In recent days, the streets of the Principality have been draped in red
and white flags bearing the image of Prince Rainier III, decorated with
flowers, and steeped in a very special atmosphere. What’s the reason? Yesterday
marked the start of a programme of festivities that will continue until 2024
January, a national tribute to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the
Builder Prince (1923-2003)!
Let the festivities begin!
Things got underway on the afternoon of 31 May, with various activities
taking place in the streets of Monaco’s Old Town district.
A 21-gun salute was fired at 2.15 pm sharp in the Principality, formally
marking the beginning of the celebrations!
Monegasques, residents, and friends of the Principality were invited to
commemorate the centenary of the birth of the man who came to be known as the
Builder Prince. The most iconic sites in the Old Town hosted a wide variety of
activities and events, from the Place du Palais to the Oceanographic Museum,
the Cathedral concourse, and the magnificent Saint Martin Gardens.
There were stiltwalkers wandering through the narrow streets, marching
bands, mini-train rides, petanque competitions, and even a parade of cars from
the collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco driven by members of the Princely
Family themselves! There was something to delight all ages, on an afternoon of
grand and unique spectacle!
day of celebrations ended with the sharing of a birthday cake at 9.15 pm,
followed by a firework display at Port Hercule.
The event was a brilliant
success, as seen in the bright eyes and wide smiles on the faces of everyone
who came to enjoy the party!
Major events taking place until January 2024
A series of exhibitions, talks, films, sporting events, and concerts
will take place over the next few months and until January 2024, in tribute to
Prince Rainier III, the Sovereign who came to be known as the “Builder Prince".
Monegasques and visitors alike will be able to learn about the great
man’s personality, passions, and commitments.
A country does not need great size to have big dreams, nor a large
population to realise them
Prince Rainier III
Highlights of the centenary (31 May 2023 to January 2024):
31/05 – 20/08: "The Prince at Home": an exhibition of 100 still and moving images on display in the State
Apartments of the Prince’s Palace. Take the opportunity to see the new frescoes
at the Palace!
31/05 – 31/12: "The Prince and his Animals": an exhibition of photographs including never-before-seen archive images
of the Zoological Gardens, which will soon be marking their 70th anniversary!
An exhibition perfect for all ages.
31/05 – 31/12: "Prince Rainier III, a Sailor Above All": exhibition at the Yacht Club de Monaco
31/05: from 2.15 pm, launch of the "Rainier III Sculpture Trail": an open-air exhibition accessible all year round. An original and
fascinating way to explore the Principality, by following a path that passes by
150 sculptures to admire in the streets and gardens. QR codes can be found near
each artwork, providing details about its specific history, the artist who
created it, and its connection to the Principality.
The trail has its own official website: https://cheminsculpturesrainier3.mc/
16-20/06: "Tribute to Prince Rainier III, creator of the Monte-Carlo Television
Festival”: an exhibition of photographs at the Grimaldi Forum as part of the
62nd Monte-Carlo Television Festival. The exhibition will pay tribute to the
Festival’s creator, with previously unseen archive images looking back at the
greatest moments in the history of this unique event, when Prince Rainier III
and Princess Grace welcomed the leading stars of the international cultural
world to Monaco.
1/07 – 31/08: "Prince Rainier III and International Artists": on the path of the famous Salle des Etoiles, during the Monte-Carlo
Summer Festival 2023 (Sporting), a display of the finest photos of Prince
Rainier III alongside the international stars who came to perform at the
4/07: screening of the film "Rainier III by Himself" at the Grimaldi Forum.
Directed by Yann-Anthony Noghes, with historical consultants Thomas
Fouilleron and Vincent Vatrican, this film aims to paint a picture of the
sovereign as a political and private man, using interviews, speeches, and his
own words about his life and reign.
07/07: "U Sciaratu": Monaco’s traditional carnival, a popular festive event that takes places
every summer in the streets of the Old Town and Prince’s Palace Square. For
this centenary year, the theme will be the circus, an art form close to Prince
Rainier III’s heart.
20/07 – 31/12: "The Builder Prince. An Ambition for Monaco": through models, plans, photographs, objects, and documents, previously
unseen, the exhibition aims to show how Prince Rainier III permanently changed
the face of his country. Taking place at the exhibition hall on Quai Antoine
13-16/09: Exhibition of boats previously owned by Prince Rainier III, at the Yacht Club de Monaco.
From 1 to 31 December: "A Whole World to Protect": a space dedicated to Prince Rainier III’s ocean conservation efforts, at
the Oceanographic Museum.
The exhibition space “Monaco and the Ocean” covers nearly 700 m2, and looks
back at the commitment of Monaco’s Princes to marine conservation. Around a 27
metre-long display ship, visitors can experience an immersive and interactive
journey through time, alongside the sovereigns themselves, acutely aware of the
major issues of their age: Albert I, Rainier III and H.S.H. Prince Albert II.
7/12 – January 2024: Christmas Village « The Life and Works of Prince Rainier III": the theme of this year’s traditional Christmas Village at Port Hercule
will be “Rainier III, a Visionary and Passionate Prince”. Visitors of all ages
can walk around the decorations specially created for the occasion, learning
about the great causes closest to Prince Rainier III’s heart, namely the sea,
the arts, animals, and sport.
19-28 January 2024: 46th Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival "Tribute to its creator" - Fontvieille Big Top.
To mark the 25th anniversary of his reign in 1974, Prince Rainier III -
a keen enthusiast for traditional circus arts with animals - wanted to put the
circus centre stage in the Principality with a special event.
And so the world’s first ever circus festival was born, under the big top of
the Bouglione Circus, featuring the participation of the Togni troupe.
This event will mark the end of festivities celebrating the centenary of Prince
Rainier III’s birth.
For more information about the centenary, click HERE.
Direction de la Communication / VisitMonaco / Jean-Charles Vinaij - Bestimage / Olivier Huitel - Bestimage / Archives du Palais Princier : Georges Lukomski - Gaëtan Luci