A solemn Prince Albert delivers globally conscious New Year’s speech

Standing alongside Princess Charlene, Prince Albert II of Monaco cut a sombre figure against the glittering backdrop of the Grimaldi family Christmas tree as he delivered his New Year speech.

“Only time, and the necessary benefit of hindsight, can say how we will collectively come to remember the events of the past year,” he began his speech, published on the Palace social networks on 31st December. “Whether on the world stage or in our personal lives, the year will have brought its share of happiness, but also trials, tribulations, and tragedies. The Princess and I want to express our full support, and our deepest compassion and affection, for all those affected by bereavement, suffering, illness and loneliness.” 

“We have a shared duty to acknowledge our good fortune” 

Dressed in a simple navy blue suit while Princess Charlene opted for sophisticated glamour with a burgundy velvet gown, Prince Albert continued, “These are difficult times, and their consequences are not yet clear to see. Our country has been spared many of the upheavals affecting the world. So we have a shared duty to acknowledge our good fortune, and an ambition too, to remain united, by protecting our institutional model, our social and economic achievements. We must also show our gratitude for these advantages by working together, to pass on what we have inherited to future generations.”  

See more: Prince Albert, Princess Charlene and their twins sparkle on 2023 Christmas card

After beginning with a more global view, the second half of Prince Albert’s speech then focused in on Monaco. 

“For the Principality, 2023 has also been a year of celebrations, with commemorations marking the centenary of the birth of my father, Prince Rainier III. My family and I are delighted to have shared these moments with you. They remind me how his reign modernised our country by making Monaco a prosperous and dynamic state, outward-looking and active in the concerns of nations.”   

The Prince also noted how 2023 had marked the 30th anniversary of the Principality’s accession to the United Nations, a landmark that he personally honoured with a visit to the New York headquarters of the UN.  

See more: Monaco celebrates 30 years of inclusion in the United Nations

“Our unity and uniqueness are our shield against the problems that beset so many of our western societies,” he continued, “and I consider it my wholehearted duty to ensure that our community remains cohesive and prosperous.” 

Prince Albert then moved to acknowledge the current challenges and conflicts faced by other countries around the world, saying, “History has too often shown how fragile nations can be, and so in an increasingly complex and unstable world, it is vital that we stay the course.” 

He then thanked the “women and men who have been entrusted with new responsibilities” and said he knew he could “count on the people of Monaco, our residents, and our partners” to play their part in the unity of the Principality that has endured 700 years.  

“We cannot predict the future, but we can prepare for it”

The address ended with sage yet decidedly proactive words from the Prince: “We cannot predict the future, but we can prepare for it. We may not foresee it, but we must create it. The year ahead heralds many challenges, but holds rich promise. We must continue to mobilise our efforts and devote all our energy to the cause of peace, mutual acceptance, and solidarity.”  

Turning slightly to face his wife, Prince Albert concluded his speech by saying, “The Princess and I send each and every one of you our very best wishes for 2024. May it bring you happiness, peace, joy and good health.” 

The pair signed off by wishing viewers a Happy New Year in French, English and Monegasque. 

Watch the full speech below:


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Photo credit: Palais Princier de Monaco