‘The Prince at the Heart of the Circus’ to tell the story of Prince Rainier’s love of the Big Top

The Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival turned 50 this year and, coinciding with the centenary celebrations of its founder, Prince Rainier III, a special exhibition is being held to mark the two special occasions. Here’s when and where to find ‘The Prince at the Heart of the Circus’. 

It’s been a half century since the very first Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival in 1974. A labour of love for Prince Rainier III, who notoriously adored life under the Big Top, the event has since grown over the years to become one of the premiere circus events in the world.  


To commemorate both the 50th anniversary of the festival and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Prince Rainier, an exhibition is being held from 22nd November 2023 to 28th January 2024 at the Terrasses de Fontvieille, formerly known as the Automobile Museum. 

‘The Prince at the Heart of the Circus’ will feature a vast collection of circus-related photos, footage and costumes collected over the years, as well as never-before-seen papers and personal memorabilia. 


From 19th to 28th January 2024, the 46th Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival and 11th New Generation Festival will return to Fontvieille to thrill and enchant audiences of all ages.  

The poster for the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival next January

What initially began as a way for Prince Rainier to support circus families has become both a Monaco tradition and an internationally-respected showcase of circus talent new and established. 

To kick off ‘circus season’, a parade is set to travel through the Principality on the afternoon of 13th January 2024, departing the famous Chapiteau in Fontvieille and ending at the Prince’s Palace. The procession will culminate in an exclusive open-air show in front of the Palace. More information on the parade is expected in the coming weeks.  

Tickets for the Circus Festival are already on sale and can be purchased here


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Photo source: Monaco Communications Department