On November 19, Saint Rainier’s Day, Monaco celebrates its sovereign. For this national holiday 2022, the princely family was once again complete to celebrate the Prince. The national holiday began with a mass of thanksgiving at the cathedral of Monaco, then continued with the traditional medal ceremony in the main courtyard of the Prince’s Palace, not forgetting the parade and the appearance on the balcony of the princely family.
The princely family at the cathedral of Monaco for the Prince’s Day 2022
In 2019, the Principality had organized a special national holiday on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the date of birth of Princess Grace. In 2020, the public festivities had been canceled due to the health crisis. In 2021, the national holiday returned to its usual colors, especially since it was dedicated to the 10 years of marriage of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene. Unfortunately, Princess Charlene was not present, having just returned from South Africa and unable to attend the ceremonies for health reasons.
This November 19, 2022, the national holiday was eagerly awaited since there were no more health restrictions and the Princess Charlene was there again, choosing a black and white ensemble to make her comeback. The day began in front of Notre-Dame-Immaculée Cathedral in Monaco, with the arrival of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, welcomed by Bishop Dominique-Marie David. The princely couple signed themselves before entering the cathedral in a procession, followed by Princess Caroline of Hanover and Princess Stephanie of Monaco.
Arrival of the princely family at the cathedral of Monaco to begin this day of national celebration with the mass of thanksgiving. pic.twitter.com/udM9E7I3eS
— Royal Stories (@ActusRoyales) November 19, 2022
In the past, the date of the national holiday was fixed on the day of the patron saint of the reigning prince and therefore changed from one reign to another. Prince Albert II kept the same date as his father, which corresponds to the feast of Rainier of Arezzo, a Franciscan monk.
It was the third National Day Mass for Archbishop Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco since 2020, who wore a pectoral cross offered by Prince Pierre on the occasion of the wedding of Prince Rainier III. According to article 9 of the Monegasque Constitution, Monaco has the particularity of having Catholicism as its state religion. The celebration of the national holiday was initiated during the reign of Charles III and has always started with a mass of thanksgiving. The mass was celebrated in the presence of the archbishop emeritus and the apostolic nuncio Mgr Antonio Arcari, representative of Monaco to the Holy See.
The Apostolic Nuncio read the message of Pope Francis on the occasion of the Prince’s feast. “On this day of joy, (…) I am happy Serene Highness to send you my most courteous wishes”. The pope underlined the “culture inspired by the Gospel” who continues to reign in Monaco.
The Apostolic Nuncio Mgr Antonio Arcari read the message of Pope Francis addressed to Prince Albert II, the princely family and the Monegasques on the occasion of the national holiday. pic.twitter.com/TOeVVEmzdu
— Royal Stories (@ActusRoyales) November 19, 2022
The songs were provided by the Little Singers of Monaco, the master of the cathedral, with the soloists of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monaco. The Archbishop of Monaco read his homily, in which he recalled that this national holiday paid tribute this year to Albert 1st. The year 2023 will be dedicated to the centenary of the death of Prince Albert 1st. “We can love our country and rejoice together with a good heart, with a wide open, generous and benevolent heart. By loving our country, we love and serve the world”, concluded the Archbishop in his homily largely dedicated to the need to serve those who are in difficulty. Fraternity and love of neighbor were at the heart of his speech.
Medal ceremony in the Cour d’honneur of the Prince’s Palace
The national holiday usually continues in the courtyard of the Prince’s Palace. For this part of the celebrations the children of the family join their parents. Princess Caroline is surrounded by her children and grandchildren and Princess Stephanie by her children. Princess Charlene takes care of her children, Jacques and Gabriella during the parade, then the presentation of the medals of honor by Prince Albert II.
For the third time, Hereditary Prince Jacques, Marquis des Baux, was wearing his little police uniform. Princess Gabriella wore a red coat and a black hat. The nephews and nieces of Prince Albert II were present with their own children.
After the presentation of the medals, the princely family returned to the palace and appeared at the windows to watch the military parade and listen to the musical interludes. Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella were joined by their cousins.
The appearance on the balcony of the princely family
The appearance on the balcony is a tradition and always closes the celebrations of the princely family on the occasion of the national holiday. Once the ceremonies were over, the security agents opened the barriers so that the population could invade the square in front of the Palace and gather under the balcony where Prince Albert II and his children were. The population cheered the princely family by chanting the traditional “Hooray, Hooray! “.