Crowd cheers on as Princely Family take Olympic flame during historic stop in Monaco

For the first time since 1968, the eternal Olympic flame travelled the streets of Monaco, making a historic stop at the Place du Palais, where crowds gathered to witness this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

For only the second time in history, the eternal Olympic flame passed through the Principality as part of its journey through the Riviera to Paris on Tuesday 18th June. The last time the Olympic Flame passed through Monaco was in 1968, ahead of the Grenoble Winter Olympics.

As crowds gathered at Port Hercule and along the route up to the Place du Palais, the flame’s brief visit commenced at 2:15pm. Monegasque Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, fresh off his recent victory in the Monaco Grand Prix, began the procession from the Juan Manuel Fangio statue. The 26-year-old passed the torch to alpine skier Alexandra Coletti, who represented Monaco in the 2006 Winter Olympics.

The crowds gathered in the Place du Palais to welcome the Olympic flame to Monaco

“It’s the most special recognition an athlete can receive”

“It was so magical until the very end. Hearing the children scream with excitement made me feel proud to have participated in this exceptional moment… it’s the biggest and most special recognition (being a torchbearer) an athlete can receive,” Alexandra Coletti told Monaco Life.

Next in line was table tennis player Xiaoxin Yang, who has represented Monaco since 2013. Then, Rudy Rinaldi, a bobsledder who competed in the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics, carried the flame to the Malizia statue on the Place du Palais.

“I was so privileged to participate in this historic event today, alongside the Princely family and the other torchbearers,” Rinaldi told Monaco Life.

Rudy Rinaldi passes the Olympic flame to Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene.

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene take the flame

The final leg of the journey involved Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, who jointly carried the flame. The children screamed excitedly, waving their flags, and the crowd cheered on as the Princely couple made their way around the Place du Palais, concluding the relay.

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene are both Olympians. Prince Albert participated in five Winter Olympics as part of Monaco’s bobsleigh team, and Princess Charlene competed for South Africa in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriela, joined their parents and the torchbearers on stage for a photo with the flame before it was handed back to the flame keeper to continue its journey.

Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella were excited to have participated in such a historic event

“It means everything to me that the flame passed through Monaco today, and it has been so long since it did that. It felt like history was being made today,” said Prince Albert II to Monaco Life. “I hope it will return to Monaco for the third time.”

At the Place du Palais, historical footage curated by the Audiovisual Institute of Monaco and the Archives of the Palace of Monaco provided a historical background on Monaco’s involvement in the Olympic Games. That same screen was also used to directly translate the flame arriving at the port and its journey to the Place du Palais so that the crowds did not miss a moment. 

Before it arrived in Monaco, the flame visited the mountain village resort of Valberg, with Antibes-Juan-les-Pins as its next destination.

Monaco Life was there! See more of the Olympic flame action in our reel below…

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Main Photo: Prince Albert II of Monaco with, from eft to right, Alexandra Coletti, Charles Leclerc, Princess Charlene, Xiaoxin Yang, Rudi Rinaldi. Photo by Monaco Life. 

Other photo credits: Eric Mathon / Axel Bastello / Michael Alesi / Gaetan Luci / Palais princier