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World Congress of Consuls and National Day events converge in Monte Carlo January 23, 2013

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Consulate of Monaco, Fete Nationale, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Consular Corps, Monaco National Day, Nevada Consular Corps, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Princess Charlene of Monaco, Princess Grace of Monaco.
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The Principality of Monaco hosted the FICAC World Congress of Consuls November 11-13, 2012.  The Monaco National Day celebrations took place the following week.  Consul Warren and others remained in Monaco for both sets of events.

Hosted by the Honorary Consular Corps of Monaco, the World Federation of Consuls produced its tenth triennial World Congress of Consuls with great success on the 30th anniversary of the institution, in Monte Carlo, Principality of Monaco.  Nearly 300 delegates from all over the world attended the event.

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After the events of the World Congress, consul Warren and others enjoyed a three-day rest before beginning the Fête Nationale de Monaco (the Monaco National Day) celebrations.  2012 represents the 3rd National Day celebrations attended by Consul Warren, who was once again accompanied by the Honorable Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Honorary Consul of Chile in Las Vegas.

USS Mount Whitney in Monaco

USS Mount Whitney in Monaco

In addition to the traditional cocktail at the Palace followed by the dinner at the Beef Bar with the Consular Corps of Monaco, the fireworks and mass the following day were followed up by a surprise for visiting Americans.  By request of HSH Prince Albert II, the flag ship of the sixth fleet of the US Navy, the USS Mount Whitney, was docked at the Port d’Hercule in Monaco for the National Day celebrations.  His Serene Highness had requested the strong American presence to commemorate the passing of his mother, HSH Princess Grace of Monaco.

His Excellency Charles Rivkin, US Ambassador to France and Monaco arranged for the presence of the Ship in Monaco.  The USS Mount Whitney’s officers and crew hosted a spectacular lunch on board the vessel.  His Excellency Gilles Noghés, Ambassador of Monaco to the USA, attended, leading the Consular Corps of Monaco in the United States.  His Serene Highness Prince Albert II was welcomed by the Commander and the Ambassadors, as was Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline, escorted by her two sons, Andrea and Pierre Casiraghi, both of whom are officers in the Prince’s Guard.

Cocktails at the Consulate hosts Ambassador of Monaco, Officials, Consulate supporters July 2, 2012

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Consulate of Monaco, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Consular Corps, Monegasques in the USA, Nevada Consular Corps, Principality of Monaco.
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Visiting dignitaries meet with local friends of the Consulate

H.E. Ambassador Gilles Noghès, Deputy Chief of Mission Lorenzo Ravano, Casino Monte Carlo Director Patrice Solamito, Casino Monte Carlo Public Relations officer Michel Marchese, and Monaco Director of Conventions and Tourism Guillaume Rose were among the dignitaries hosted at the Consular Residence for a cocktail with supporters of the Consulate, on the evening of June 15th in Las Vegas.

Consul General Gary Furlong (Uzbekistan), DCM of Monaco Lorenzo Ravano, vice-Consul Tomas Abreu (Monaco-Miami), Chief of Protocol J. Kathleen von Schaefer, Consul Terry Murphy (Ireland), Ambassador Gilles Noghes, Consul Lena Walther (Sweden), Consul Jonathan Warren (Monaco), Consul Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl (Chile), Count Deiro, Consul General Maguey Maccario (Monaco-NYC), Consul Tom Horn (Monaco-SF), Aner Iglesias (El Salvador)

The evening was hosted by Jonathan Warren, Honorary Consul of Monaco in Las Vegas, Consul Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Honorary Consul of Chile in Las Vegas and Baroness J. Kathleen von Schaefer, Chief of Protocol for the Consulate of Monaco in Las Vegas, at the Consular Residence.  Local supporters of the Consulate, as well as members of the Nevada Consular Corps enjoyed an evening of cocktails and celebration after a series of successful meetings and events in Las Vegas.

Other attending members of the Consular Corps included Consul Terry Murphy (Ireland), Consul Aner Iglesias (El Salvador), Consul Lena Walther (Sweden) and Consul General Gary Furlong (Uzbekistan).

Supporters of the Consulate present included Official Archivist of the Consulate Bradley Payne and Mrs. Payne; Opera stars Marco Verela and Betsy Ann Fiore; music director Mark Wherry and Mrs. Elena Wherry, Cultural Advisor Surya Bonaly, financial advisor Felix Danciu of Elmcore Group, and of course the Chief of Protocol Baroness J. Kathleen von Schaefer.  Support for the evening and all of the previous events also came from Tuxedo Junction, Haberdasher and Sartorial Advisor to the Consulate and from Earth Limos, Official Transportation Provider for the Consulate of Monaco in Las Vegas.  Las Vegas community leader Steve Schorr was instrumental in arranging much of the Consulate events over three days.

Other local friends and dignitaries included the incoming President of the Nevada Public Health Association, Dr. Christina Madison.  Col. Annette Whiteside, President of the Las Vegas World Affairs Council, joined the festivities.  Las Vegas institutions and dear friends of the Consul, Count G. Robert Deiro and Countess Deiro also greeted the guests.  Consuls representing six consulates of Monaco in the USA were also in attendance.

The finale of the evening was when Ambassador Noghés and Counselor Lorenzo Ravano joined Las Vegas opera stars Marco Varela and Betsy Fiore to perform a performance of O Sole Mio.

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Ambassador Noghès and Consuls of Monaco hosted by Siegfried and Roy in Las Vegas June 24, 2012

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Consulate of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Las Vegas, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Princess Grace of Monaco, Principality of Monaco.
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Rare Tour by the ‘Masters of the Impossible’ themselves takes Monaco diplomats behind the scenes in rare animal habitat.

Forty-six year friendship of the performers with the Principality evidenced by hospitality during historic Las Vegas visit of Monaco officials

Siegfried and Roy circa 1966

Siegfried and Roy with “Chico,” circa 1966

Long before they ever came to Las Vegas, Siegfried and Roy made a Royal Command Performance for HSH Princess Grace of Monaco at the 1966 Red Cross Ball (Gala de Roi) at the Sporting House in Monte Carlo.  During the performance, Chico, the Cheetah who starred with the duo, ran off stage and headed for the kitchen.  The event was a big hit and garnered much press.  Some say it was the big break for the magical duo.  Two decades later, with unprecedented Las Vegas success accredited their show, they would return to the Principality and serve as judges for the Grand Prix of Magic in Monte Carlo.

Friends of the Monaco Royal Family for a generation, Siegfried and Roy were the consummate hosts of the official representatives of the Principality during the first meeting of the Monaco US Consular Corps in Las Vegas.  The group held its first meeting outside Washington, D.C, at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas on June 14.  The meeting also marked the first official visit of the Ambassador of Monaco to Las Vegas.

Siegfried and Roy with Crown Prince Albert of Monaco and HSH Prince Rainer III

The Consulate of Monaco in Las Vegas, with the help of a team of volunteers including Las Vegan Steve Schorr, arranged for H.E. Gilles Noghès, Ambassador of Monaco to the USA and Canda, and consuls from 6 districts in addition to the Las Vegas consulate, to meet with Siegfried and Roy and tour their Dolphin Habitat, Secret Garden and the behind-the-scenes lairs of the their legendary white tigers, white lions and other great cats.

The group was astounded at the high quality of life, health and beauty of the great cats.  Touring the garden with the narration that only Siegfried and Roy could give was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not lost on the audience of Monaco officials.

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Consulate Hosts Historic Las Vegas Visit of Ambassador and Consuls of Monaco June 21, 2012

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Consulate of Monaco, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Consular Corps, Monegasques in the USA, Nevada Consular Corps, Principality of Monaco.
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Exclusive Monaco Private Label dinner welcomes Las Vegas society.

Ambassador of Monaco receives Key to the City of Las Vegas.

H.E. Gilles Noghès, Ambassador of the Principality of Monaco to the United States and Canada, was welcomed in Las Vegas on June 14, 2012 by Consul Jonathan Warren.

Mayor Pro Tem of Las Vegas Stavros Anthony and Consul of Monaco in Las Vegas Jonathan Warren presenting the Key to the City of Las Vegas to Ambassador Gilles Noghes.

The arrival represents the first official visit to Nevada of the first Ambassador of Monaco ever accredited to the United States.  It was also the first official visit of any Ambassador of Monaco to the Consulate of Monaco in Las Vegas, which was first opened in 1956.

The Consulate of Monaco in Las Vegas and the Embassy of Monaco in Washington, DC worked closely with Mr. Michel Bouquier, Special Economic Advisor to the Government of Monaco, to host the first Monaco Private Label dinner in Las Vegas.  Monaco Private Label was introduced by the Principality in 2010 to offer special access, of a level and nature which money alone can not buy, to very special visitors to Monaco.  Members must be invited by a consul or ambassador of the Principality.  Twenty Las Vegans were presented with the honor.

Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Las Vegas, Stavros Anthony, awarded the Ambassador the Key to the City of Las Vegas.  Mayor Pro Tem Anthony cited the Ambassador’s work, with the approval of HSH Prince Albert II, to re-open the Consulate of Monaco in Las Vegas by appointing Las Vegan Jonathan Warren as Honorary Consul in 2010.  The Consulate had been moved to Los Angeles 47 years earlier when Consul Henry Leigh Hunt retired in 1963.

Consul Jonathan Warren with Steve Wynn at MPL Dinner

The event took place within Thriller Villa at Hacienda Palomino, the former Las Vegas residence of Michael Jackson.  security was high as fifty-five guests, including such Las Vegas notables as Steve Wynn, Sig Rogich, Richard Goeglein, Steve Schorr, Aner Iglesias, Marykaye Cashman, Vera Goulet and Monaco Grand Prix champion Enrico Bertaggia joined the Embassy delegation as well as Mr. Patrice Solamito, Director of the Casino Monte Carlo and Guillaume Rose, Monaco Director of Conventions and Tourism.  Seven consuls of Monaco were present, including the Honorable Maguey Maccario, Consul General of Monaco in New York, the senior consular officer of Monaco in the United States.

The evening opened and closed with opera by tenor Marco Varela and soprano Betsy Fiore, with harpist Kim DeLibero during dinner.

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Photos by IM Photography

A Portrait of Friendships: Sinatra and the Royals August 16, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Las Vegas, Monegasques in the USA, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Princess Grace of Monaco.
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Alejo Vidal-Quadras and Princess Grace

Alejo Vidal-Quadras and Princess Grace

Alejo Vidal-Quadras was one of the great portrait painters of the 20th century.  His subjects included royals, celebrities and great personalities of his time.  In the 1950’s he painted three portraits of Princess Grace of Monaco, one of which included young Princess Caroline and Prince Albert.

“I consider Grace Kelly as one of the purest faces I have ever studied.” 
– Alejo Vidal-Quadras

A favorite of many is Vidal-Quadras’s triple portrait of Princess Grace.  One little-known fact about this sketch is that it was actually done at the home of Frank Sinatra, during a visit there by the Prince and Princess of Monaco.Triple Grace was sketched at Sinatra's home

“A few years later, she asked me to draw a triple portrait of her as a Christmas present to the Sovereign Prince.  Whilst looking for a date to do the drawing we realized that we would be together, at the same time, in Los Angeles.  The Prince and Princess were going to spend a few days in Palm Springs at Frank Sinatra’s.  I myself had an exhibition in Beverly Hills.  Hence it was decided that I would do the triple drawing at Frank Sinatra’s home.

Princess Grace with young Princess Caroline and Prince Albert“On another occasion, in Monaco, to facilitate the settings for little Prince Albert and Princess Caroline, when I was painting their portraits, Princess Grace read them fairy stories.  We were in the nursery.  To listen to her was a real pleasure, she used her acting talents and the children were fascinated.  One of the stories was about Christmas, and the little Princess Caroline, aged four, suddenly interrupted her mother, “Mummy, tell me please, does Father Christmas live near my Palace?”  – alejovidalquadras.com

We did it our way: Lyrical Connections of Monte Carlo and Las Vegas August 14, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Grace Kelly, Las Vegas, Monaco Royal Wedding, Monegasques in the USA, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Princess Grace of Monaco.
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Claude Francoise on a Monaco yacht, 1966

Claude Francoise on a Monaco yacht, 1966

Claude “Cloclo” François spent his childhood in Egypt, before moving with his parents to Monte Carlo when he was 17, in 1956.  Having had natural talent and musical training all his youth,  François was soon to start a meteoric rise to stardom.

Frank Sinatra at the Monaco Train Station 1958

Sinatra in Monaco, 1958

1956 was a bustling time in the Principality.  Prince Rainier III and Academy Award-winning actress Grace Kelly had just been married.  The wedding celebrations took place to the flashes of hundreds of press photographers.  The event was covered in spectacular style by the acclaimed French poet and author Louise de Vilmorin, a former resident of Las Vegas, on assignment for Marie Claire Magazine and invited by the Royal couple.

Stars of Hollywood and Las Vegas were often seen in Monte Carlo.  Frank Sinatra, then a part-owner of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, had co-starred with Grace Kelly in the movie “High Society” which was released in 1956.  He frequented Monaco with friends, as did many other entertainers.

Claude François started his musical career in this energized environment, in the orchestras of Monaco and the French Riviera, and quickly moved into the pop music scene.  Often called the ‘French Elvis’, he had great success before opening his own stage production and record company, in 1967 at the age of 27, in Paris.

It was then that François and Jacques Revaux wrote a song in French called Comme d’habitude (“As Usual”), which became a huge hit in Francophile countries.

Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka re-wrote the lyrics in English for an American audience in 1970, as the song “My Way”.  It became the identifying song of both Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra during their long-standing residencies in Las Vegas.

Elvis Presley had a long-running show at the Las Vegas Hilton until he died in Las Vegas in 1977.  Claude François died of an accidental electrocution seven months later.  Only Frank Sinatra continued to sing the song.

Anka’s rendition, written with Sinatra in mind, came to define the man.  His star-studded 80th birthday party was titled: “Sinatra: 80 Years My Way.”  On the night of his death at the age of 82 in 1998, the lights on the Las Vegas Strip went dark for ten minutes, in tribute.

Claude Francois and the Claudettes 1966

Claude Francois and the Claudettes, 1966

Claude François had become known as the “King of Kitsch” in some circles for his flashy shows in his later career.   His showmanship and style now has him making something of a posthumous comeback.  A film of his life is soon to be released, partially filmed in the Principality of Monaco.

Las Vegans enjoy royal treatment at Princely wedding in Monaco July 3, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Monaco Royal Wedding, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Charlene of Monaco.
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Of the almost four thousand guests invited from all over the world to the wedding of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and Miss Charlene Wittstock, at least 4 were from Las Vegas.

Mr. and Mrs. Steve Wynn walk the red carpet at the Monaco Royal Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Steve Wynn walk the red carpet at the Monaco Royal Wedding

In addition to Jonathan Warren, Honorary Consul of Monaco in Las Vegas and Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Honorary Consul of Chile in Las Vegas, the front rows of the plaza at the Prince’s Palace also included Mr. And Mrs. Steve Wynn.  Mr. Wynn is the founder and Chairman of Wynn Resorts, which operates some of the largest and most luxurious gaming and resort properties in Las Vegas and Macau.

Several other Las Vegans visited Consul Warren while in Monaco to enjoy the Principality’s national celebrations.

Prior to the July 2 religious ceremony at the Palace, guests were treated to an Eagles concert, and a spectacular music and light show over the Port de Hercules, viewed from the vantage point of the balcony at the Hermitage Hotel.

A select few attended the civil ceremony.  Some went to the Opera for the reception, and others to another reception at the top of the Oceanographic Museum for a spectacular dinner and view of the fireworks.

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Las Vegas to be represented at Monaco Royal Wedding June 26, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Las Vegas, Monaco Royal Wedding, Monegasques in the USA, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Grace of Monaco.
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Long-time Las Vegans are among the holders of coveted invitations to the Royal wedding of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco to Miss Charlene Wittstock.

Consuls Warren and Biggs Sparkuhl with Mayor Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas

Consuls Warren and Biggs Sparkuhl with Mayor Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas

Jonathan Warren, Consul of the Principality of Monaco and a life-long Las Vegan, will be accompanied by the Honorable Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Consul of the Republic of Chile in Las Vegas and a resident of the City for three decades.  The will join the other invited guests of HSH Prince Albert II on the plaza of the Prince’s Palace in Monaco, to witness the wedding of the Sovereign to Miss Charlene Wittstock.

The last wedding of a Sovereign Prince of Monaco was in 1956, when Prince Albert II’s parents, Prince Rainier III and American Academy Award-winning actress Grace Kelly were married in Monaco.

An Eagles concert and a Jean-Michel Jarre concert-light show over the Port de Hercule will be just a taste of the celebrations marking the July 1st and 2nd civil and religious ceremonies.

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