French union threatens to cut power to Monaco GP and Cannes Film Festival

In a direct threat to the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival this May, the French union CGT has threatened to shut off the power in protest against President Macron’s controversial pension reform.

After French President Emmanuel Macron’s called for “100 days of appeasement and unity”, the CGT union representing the energy sector workers has called for “100 days of anger, 100 days to win!”

In a statement, the union promised more protest action during the month of May, with electricity disruptions to major cultural and sporting events.

“The Cannes festival, the Monaco GP, Roland-Garros, the Avignon festival could end up in the dark,” says a communication by the CGT Union.

After widespread protests on Monday 1st May, the country’s labour day, the union has called for a national day of “Anger in Energy” for Wednesday 3rd May. The Cannes Film Festival is due to take place from 16th to 27th May, while the Monaco Grand Prix will be held from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th May.

“FNME- CGT, its unions, its union members, its Activists, the ‘Robin Hoods’, will continue to be the defenders of the general interest and one of the most effective tools!,” says the union.

“Our aim is to make ourselves heard locally”

Speaking to French news channel BFMTV, CGT-FMNE Federal Secretary Fabrice Coudour confirmed the plans to disrupt public events.

“We’re showing that we’re not turning the page. We’re still angry and we want to express it where it’s possible, particularly in public events,” he said.

“Our aim isn’t to stop them going ahead but rather to make ourselves heard locally and by elected politicians. We don’t doubt that even at the Cannes Film Festival or elsewhere there are personalities who share our point of view,” he added.

Last month, more than 300 leading figures from the French film and TV world signed a petition decrying the reforms.

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  


Photo courtesy Lion Stone Events and Ultimate Driving Tours


Ninja Box at Espace Léo Ferré to release the inner warrior

The Monaco Mairie has organised a fun new event in May, the Ninja Box, where kids and teens can put their warrior skills to the test.

Inspired by the famous French TV series Ninja Warrior: Le Parcours des héros, the Mairie has organised for two sporting courses to be set up in the multipurpose room.

One set of obstacles will be adapted for children aged three to eight, while the other will accommodate those aged nine to 14.

Maurane Jélic, winner of the previous edition of Ninja Warrior, will be on hand for two performances during theday.

It is a great opportunity for young people to take up the challenge and see what they are capable of achieving on the “hero’s journey”.

The event is aimed at young Monegasques, residents and schoolchildren of the Principality aged from three to 14. Participants may be accompanied by a guest from outside of Monaco.

Single price ticket is €15, and for the youngest participants, a parent or accompanying person will have free access to the room.

The number of places is limited. Tickets will be available soon at Espace Léo Ferré and on site the day of the event.

Ninja Box will be held on Saturday 13th May from 10am to 6pm at Espace Léo Ferré.


Do you have an event in Monaco or the French Riviera that you would like us to include in our What’s On section and events calendar? Please email  


Photo source: Ninja Box


Sailing: Yacht Club members dominate Cagliari-Monaco podium


As the first yachts sailed into Monegasque waters, the Yacht Club de Monaco celebrated a solid one-two-three on the podium of the inaugural Cagliari-Monaco offshore race.  

Departing the ancient Sardinian capital of Cagliari on Monday 24th April, the various teams and vessels competing in the first ever Cagliari-Monaco offshore race were treated to four “idyllic” days of sailing as they headed 360 nautical miles up the coastlines of two of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful islands towards the Principality. 

An “idyllic” offshore course 

First passing Sardinia and then Corsica, it was only a matter of time before the race winner got out in front. Adamo Spinsante was Skipper aboard Yacht Club de Monaco member Adalberto Miani’s Botta Dritta. The vessel would eventually enter Monegasque waters and cross the finish line in the early hours of the morning on Thursday 27th April with a time of two days, 16 hours, 50 minutes and 46 seconds.  

The Botta Dritta team celebrate their first place win in front of the Yacht Club de Monaco. Photo credit: YCM

Close behind was another Yacht Club de Monaco member: Roberto Tamburelli on Furibonda. Behind him was Carlo Falcone on Mariella, who was also representing the club. It was an excellent result for the prestigious establishment, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.  

“It’s fantastic to see Botta Dritta from Yacht Club de Monaco win this race,” said YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri. “Especially as two other club members completed the podium.” 

More to come later this year 

The race was organised by the Lega Navale Italiana de Cagliari, the Yacht Club Porto Rotondo and the Yacht Club de Monaco under the aegis of the Italian Sailing Federation and as part of the Cagliari-Montecarlo Sea Week. 

The Yacht Club de Monaco has a packed schedule of events and races this year, but the next time its offshore racers will be out again is between 22nd and 27th August for the 18th Palermo-Monaco race.  

Please click here for more information about upcoming events.  


Do you have an event in Monaco or the French Riviera that you would like us to include in our What’s On section and events calendar? Please email  


Photo credit: Yacht Club de Monaco

King Charles Coronation: Who will join Prince Albert and Princess Charlene for the official ceremony?

Monaco’s Princely couple has made it onto a short guest list for the 6th May Coronation of King Charles III, placing them amongst a select number of European royal families to be invited.  

The Coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey was always going to be a noteworthy occasion, but for many, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is the first such event to happen in 70 years, the last being when Charles’ mother, Elizabeth II, came to the throne in 1953. 

The late Queen’s coronation saw 8,000 guests invited, but the new king has opted for a far more pared-down gathering, with only 2,000 people due to attend. The list also has a noticeably less “British-only” vibe as there will be several important European royal households present in a tradition-busting move.  


Of course, the British royal family will be out in force with the Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate, as well as their three children in the front row, and Prince Harry – sans Meghan and their two children – Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward also front and centre for the big day.  

A few key politicians were invited, including current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and a smattering of his cabinet. Spaces have also been reserved for all living former prime ministers. 

King Charles has spent the vast majority of his life in the service of causes that meant something to him. So, in another break from tradition, he has decided to invite members of the public who have distinguished themselves through community service or charitable works.  

In this capacity, over 1,250 volunteers and young people have been invited to attend either the coronation service or adjunct events. Buckingham Palace has also said that 450 “Covid heroes” who served the people of the UK during the pandemic have been invited to the service at Westminster Abbey. 


Royal watchers will be in heaven given the parade of international heads of state who have accepted invites.  

Included on this prestigious list are Monaco’s Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, who will be attending without their children Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, although the Prince recently told People, “I’ll bring them [back] any little ‘trinket’ I can put my hands on”. 

Amongst the other royals confirmed to attend are Crown Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko of Japan, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, Prince Frederik and Princess May of Denmark, Māori King Tuheitia and his wife Makau ariki Atawhai of New Zealand, King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit Hoiby of Norway, and King William-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. 

The official invitation to King Charles and Queen Camilla’s upcoming coronation. Copyright Buckingham Palace/AP

‘Queen Camilla’ 

The coronation invitation confirms that after the ceremony, King Charles’ wife Camilla will be officially known as ‘Queen Camilla’ instead of ‘Queen Consort’. Just over a year ago, Queen Elizabeth II gave her public endorsement for Camilla to be known  as Queen Consort, as opposed to Princess Consort.

While no members of the Camilla’s have publicly confirmed their attendance, her children Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes are expected to attend, her sister Annabel Elliot, her nieces and nephews, and three of her grandsons and one of her grand-nephews who will serve as pages of honour. Also in attendance will be her ex-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.

The invitation for the coronation is full of nature references, representing the environmental campaigning of the new King. Buckingham Palace says the design is a symbol of rebirth and spring and a perfect celebration for the start of a new royal reign for King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Where to watch King Charles III coronation?

In Monaco, the coronation will be televised at Slammers Bar from 11am, with special coronation prices on all drinks until 5pm.


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  


Photo credit: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco 



Football: Monaco’s Champions League aspirations dwindling

Monaco Champions League

AS Monaco suffered a heavy defeat against Montpellier (0-4) at the Stade Louis II, conceding further ground in the race to secure Champions League football for next season.

A reaction was needed – and expected – from Philippe Clement’s side after last weekend’s damming loss against RC Lens (0-3). Whilst there were signs of intent in the opening exchanges, they dissipated quickly, and after going one behind through a goal from Arnaud Nordin, there was, in the words of the Belgian manager, “an implosion”.

The team were suddenly incapable of making the simplest passes. In trying to fight fires across a rain-drenched Louis II pitch, the structure of the team evaporated.

“We have to look at ourselves in the mirror.”

Clement’s triple substitution at half-time had no effect on proceedings. Quite the opposite. Elye Wahi continued to wreak havoc and set up Faitout Maouassa for Montpellier’s second.

Photo of Montpellier’s celebrations by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

Nordin then doubled his account with another curled effort and Englishman Stephy Mavididi scored in back-to-back games to round off the scoring to a chorus of boos.

When it rains it pours: Monaco have conceded seven goals with no reply in their last two games, and their hopes of reaching the podium dwindle.

Minds elsewhere?

“After the first goal, there was a mental implosion,” bemoaned Clement. “Some no longer believed, others tried to force things. We lost everything: structure, aggression and strength in the duels… We have to look at ourselves in the mirror after this match. It’s up to us to bounce back and show that we deserve to be in Europe,” he continued.

The Belgian coach also suggested that repeating such poor collective performances could have a negative effect on the ambitions of some players, who are looking for a “big transfer” in the summer. Axel Disasi, Youssouf Fofana and Vanderson have notably been linked with moves.

“It’s important for the players [to bounce back] as well. If we continue like this, it will be difficult for them to make the big transfers, which are probably in some of their heads now. Today, they’re here and under contract. No one, be it a player or a member of staff, can leave the stadium with a good feeling,” said Clement.

Monaco were looking ahead, but are perhaps now looking over their shoulders. By Tuesday, third place may be eight points away, whilst Lille are just two points behind. Their fourth place is under threat, and only a win will do against already-relegated Angers next Sunday.


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 


Photo by AS Monaco 


The rare blue diamond that’s expected to sell for €23 million

After a global premiere appearance at this year’s Met Gala, the Bulgari Laguna Blu diamond will head to Switzerland to be auctioned at Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week.  

For anyone with a spare €23 million and a love of rare and exotic diamonds, Sotheby’s has just the thing. 

Created in 1970, the Bulgari Laguna Blu diamond has been in the same European collection since it was first sold. Now it’s going back on the market and is expected to fetch somewhere in the region of €23 million.  


The gorgeous pear-shaped piece will have its global premiere on 1st May at the Met Gala before being exhibited and then sold during Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week later this month.  

“The Bulgari Laguna Blu diamond is bound to become the object of any collector’s dream and we are delighted that it will be first premiered at the always highly-anticipated Met Gala’s red carpet,” said Olivier Wagner, Head of Jewellery at Sotheby’s Geneva. 

The gem, whose colour is described as a vibrant oceanic blue, is extremely uncommon. Blue diamonds are amongst the rarest of coloured diamonds, no matter what size. To find one as large as this in the Fancy Vivid Blue category is almost unheard of, with only 10 over 10 carats having gone to auction in the past few decades. Of those 10, Sotheby’s sold four.  

“The Bulgari Laguna Blu is an extraordinary gem in every way. At 11.16 carats, this unmodified pear-shaped blue diamond has received the highest grade for a blue diamond by the Gemological Institute of America, acknowledging its mesmerising colour and hue,” added Wagner. “This true wonder of nature was selected by Bulgari, the prestigious Roman Jewellery Maison, over 50 years ago, to create a ring for a discerning private collector who has kept it ever since.”  


As it never left the original owners, it has only ever been seen in real life by a handful of people. It was created before modern gem cutting technology, giving it that special touch only hand-cut jewels own.  

A few other rarities up for grabs at Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week are a beautiful white pear-shaped diamond weighing 12.08 carats and a magnificent a step-cut diamond weighing 18.78 carats. They are expected to go for €544,000 to €635,000 and €815,000 to €1.27 million respectively. 

The Laguna Blu and the other pieces will be exhibited at the Mandarin Oriental Geneva from 11th May before the auction.  


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 


Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s