Prince and Princess come out for National Day

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene

Since 1952, the “Fête du Prince”, more often called the “Fête Nationale” has taken place on November, the Day of the feast of Rainier d’Arezzo, Patron Saint of Prince Rainier III. On his accession in 2005, H.S.H. Prince Albert II decided to maintain the National Day on that date.

As in all countries, the National Day is the opportunity for the national community to celebrate its identity and traditions. Thus Monegasques and the inhabitants of Monaco gather around the Sovereign Prince, Head of State and the Princely Family.

On Monday 19 November 2018, the celebrations started in the Courtyard of the Princely Palace with a presentation of arms and awarding of rank badges and medals before the traditional Te Deum mass in the Cathedral of Monaco.

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene

Then, on the Place du Palais, the Band of the Prince’s Carabiniers gave the programme a swing with an eclectic musical selection before giving way to the military parade.

To commemorate the Centennial of the Armistice of 1918, tribute was paid to the 22 members of the Monegasque Force Publique (8 of the Prince’s Carabiniers and 14 firefighters) who fell on the field of honour. Thus, 22 soldiers, wearing the legendary horizon blue uniform of the “Poilus” took part in this parade.

Finally, “Verdun, On Ne Passe Pas,” the iconic song of the Great War, was sung on the Place du Palais by a male voice choir made up of soldiers in the “Poilus” uniform and a detachment of the Prince’s Carabiniers.

The Gala Evening which took place at the Grimaldi Forum with “Samson and Dalila,” the opera by Camille Saint-Saëns, closed these celebrations.