Prince Albert II of Monaco to make star appearance in ‘Quintessentially Irish’ documentary

quintessentially irish

Quintessentially Irish, a fascinating new documentary film written and directed by veteran documentarian Frank Mannion, is due to be released on 12th March, just ahead of Saint Patrick’s Day. It is set to feature a plethora of famous faces with family connections to the Emerald Isle, including Monaco’s very own Prince Albert II. 

The essence of the documentary is the capturing of what it means to be Irish.  

In the film, Mannion takes viewers on a magical tour of the island, showcasing its many beautiful sites as well as delving into the origins of horseracing, whiskey, Gaelic sport and, of course, Guinness. 

The Irish diaspora is explored in depth – it used to be said that the Irish people themselves were their biggest export – and Mannion introduces his audience to some of the world’s most influential and well-known people who, despite coming from other countries, still consider themselves Irish.  

Among those is US President Joe Biden, who made a highly publicised trip to Ireland in April 2023. During his visit, he was interviewed at the White House in Dublin, the Aras an Uachtaráin, which is the official residence of the President of Ireland and was designed and built by the acclaimed Irish architect James Hoban.  

Another high-profile appearance comes from Monaco’s Prince Albert, who granted Mannion special access to the Palais Princier de Monaco for filming. In a recently released clip from the documentary, the two sit down together to talk about Prince Albert’s own connections and ties to Ireland through his late mother, Princess Grace. 

See more: Photos: Prince Albert II unveils statue of Princess Grace in Ireland

The Monegasque sovereign, charmingly wearing a shamrock tie for the occasion, opens up about his mother’s family history, saying, “Through my mother’s family, through the Kellys of County Mayo and the ancestral house in Drumilra, we knew that the Irish connection was very solid.” 

Other notables in the film include former James Bond Pierce Brosnan, Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, multimillionaire businessman Michael Smurfit, President of Ireland since 2011 Michael Higgins, Guinness heir Rory Guinness and, interestingly, Jamaican Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt and his agent, Ricky Simms, an Irishman who currently lives in Monaco.  

Quintessentially Irish reflects the modern reality that Ireland is much more than clichéd representations of leprechauns,” says Mannion of the film. “The country has a renewed national self-confidence that is reflected in the thrilling mix of a new generation of artists and novelists; the inward investment brought in by the filming of Game of Thrones, Normal People, Banshees of Inisherin and Star Wars: The Last Jedi; and the huge revenues pumped into the Irish economy by tech companies like Apple and Google.” 

He adds, “There are 23 million Americans who claim Irish heritage and six million Brits with an Irish grandparent. They are our target audience. I look forward to seeing what audiences make of this valentine to all things great and Irish. Hopefully, audiences will feel that Quintessentially Irish is the perfect film to watch this Saint Patrick’s Day.”  

Quintessentially Irish will be available on major online platforms including Amazon Instant, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and Vimeo on 12th March followed by a DVD launch.  

Watch the trailer below:


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Photo credit: Ed Reid / Palais Princier de Monaco