Photos: Prince Albert II visits family château in the Haute-Loire

While on a tour of the Haute-Loire in central-southern France, Prince Albert II paid a visit to the Château de Lavoûte-Polignac, a charming estate that remains in the family and belongs to his cousin, the Duke Armand-Charles de Polignac. 

Last week, Prince Albert spent two sunny days visiting a number of Haute-Loire locations that have historical connections to the Principality of Monaco. Amongst them was the town of Lavoûte-sur-Loire, where he met with Mayor Jean-Paul Beaumel and the department’s Prefect Eric Etienne on the morning of Thursday 1st June.  

Later came a visit to the Château de Lavoûte-Polignac, which is owned by the Prince’s cousin, the Duke Armand-Charles de Polignac. Between 1915 and 1917, Prince Albert’s grandmother, the Princess Charlotte (1898-1977), spent many happy times at the picturesque property and it was here that she met her future husband, the Count Pierre de Polignac.  

Prince Albert unveiled a plaque commemorating his 21st century visit in the town’s main square before heading off to the nearby village of Polignac, which is closely tied to the history of the Polignac family. Mayor Jean-Paul Vigouroux was on hand to receive Monaco’s Prince as well as Princes Alain and Ludovic de Polignac for a tour of the village’s fortress. Prince Albert was given honorary citizenship of Polignac at a ceremony later that day. 

The second day of the visit saw Prince Albert head to the Prefecture of the Haute-Loire in Puy-en-Velay for a private tour led by the town’s mayor, Michel Chapuis, and the president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Laurent Wauquiez.  

Prince Albert’s two day affair concluded with the unveiling of another commemorative plaque in the village of Saint-Pal-de-Chalencon in the presence of its mayor, Pierre Brun, and locals who turned out to see the Prince.  

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Photo credits: Michael Alesi for the Palais Princier de Monaco