Celebrating 50 years of MonacoUSA, a club that blends the American spirit with Monaco’s allure

This year marks the 50th anniversary of MonacoUSA and to celebrate, we take a look back at the origins of this vibrant club that was always close to the heart of the Princely family.

Grace Patricia Kelly, the Oscar laurate American actress who became Princess of Monaco in 1956 when she married Prince Rainier III, whole heartedly supported the creation of MonacoUSA in 1973 to honour her country of birth. In fact, Princess Grace hosted an annual ‘American Week’ in Monaco, where guests would play baseball, eat hotdogs and ice-cream, and celebrate Thanksgiving at the Palace.

Today, MonacoUSA is presided by family friend Mike Powers, and run by well-known personality Annette Anderson, maintaining its very American attributes of friendliness, openness and informality; that casual manner that characterised Princess Grace, who easily embraced different cultures; the same affable traits inherited by her son Prince Albert II.

Annette Anderson

From southern Maine to the Cote d’Azur

Annette Anderson was a reporter for a daily newspaper in southern Maine, USA, and further developed a career in advertising, marketing, and financial communications. The Governor of Maine appointed her Chairman of the Commission on Maine’s Future. In 1989, she left behind her classic American corporate style and moved to the Cote d’Azur in search of a lifestyle based on family values and quality of life. When she arrived in the Principality, she met the late Kate Powers and Didier Rubiolo and began working at the famous Le Texan restaurant, which owes its whimsical name to Prince Rainier III, who had a very dry sense of humour, according to Annette.

In 1993 Annette joined Kate and Didier in creating Stars’N’Bars, Monaco’s first family-friendly sports bar and restaurant, overseeing communications and community relations. The legendary restaurant, where most of the MonacoUSA events were held, closed for good in 2022, and in 2023 Anette joined Didier in launching Conscientiae offering a farm-to-table dining experience.

School bags donation operation at Stars’N’Bars in 2016

Roll out the welcome wagon

When she became Director of MonacoUSA, Annette created bi-monthly networking events to connect newly arrived Americans and other English-speaking people with the movers-and-shakers in the Principality. The main goal was to offer a happy and friendly way of greeting newcomers and getting them acquainted with Monaco’s lifestyle. In 2013 MonacoUSA was awarded the Order of Grimaldi, to honour and recognise those contributing to the prestige of the Principality.

MonacoUSA keeps close touch with the Monaco Ambassador to the US, Maguy Maccario Doyle, and US Consul General in Marseille Jessica Huaracayo, for any events they organise in Monaco, and for celebrating American Independence Day and Thanksgiving.  They also host USA Election Night every four years, an event that goes well into the night and lasts until the wee hours of the morning to follow the process of electing a new American president.

Quiz Night has been a highlight of the association, bringing together more than 100 local contestants each time, including Prince Albert himself, who proved to be a wizard at playing the “test your general knowledge” entertainment. Annette remembers that when they first initiated the quiz more than 20 years ago; they invited celebrity guests including Shirley Bassey and Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, who both performed their famous hits, as well as F1 driver David Coulthard.

The late Kate Powers and Annette Anderson at Stars’N’Bars

Looking into the future

On 5th December, MonacoUSA marked its 50th anniversary with a celebratory event at the Novotel Monte-Carlo, during which Anette Anderson spoke to a crowd of over a hundred about the importance of community coming together, and how, next year, she hopes that MonacoUSA will be able to identify more ways of making a difference in the local community.

MonacoUSA is actively recruiting visionary board members of any nationality interested in bringing the club into the future. Those interested can send an email to: monacousa.mc@gmail.com


Photos: Hundreds join Prince Albert for official launch of Kate Powers Foundation


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All photos supplied