Monaco’s Prince Albert II turned 65 on 14th March and was treated to a heart-warming rendition of Happy Birthday by the Carabinieri Orchestra as he looked on from the balcony with his family.
Prince Albert II was not too fussed about turning 65. In an interview with People, the Prince downplayed the significance of the day, calling it “just another day”.
But those around him were keener to make a big deal out of this special date, and had a packed schedule planned for him, which included a few surprises along the way.
A day shared with family
At 11.55am, the changing of the Palace Guard was taking place as usual, when Prince Albert, alongside his eight-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, appeared at a window to the delight of the tourists watching the event.
At the end of the ceremony, the Carabinieri Orchestra struck up a rendition of Happy Birthday, which brought a smile to the Prince’s face as he waved to the assembled crowd.
Afterwards, the family had lunch together and the children returned to school, but not before alerting their father he was to be prepared for another surprise at 5.30pm sharp.
“It’s a secret. The kids want to kidnap me,” Prince Albert told local press with a smile. “They want to take me to a play at a theatre, but actually, I’ve been warned I’m going to be kidnapped.”
In the interim, Prince Albert headed to a Saint Patrick’s Day concert with award-winning Irish musician Fintan Vallely that had been organised by the Princess Grace Irish Library.
“65 is the new 45!”
Though 65 is significant for many, Prince Albert isn’t like everyone else. With retirement on the minds of many at this age, that clearly isn’t on the cards for him as the sovereign of a nation.
“It’s only really important in that I see friends, who are the same age, retiring now. I can’t do that,” he said. “I mean, 65 is important, but it isn’t. I prefer decimals, so 60 was important, 70 will be important. And hopefully, I’ll reach 80 and 90 and beyond. 65 has some resonance, I suppose, but for me, it’s just another birthday. It’s not a milestone. I’ve said before that 60 was the new 40. And so it continues incrementally — 65 is the new 45!”
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All photos courtesy of the Palais Princier de Monaco