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What’s in a name? Take bagatelle. Is it a trifle, a musical composition or a board game? The latter description sticks most. Yet even this is not without its nuances. Bagatelle is often confused with pinball, the down-at-heel arcade game where steel balls race around a glass-covered machine with flashing lights. Yet it is actually an 18th-century table game derived from billiards and named after the neoclassical French castle in which it was first played with ivory balls, wooden pins and cue sticks.
Bagatelle is also the brand name for the exclusive restaurant whose Mediterranean cuisine and live music have combined to attract a kitten-heeled following across the globe, from New York to St Tropez via Rio de Janeiro and Dubai to name but a few Bagatelle destinations. Finally its star-studded trail has reached the shores of Monaco so I decided to go along to find out what all the fanfare was about.
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National Council President Stéphane Valeri has visited the Grimaldi Forum to thank the team behind the screening campaign, while also encouraging more people to take the Covid-19 antibody test.
Prince Albert has been tested at a Covid-19 screening centre in Monaco to raise awareness about the government’s campaign to have as many people of the Principality tested as possible.
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The Principality ordered some 11.5 million masks at the height of the crisis. Now those masks are being safely stored by the government for a rainy day.
Like many Monaco families, the children speak English at home and French at school. “This leads them to develop their own thinking, their own vision of things,” says Princess Charlene. “As their mother, I discover, I learn. I find it marvellous to follow their evolution, accompanying them on this path.” She describes her children as having an inner strength which allows them to say what they think and feel, “whatever the circumstances”. [caption id="attachment_33730" align="alignnone" width="900"] Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella at the inauguration of One Monte-Carlo in February © Photo: Manuel Vitali/ Direction de la communication et Pierre Villard/SBM[/caption] “When it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and we encourage them to express themselves,” reveals the Princess. “And when all is well, then nothing and no one can stop them.” Princess Charlene describes an average day in the princely family, beginning with Prince Albert taking the twins to school. “When they come back, my work begins, continuing until the next day. Evenings usually involve a lot of movement. When I’m alone with them, the kids fight over who will sleep with mum. They love to climb into our bed, and suddenly we find ourselves a little cramped. All this without counting our two dogs, Poppy and Harley!”View this post on Instagram
Princess Charlene says she is amazed at how well her children adapt to all situations and the confidence that they have in themselves. She describes herself as a very hands-on and protective mother, although she admits raising twins is very exhausting. “It is also very stimulating in many areas,” she adds. [caption id="attachment_42213" align="alignnone" width="600"] The cover of the latest edition of Point de Vue featuring Princess Charlene[/caption] Point de Vue is a weekly magazine that specialises in royal news and “exceptional people”. Throughout the years, Princess Charlene has been a strong focus of the French publication, which has covered everything from her early relationship with Prince Albert, to her pregnancy and the birth of the twins. In this interview, published the day after Monaco’s National Day celebrations, Princess Charlene spoke candidly of the official role her children are increasingly expected to fulfil. “They know that this is a particularly busy time for their parents, but I think they’re still a bit too young to fully understand the meaning,” she says. Prince Jacques melted hearts across the globe on 19th November when he was presented wearing full military uniform for the first time, with a traditional red, white and blue helmet to complete the look. [caption id="attachment_42055" align="alignnone" width="490"] Photo: Prince's Palace[/caption] The princess also gave readers an insight into life at the palace, describing her husband Prince Albert as “a remarkable, wonderful, fun father; a dad who listens and encourages his children. He spends a lot of time with Jacques and Gabriella and takes care of them as often as he can.” While the couple often spend time apart because of their busy schedules, the children, she says, almost always accompany at least one parent on their travels. “They’re being raised everywhere,” she reveals, “but when we’re just four, it doesn’t matter where we are: that place is our home.” [caption id="attachment_41301" align="alignnone" width="500"] Prince Albert, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella cheering South Africa to victory for the Rugby World Cup in October. Picture: Photo: HSHPrincessCharlene/Instagram[/caption] As a former Olympic swimmer, Princess Charlene encourages her children to do as many sports as possible. Not surprisingly, they learnt to swim from a very early age. “We will see, in the next two or three years, how this taste evolves, and which disciplines will have their preference.” The Princess reflects on the time that she spent with her children in South Africa earlier this year, saying, “I’d dreamed of taking them there for a long time, showing them South Africa, certainly, but also Benoni, the city where I grew up… When we arrived, we were all looking through the porthole and Jacques cried ‘Wow, this is the country where you come from, mummy? It’s so big!’ It was very moving for me.” Jacques and Gabriella had the opportunity to visit her nephew in school in Benoni, where they “were able to play with their cousins’ classmates, and there was absolutely no barrier between them,” she reveals. “I saw my children confident, happy, and it gave me immense happiness. Then Albert and I took them into the bush to see animals in the wild. The twins were able to see a rhinoceros for the first time.” “These,” she says, “were moments that will remain within me forever.” Top photo: National Day 2019, photo Prince's Palace of Monaco [/ihc-hide-content]