Formula 1: Monaco Stamp Office commemorates 80th Monaco Grand Prix

To celebrate the 80th edition of the iconic Monaco Grand Prix, which will take place between 25th and 28th May, the Monaco Stamp Office is releasing a set of commemorative stamps.

Brawn’s 2009 win remembered 

On 7th March, three of these new stamps were issued by the Monaco Stamp Office, each one commemorating a classic car. One of those will be dedicated to the Brawn car, which won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2009.

In Brawn’s one and only season as a constructor, they won the World Championship with Jenson Button, who would go on to become World Champion later that year, taking the chequered flag in Monte-Carlo. Teammate Rubens Barichello took second in an impressive Brawn one-two.

Brabham features heavily

Jack Brabham, a future three-time World Champion, won his first race at Monaco in 1959, becoming the first Australian to win a Formula 1 race. The Aussie later went on to create his own team, which he drove for. Brabham almost won his second Monaco Grand Prix in 1970, but crashed on the final lap.

Photo by Monaco Stamp OfficeA stamp that features a picture of Brabham, as well as another stamp that features the Aussie behind the wheel of the Brabham BT 19, which he himself designed, is available as a pair.

Photo by Monaco Stamp OfficeThe Brabham BT26, designed in 1968 will also be represented in the new issues, designed by Fabrice Monaci, and which are now available. It was the first single-seater to have aerofoils.

A further commemorative stamp will be available from 28th April, a month before the 80th edition of the Monaco Grand Prix, and has been designed by David Maraskin.

Photo by Monaco Stamp Office

Where can I buy them?

At release, there will be 40,000 of each stamp. The issues will be on sale at the Office des Timbres, the Musée des Timbres et des Monnaies, the post offices and philatelic counters of the Principality, via Monaco stamp-dealers and at the Carré d’Encre in Paris.


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Photo by Office des Timbres de Monaco

WhatsApp agrees to conform to EU consumer protection rules

whatsapp eu

WhatsApp, the popular mobile messaging app, has agreed to comply with the European Union’s terms on consumer protection, which include prohibiting the company from sharing personal data with third parties and establishing clearer terms of service.  

Consumer protection has become a priority for EU authorities, and they have been taking real steps to ensure the public is not affected by unfair practices or fuzzy intentions from companies operating on the continent.  

One company who has been in the crosshairs is the widely used messaging app WhatsApp. In January 2022, the European Commission’s Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Network sent a letter to WhatsApp following an alert by powerful European consumer organisation BEUC regarding claims by eight members that the messaging app was using unfair practices in their terms of service and privacy policy updates.  

A second letter was sent in June, which reiterated the request that consumers must be clearly informed about WhatsApp’s business model as well as if the company receives payments from users’ personal data. A later discussion found that WhatsApp does not share personal information for advertising purposes, but it did make them relook at other aspects of the business and model that could be improved.  

For the future, the company will now explain changes to user contracts and how their rights will be affected, if at all, include the option of rejecting updated service terms as easily as it is to accept them, and make sure updates can be accessed and reviewed conveniently by consumers, without users being repeatedly notified if they choose not to be.  

The CPC will monitor how WhatsApp progresses in the implementation of these changes, reserving the right to enforce compliance, using fines if necessary.  

These measures come on the heels of a new EU study on dark patterns, which revealed how numerous online companies employ tactics that mislead clients, force them to make snap-judgement purchases, or to make unsubscribing difficult.  


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Photo source: Markus Spiske for Unsplash 


Grand new Café de Paris project delayed

café de paris reopen

Reconstruction works on the iconic Café de Paris in Casino Square are taking longer than expected, putting the highly anticipated project back a few months.

It was announced in March 2022 that the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) would embark on an ambitious €40 million remodelling of the Café de Paris, expanding its footprint considerably to include a new rooftop restaurant called Amazonico, luxury boutiques, as well as the renowned Café de Paris Brasserie.

But as the new Chairman of the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Group, Stéphane Valeri, announced to the managers of the construction site this week, the company’s projection of 16 months for a delivery date in July 2023, was “optimistic”.

In a press release, the SBM said that the open date “did not take into account possible setbacks which could be encountered in this type of construction. These uncertainties were added to by the difficulties linked to the international context, relating to the supply times for many materials.”

The global supply chain for the building industry suffered significant disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the ongoing war in Ukraine has further strained the supply of certain raw materials in Europe.

The opening of the Brasserie Café de Paris has therefore been postponed to the end of October 2023, and that of the Amazonico restaurant “to a later date”.

“At the instigation of the President-Delegate, all the departments of the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer group are hard at work to optimise this timeframe, both in terms of the final conduct of the site and in terms of management personnel provided for the operation of these establishments,” concluded the company in its statement.

The Brasserie of the Café de Paris will remain in its temporary position in the Salle Empire of the Hôtel de Paris for the duration of the work.


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Welcome to the jungle: First look at the Café de Paris’ new rooftop restaurant, the Amazónico



Photo of the new-look Café de Paris courtesy SBM


Princess Charlene: A woman of many facets

On this International Women’s Day, we celebrate Monaco’s most public female, Princess Charlene, and reveal how there is so much more to this individualistic woman than meets the eye.

It’s so easy to look at people in the spotlight and reduce them to a one-dimensional being, out of reach and only there for the purpose that the media and the public has given them.

This is certainly the case for Monaco’s Princess Charlene. Far from just a figurehead for the state, she is an Olympian, a wife, an animal lover, and a humanitarian who is passionate about children and children’s water safety.

Her most natural role, though, seems to be mother. The camera catches the unmistakable loving looks and gestures that show what a dedicated mum she is, beaming with pride at her twins Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella’s antics and adorable charms.

Photo source: Palais Princier de Monaco

What else do we know about the Princess of Monaco?

Born on 25th January 1978 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Africa as Charlene Wittstock, she emigrated to South Africa at age 12. She is the eldest of three children, with her two brothers Gareth and Sean coming along in 1982 and 1983 respectively, and her parents Lynette and Michael giving them all a solid and loving family life.

As an accomplished swimmer, she won the South African Championships by the age of 18. She participated in the 2000 Olympic Games for her country and her team came in a respectable fifth place. That same year, she won the gold for her 200m backstroke at the Marenostrum swim meet in Monaco, where she first met her Prince.

In 2002, Charlene won three gold medals at the swimming World Cup in the 50m and 100m crawl and the 4x100m relay and the silver at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in the 4x100m medley relay. She stopped competing in 2007, after qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.

On 1st July, 2011, she married Prince Albert II of Monaco in a civil ceremony, with the religious ceremony taking place one day later.

Their children, Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès, were born two minutes apart on 10th December 2014 at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre in Monaco.

Photo source: Palais Princier de Monaco

What is less known about Princess Charlene?

These are the facts, most of which are familiar to all, but what is less known perhaps is that Charlene has spent much of her adult life dedicated to service. In December, Princess Charlene celebrated the 10th anniversary of her namesake Foundation, which she created to “show children the way through the values of sport and solidarity, and reduce deaths by drowning worldwide”. Since 2012, her Foundation has supported 510 projects in 43 countries, benefiting one million people.

She has given swimming lessons to underprivileged children throughout her career and travelled extensively to support charitable works around the globe, often with her husband, but sometimes solo.

She famously spent time in South Africa in 2021 on the anti-poaching campaign Chasing Zero, despite being ill, where she not only actively participated in de-horning rhinos to save them from poachers, but spoke out about the evils of those who commit these atrocities for benefit.

Late last year, the princess took on another role, president of the SPA Monaco, laying the first stone for its new home in Eze. She is also the patron of AS Rugby Monaco.

Princess Charlene at the 2022 Christmas gift giving event at the Palace with her son, Prince Jacques. Photo source: Palais Princier de Monaco

Princess Charlene’s official duties in Monaco

As Princess of Monaco and wife of the Sovereign, the 45-year-old has a busy schedule of official duties, from opening a crèche and handing out Christmas gifts Monegasque children, to visiting new mothers at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre.

She attends high-profile events in support of her charity, such as the Bal de Noël, and represents the Palace alongside her family at various religious events, like the Sainte Devote celebrations.

Princess Charlene’s personal interests

Charlene isn’t all work and no play, though. According to her palace biography, she is an avid surfer, loves hiking and is a fan of contemporary art.

Her light-hearted side comes out in force in her family snaps, which she shares on social media, of moments like when Gabriella decided to give herself and her brother pre-back-to-school haircuts, the twins dressed up for Halloween, or sharing unguarded moments at home.

So, on this International Women’s Day, we wish to celebrate Princess Charlene of Monaco: a leading member of the Princely Family, a loving mother, a philanthropist, a dedicated athlete, and a strong and influential woman.

By Stephanie Horsman and Cassandra Tanti. Feature photo courtesy Palais Princier.

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Monaco yachting: Another record year for the books

Following the significant and unprecedented interruption of Covid-19 and a challenging international economy, the global yachting sector not only recovered in 2022, but thrived.

The global yachting sector continued to demonstrate impressive resilience in 2022, despite facing the ongoing fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as new economic challenges. This is particularly true in Europe, where over 60% of the global yachting industry is concentrated in the region, with Monaco remaining a central hub thanks to continued government investment and support.

After a tumultuous 2020, the global yachting industry saw an impressive rebound in 2021, with many wealthy individuals turning to yachting as a way to enjoy socially-distanced vacations. At the same time, post-Covid, there seemed to be a greater appreciation that life is uncertain and there was even greater emphasis placed on spending quality leisure time with loved ones.

The sector was valued at $8.91 billion, according to a recent report of global yacht sales, with the United States, Italy and France leading the market. In 2022, the market saw much of the same, with North America continuing as the fastest-growing market worldwide and Asia Pacific emerging as the next promising regional segment, both in yacht brokerage and new build sales.

According to Monaco-based brokerage firm Northrop & Johnson (N&J), the superyacht industry has approximately doubled in size in recent years  , with many brokerage firms reporting particularly successful results in the years following Covid-19. Many of the most reputable superyacht shipyards have also seen unusually high demand post-pandemic. According to the Global Order Book published by Boat International Media, the number of superyachts under construction in 2022 superseded the previous year, with 1,024 new build orders signed in total in 2022, compared to 821 in 2021—an increase of 24.7%. These shipyards also report double-digit growth and construction backlogs beyond 2026.

N&J, in particular, outperformed the sector growth enormously, having sold over 41% more of its own listings than its nearest competitor and selling almost one yacht every 48 hours in 2021.   In 2022, the company enjoyed its most successful year in history.

“2022 was a landmark year for the global superyacht industry, for yachting in Monaco and for Northrop & Johnson,” said Patrick Coote, Managing Director EU of N&J. “More yacht owners chose to list their yachts for sale with us than any other brokerage company worldwide. Sales, charters yacht management and crew recruitment were all off the charts. We were all expecting a gradual slow-down but demand remained high throughout last year and the buyers just kept on coming,”

In parallel with the strong sales of both new and second-hand luxury yachts, the yacht charter sector also saw impressive results. Thanks to consistent growth in the High Net Worth (HNW) population as well as the post-lockdown revenge travel phenomenon, the demand for superyacht charters has never been higher. Zelda Swindell, Charter Marketing Manager for N&J notes that the global charter fleet is now coming under increased pressure not only from rising demand but also due to superyacht owners who are increasingly reluctant to put their vessels out to charter, preferring to be onboard themselves, thereby creating a supply shortage.

“It’s really a seller’s market at the moment,” Zelda explained. “For owners looking to put their boat out to charter, there are so many opportunities. Charterers are desperately looking for good boats in an increasingly limited market, so it’s certainly an easier sell than usual!”

Monaco’s place in yachting

Having established its position as a significant international yachting hub, the Monegasque government continued to provide significant support to the sector. The last 12 months saw the local industry reach new heights, with over 1,400 yachting-related jobs in the Principality alone and an estimated annual contribution of over €750 million to the local economy.

“Yachting is a key part of Monaco’s commercial activity, not only providing revenue to the State but one of the major employers and a big draw for tourists,” said Ed Dickinson, a Yacht Broker based in the Principality. “I anticipate Monaco’s status as the yachting capital of the world will continue well into the future.”

Looking ahead

As for what the next 12 months will bring, industry insiders and commentators all agree that sustainability will play a key role in shaping the sector.

“New, younger clients are undoubtedly more environmentally-aware. Their requirements, coupled with increasingly-strict legislation, means that the designers, builders and crew are having to adapt to new ways of working, new materials, new designs and new technologies with less of a carbon-footprint and a smaller negative environmental impact,” concluded Patrick Coote.


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Photo source: Northrop & Johnson


Monaco “turns its eyes to the future” at MEWS 2023 Conference

mews monaco

This May, Monaco will host the 2023 Metaverse Entertainment World Summit and Awards Show at One Monte-Carlo alongside a charity gala and ground-breaking exhibitions. 

The Metaverse Entertainment World Summit and Awards Show (MEWS), held under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, is running from 3rd to 5th May at One Monte-Carlo. On the agenda: exhibits, networking events, concepts, talks and experiences designed bring the ideas of tomorrow here to us today.  

The organisers say it will be “a highly curated conference [with] break-out sessions, NFT, metaverse, AI, AR, tech and immersive experiences” centred on this fast-growing world.  

One exhibitor is Phygicode, a company who has labelled itself as an incubator for brand exploration. It will be showcasing a one-of-a-kind piece of clothing that will be reimagined in phygital form. Camille Louise Jewellery is partnering on the experience and will be collaborating with Phygicode to create something completely new on the fashion front.   

A charity gala and awards show will take place on 4th May at the Hotel Hermitage to celebrate the MEWS International Metaverse Awards Winners for 2023. The new laureats, comprised of 10 break-out metaverse and web3 talents, will be selected by a panel of global experts including: the founder of Art Day, Georg Bak; Martha Boeckenfeld, the Dean of the Metaverse Academy; and the CEO of Listen Charity, Tony Hollingsworth. Michelin-starred Yannick Alléno will provide the gourmet element of the night, which will be punctuated by a web3 illiusionist. 

The basic definition of a metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social and economic connections. It is what many “in the know” believe will be the next iteration of the internet; a place where people can go and inhabit 3D virtual spaces, having experiences they could not in the physical world. As of now, it is not yet at the full-scale virtual reality stage, but is still popular and habitually accessed by consumers via niche apps for entertainment and games. 

To be part of this exciting new world, to buy tickets or for more information, please click here.


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Photo credit: Ed Wright / MEWS 2022