Photos: Monaco’s Princely family out in force to celebrate historical connections  

monaco history

A spectacular weekend of celebrations, well-attended by Monaco’s Grimaldi family, united people from former French fiefdoms for two days of entertainment, history and reconnection. 

Anyone casually passing by the Prince’s Palace over the weekend could be forgiven for thinking they’d found their way into a time warp.  

Knights on horseback, musketeers at sword play, exhibitions with birds of prey and people in traditional costumes dancing to traditional music filled the square for the fourth meeting of the Grimaldi Historic Sites of Monaco, a celebration of the towns and villages with ancient ties to the Grimaldi family.  


The two-day event brought people from 11 municipalities around France together to honour their common pasts and share their own culture, histories and food.  

This year’s special guests were delegations from the towns of: Issenheim, Altkirch-Thann, Ferrette and Feldbach in the Haut-Rhin; Duras from Lot-et-Garonne; Prats-de-Mollo from the Pyrénées-Orientales; and Lucciana from Haute-Corse. Local towns, such as Grasse and Île Saint-Honorat, also were on hand.  


“This year, there is a predominance of Mazarin family fiefdoms. They entered the Grimaldi family in 1777 with the marriage between Louise d’Aumont-Mazarin and the future Prince Honoré IV,” explained Thomas Fouilleron, Director of the Archives of the Princely Palace. “Grasse and Saint-Honorat de Lérins are tied to Augustin Grimaldi, who became lord of Monaco after the assassination of his brother Lucien, in 1523.”  

Lucciana, which was twinned with Monaco in 2009, is linked through Dévote, the patron saint of the Principality, while Prats-de-Mollo is the burial place of Marie-Charles-Auguste Grimaldi, the younger brother of the Prince Honoré III. 


Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene and their children, along with Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, were front and centre for the festivities, taking part in many of the events and visiting the stands set up to sell local wares. 

The Prince commemorated the occasion by handing out a special memento, a trophy, to the mayors of each of the towns who attended.  

“I am proud that we are a part of this community,” Marc Jung, the mayor of Issenheim, told the press present. “Our links date back several centuries and continue to be woven like a big family.” 


One major highlight of the event came at 10pm on Saturday night, when the facades of the Palace were lit up for an incredible light and sound show, which told the story of the links to the assembled towns.  

Prince Albert also took time to speak on the sudden recent passing of Albert Croesi, who had been the Deputy Vice-President of the Grimaldi Historical Sites Federation. 

“He was, as everyone knows, one of my personal friends,” Prince Albert said. “That too of our whole family. Albert had certainly become a friend to many of you, his enthusiasm, his passion, the momentum he gave to everything that he undertook were infectious. We owe the success of this event to his founding soul.” 

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Photo credits: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco / Monaco Communications Department