Which celebs were at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix?

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix is always a magnet for the biggest celebrities, and this year was no different with Tom Holland and Neymar amongst those to descend on the Principality for race day on Sunday.

As always, the Princely Family were in attendance for the event, playing their customary central role in the trophy ceremony above Boulevard Albert 1er after the race.

Photo by Prince’s Palace

Prince Albert II was joined on the podium by Princesse Charlene and handed the trophies to race winner Max Verstappen, as well as second-placed Fernando Alonso.

Whilst Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques weren’t involved in the podium ceremony, they were nonetheless present on the grid pre-race and enjoyed the spectacle in what was one of the most-exciting Monaco Grand Prix in recent history, largely thanks to a mid-race rain shower.

Photo of Charles Leclerc and Prince Albert II by Prince’s Palace

However, a number of celebrities from beyond the borders of the Principality were also present. It is customary for a celebrity to wave the chequered flag at the end of the race, and this year the honour went to Tom Holland. The British actor is arguably most well known for playing the role of Peter Parker in the Marvel’s Spiderman series.

He wasn’t the only Hollywood star in attendance. Orlando Bloom, known for his roles in the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean series, was present during a star-studded grid walk pre-race. Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and James Marsden were also spotted at Sunday’s Grand Prix.

David Harbour was seen paying a trip to the Red Bull garage. The American actor, most well-known for his role in Stranger Things, posed alongside Christian Horner pre-race and was joined by Kylie Minogue and former tennis player Maria Sharapova. Comedians Chris Rock and Romesh Ranganathan were also spotted in Monte-Carlo over the weekend.

Neymar a controversial attendee of the Monaco GP

Neymar was perhaps the most controversial attendee. The Brazilian forward is currently injured and missed Paris Saint-Germain’s title celebrations in Strasbourg on Saturday night. Speaking after the achievement, PSG manager Christophe Galtier said that the player had difficulties making the trip to the Alsace region, but he had no issues making the much longer trip to the Principality for Sunday’s race.

Neymar’s presence at the Monaco Grand Prix has reportedly irked the management at PSG, according to L’Équipe. The former Barcelona forward has been heavily linked with a departure this summer. PSG teammate Marco Verratti, also linked with a departure was also present, as was FIFA President Gianni Infantino on the grid.

With the long-term future of the Monaco Grand Prix still seemingly in the balance, Sunday provided a timely reminder as to why it is still the jewel in Formula One’s crown with stars in the stands, and plenty of excitement and tension on the track.


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Photos credit: Eric Mathon / Palais princier

Artist Ramtin Zad’s Last Ceremony on show this June

ramtin zad

A collection of works by Iranian artist Ramtin Zad that feature mythical and fictional characters in contemporary settings will be on exhibition at the Kamil Art Gallery in June. 

Artist Ramtin Zad was a graphic designer by trade, but turned his hand to fine art in order to share the challenges of everyday living that humans endure.  

Using fictional characters such as Pinocchio, Don Quixote and Romeo and Juliet, his approach is to “restate the story of human condition with humour, tragedy, lies and romance, while engaging with both historical and contemporary narratives”.  

Tehran-based Zad admits to being obsessed with timelessness – the themes of life, death and resurrection are recurrent throughout his work – but it is nature that is his biggest source of inspiration.  

Last Ceremony, this new exhibit, was curated by London-based Fereshte Moosavi, who has also led two other similar exhibitions in Monaco in recent years: Contemporary Iran: A Historiographical Review on the Relation Between Art and Public at Art Monte-Carlo and Animal Party at Kamil Art Gallery. 

Last Ceremony will be on display from 6th to 26th June at the Kamil Art Gallery on Avenue Princesse Grace. A private vernissage will take place on 5th June. 


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 editor@monacolife.net.  


Photo of Ramtin Zad’s Romeo & Juliette, 2021

“Choking on plastics”: Talks of a global treaty underway in Paris

With cities producing an estimated 75% of all plastic waste, the Paris International Forum to End Plastic Pollution in Cities summit is seeking to unify solutions and establish a treaty for action.  

“Our planet is choking on plastics”, said the United Nations in a recent report. The situation is at its worst in large urban centres, where populations are dense and consumption is higher.

On the back of this damning statement came the first ever Paris International Forum to End Plastic Pollution in Cities summit on Friday 26th May. It was an in-person and online event that gathered together mayors from every continent as well as scientists, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and intergovernmental and philanthropic associations and organisations that are committed to fighting plastic pollution.  

It is being followed up with meetings held from Monday 29th May to Friday 2nd June with the 55-nation coalition of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which was set up in December 2022 by the UN.  

The goal is to develop an official plastics treaty aimed specifically at limiting production and favouring recycling. 


In early May, the UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP) released a proposal to reduce plastic waste by 80% by 2040 that focused on three key areas: reusing, recycling and finding solid alternatives to plastic packaging. This approach is being picked up for the potential contents of the treaty, which could also include outright bans on certain plastics that are hard to recycle as well as making improvements to waste management.  

The UNEP report identified 13,000 chemicals associated with plastic production, over 3,000 of which it considers to be dangerous, and with many nations already citing plastics as a public health risk, this aspect will be addressed by treaty-makers over the course of this week too. 

“We have a responsibility to protect human health from the most harmful polymers and chemicals of concern through the treaty,” said Rwanda’s Environment Minister, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, who is the co-chair of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution. 

“Real solutions to the plastics crisis will require global controls on chemicals in plastics and significant reductions in plastic production,” echoed Dr Therese Karlsson, a science advisor with the International Pollutants Elimination Network. 

There are still issues that need to be resolved before any treaty came become reality. These include figuring out how to finance new policies as well as how to implement and police them once they are enacted.  

What all agree on, however, is that a solution to the world’s plastic’s problem can’t come soon enough.  


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Monaco joins ambitious international treaty to end plastic pollution

Photo source: Naja Bertolt Jensen for Unsplash

Venturi Astrolab’s lunar rover unveiled to Prince Albert of Monaco

Prince Albert II of Monaco has been given an exclusive first look at the lunar rover FLEX at Venturi Group’s Monegasque headquarters. 

The Prince was welcomed on Saturday 27th May by the Venturi Group President, Monegasque entrepreneur Gildo Pastor.

FLEX (Flexible Logistics and Exploration) will be the largest and most advanced lunar vehicle ever made. It will be landed on the surface of the Moon by American firm SpaceX in 2026.

The rover has been developed by Venturi Astrolab (USA) in collaboration with Venturi Lab (Switzerland) and Venturi (Monaco).


Video: From Monaco to the Moon, Venturi FLEX Rover joins SpaceX mission

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Palme d’Or and politics: French female director wins at Cannes

Justine Triet won this year’s coveted Palme d’Or with Anatomy of a Fall before using her acceptance speech to come down heavily on the French government and its policies. 

This is the second time that the French director has had a film make the shortlist at Cannes, after her dark comedy Sibyl made the cut in 2019.

Anatomy of a Fall, her latest cinematic offering and the winner of this year’s Palme d’Or, is a “courtroom drama murder mystery” starring Sandra Hüller in the lead role of a successful wife accused of her husband’s murder.  

After accepting the award from Hollywood icon Jane Fonda, Triet turned her acceptance speech into a political statement and attacked the French government for its “repression” of the recent protests against changes to the nation’s pension system. 

Repression and the “breaking” of France’s cultural exception 

She said that her country – Triet is from the northwest of France – had “suffered from historic protests over the reform of the pension system [but] these protests were denied… repressed in a shocking way”. 

Triet also criticised government’s cultural policy, saying that “the commercialisation of culture [that] this neoliberal government supports is in the process of breaking France’s cultural exception”. 

In reply, France’s Culture Minister Rima Abdul posted on Twitter that she was pleased to see the Palme d’Or go to Triet, but was “flabbergasted” by her remarks and suggested that Triet’s film wouldn’t have “seen the light of day” without France’s film financing model. 

That wasn’t the end of the drama for Triet, who appeared to forget the scroll awarded with the Palme d’Or prize as she left the stand. In footage circulating on social media, Fonda, who had handed Triet with her award minutes before, can be seen tapping the director on her back in an attempt to give her the scroll. With no acknowledgement from Triet, Fonda then seems to have flung the scroll at Triet, hitting her on the back of the head with it.  

Other winners at the 76th Cannes Film Festival 

In the feature length film section, the Grand Prix went to Jonathan Glazer and The Zone of Interest while Trần Anh Hùng took home the award for Best Director for The Pot au Feu. Merve Dizdar won Best Performance by an Actress for her part in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s About Dry Grasses and Koji Yakusho won Best Performance by an Actor for Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days. 

The Un Certain Regard prize, which focuses of arthouse productions and “artistically daring films” went to Molly Manning Walker’s How To Have Sex. The Best Director award in this category went to Asmae El Moudir for The Mother of All Lies.  

Please click here for the full list of winners at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.  


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Photo: Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet


Grand Prix: Monaco curse strikes Leclerc brothers during frustrating home weekend

Charles Leclerc at the Monaco Grand Prix

Both Charles and Arthur Leclerc endured a difficult weekend on the streets they call home, with neither achieving their desired result at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Monaco curse continues. Charles Leclerc is still yet to win his home Grand Prix, although perhaps this year didn’t present the best opportunity to do so. The Scuderia Ferrari is lacking in pace, and even on a track that neutralises the Red Bull’s speed, Max Verstappen managed to continue the manufacturer’s winning run, which stretches back into last season.

Leclerc’s costly penalty

Leclerc’s Monaco Grand Prix was written off before it really began. The Monegasque was just over one-tenth off pole position, but he ultimately started Sunday’s race in sixth after having been adjudged to have blocked Lando Norris.

The infringement came in Q3 and Leclerc, who had just finished his final lap, blocked McLaren’s Norris in the tunnel. Whilst both drivers agreed that no action could have been safely taken due to the poor lighting in the tunnel, and Leclerc reacted in a “sensible way” to the blue flag, Norris’ lap was clearly hindered, and Ferrari were in the wrong for not informing him of Norris’ imminent approach.

“At home, it always feels like there’s something wrong”

“What I can do is apologise on behalf of the team, figure out how to do a better job, and improve communication between Charles and the pit wall,” said Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur post-race.

Charles Leclerc by Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Overtaking is notoriously difficult in Monaco, and Leclerc was consigned to battling into the midfield. The mid-race rain presented an opportunity for Leclerc and for Ferrari, but it is one that wasn’t seized. The Monegasque driver retained his sixth position in the mayhem that ensued the spring shower, but nothing more.

“Not the race we wanted. It’s disappointing because again, at home, it always feels like there’s something wrong,” said Leclerc after Sunday’s sixth position.

A point-less weekend for Arthur Leclerc

Charles’ brother Arthur didn’t fair any better. In fact, the younger of the Leclerc racers didn’t even score a point in his first weekend on his home streets. In an interview attended by Monaco Life, Charles said that he had offered his younger brother advice, but it did little to help the DAMS driver.

During Saturday’s Formula Two sprint race, Leclerc could only manage 15th after having crashed on the Anthony Noghes section during qualifying. That incident on Friday set in motion a difficult weekend, which on Sunday ended in an early retirement.

Arthur Leclerc by Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

The Monegasque lost his brakes on lap nine of the race, meaning that he loses ground in the championship battle, falling from seventh to 10th, and not adding to his 34 points.

“A frustrating weekend, but it was great to experience the track and very special for me to drive here at home for the first time,” said Arthur following his retirement.

The Monaco curse clearly affects both Leclercs and the two drivers will be looking to improve on their results next weekend in Barcelona.


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Photo from Scuderia Ferrari Press Office