation of the foundation’s 20 years of existence. The organisation gave thanks to a list of partners and donors, including Boghossian, Buccellati, Cartier, Ceramiche Sambuco, Chopard, CREM (Club des Résidents Étrangers Monaco), Dionysos Wines, Hôtel de Paris, Hôtel Hermitage, Hôtel Métropole, Isabell Kristensen Couture, Ivanova Valentina Ineos Monaco Limited, L’Astemia Pentita Barolo SRL, Oneteas, Métropole Shopping, Monte Carlo Bay Hôtel Resort,  Repossi Joaillier, Riva Monaco Boat Service, Riviera Monte Carlo, Les Thermes Marins Monte Carlo, and Zegg Cerlati Panerai.

In attendance was HSH Prince Albert as well as Princess Charlene, and during his speech to thank and acknowledge contributors to the event, Action Innocence’s Vice-President Nick Danziger thanked the Prince particularly for his unwavering support of the organisation each year for the past 20 years.

Explained: H2MED project and Marseille-Barcelona hydrogen pipeline

Monaco Life explains the Marseille-Barcelona hydrogen pipeline in the context of the greater H2MED trilateral project between Portugal, Spain and France. 

A meeting between the three leaders – Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and French President Emmanuel Macron – and the European Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, at the Summit of Southern European Union Countries earlier this month has confirmed the future of the H2MED project, which will see 20 million tonnes of clean, renewable hydrogen pumped across the European Union by 2030.  

100% renewable hydrogen

The first concrete step in the H2MED project will be the so-called BarMar pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille.

The 455-kilometre submarine pipeline will be exclusively dedicated to hydrogen – two million tonnes of it annually – rather than the natural gas system that was initially proposed.

“Hydrogen is a game changer for Europe,” von der Leyen said. “We want to make hydrogen a central part of our energy system in the transition to climate neutrality, to net zero.”

In light of the Russia-Ukraine war and its “severe knock-on effects on our energy systems and our energy markets”, von der Leyen said the transition to clean energy is “not only pressing but vital”.

“It is not only good for the climate, but also important for our independence and the security of supply,” she relied. “We want to maintain our European trailblazer’s position as we build a global market for hydrogen. Hydrogen will play a major role [in the deployment of renewables]. What are our goals? We want to produce 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the European Union by 2030… and we also plan to import in addition another 10 million tonnes.”

A second pipeline between Portugal and Spain is under study, and von der Leyen has spoken of “a series of strategic corridors” that will help the bloc achieve its hydrogen goals in addition to a current agreement with Egypt and another with Morocco that is in the works.

A cost of €2.5 million, but from where?

It is hoped this first pipeline will be fully functioning by 2030 and will cost €2.5 million.

“I warmly welcome this agreement between France, Spain and Portugal,” said von der Leyen at the meeting, “because your H2Med project goes absolutely in the right direction. I welcome your imminent application to make it a project of common interest… This would make it eligible to apply for EU financial support.”

It remains to be seen how much funding the trilateral project could receive from the EU, but it has been suggested the private investment will accompany input from the three countries’ national grids.

REPowerEU plan to speed up clean energy transition

For the EU, hydrogen represents the cornerstone of a strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The REPowerEu plan to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to green energy resources was first tabled in March 2022 on the back of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a way to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels “well before 2030”.

A revised and ratified version was then released in May 2022. It is a €210 billion plan to diversify of energy supplies and accelerate the roll-out of renewable energy across the continent through a series of measures that include: doubling solar photovoltaic capacity by 2025, tackling the slow and complex application processes for major renewable projects, and a biomethane action plan to vastly increase production by the end of the decade.



Photo source: European Commission/Facebook