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Notes From the Archivist: A Historic Weekend in Monaco February 20, 2013

Posted by bjpayne2003 in Consul of Monaco, Consulate of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Consular Corps, Monaco Royal Wedding, Monegasques in the USA, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Princess Grace of Monaco, Principality of Monaco.
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A rare silver 1/6 écu of Honoré II dated 1658

With wide ranging options for first-class entertainment, dining and shopping it sometimes can be easy to forget the historical side of a visit to Monaco. While the most visible link to the past, the Prince’s Palace, is a must-stop on any itinerary, this site along with a few landmarks on le Rocher may be all the casual visitor gets to see of Monaco’s history. If your historical interest runs a bit deeper, you may be curious to hear a bit about a less well known but very tangible link to Monaco’s past – the history of the Principality’s early coinage.You may not suspect a nation of Monaco’s size to have such a numismatic legacy, however Monaco’s early Princes were eager to assert the independence of the Principality and a key part of this was the right to mint their own coinage. Not coincidentally, the first Prince, Honoré II, was also the first to begin minting in Monaco in 1640. With just one significant break in the period from 1735-1837, Monaco has continued to issue a varied and rich series of coins into the modern era.

A 1674 écu of Louis I bearing the arms of the Principality

For anyone intrigued by this part of Monaco’s history, a weekend in December 2012 provided something of a treat. Three major events over two days allowed a rare glimpse at Monaco’s past. The centerpiece of the schedule was a very special exhibition celebrating the 500th anniversary of the wide recognition of Monaco’s independence. Featuring items loaned from the Palace Archives as well as several European museums, visitors were granted the opportunity to view items that are rarely, if ever, on view. These included correspondence of Monaco’s early rulers (the title Prince first being used in 1612), as well as the 1512 decree from France’s Louis XII recognizing the independence and sovereignty of Monaco.

The exhibition was hosted at the Musée des Monnaies et Timbres (The Coin and Stamp Museum), a small but exquisite museum tucked away in Monaco’s Fontvieille district. Though the exhibition provided an added bonus, a visit here anytime is fascinating; the Princely Collection housed here is unrivaled in the world.

On Saturday, December 1st, the well known Monaco firm of Éditions V. Gadoury (www.gadoury.com) organized a superb auction of rare coins from ancient to modern times. A highlight of the sale was a collection of rare early Monaco pieces, one of the largest such collections to come to auction in a century. From the earliest coins of the Honoré II through the centuries to the likeness of the iconic Princess Grace, the collection was a history of the Principality in miniature. All of Monaco’s early coinage is scarce and most of the denominations and years are extremely rare; the auction featured several coins of which 2 or fewer examples were known to exist.

A 1966 piece celebrating the 10th wedding anniversary of TSH Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace

Rounding out the events was the annual Monaco coin fair on Sunday, December 2nd. Dealers from around Europe saw brisk sales in all areas of coin collecting. Additionally, postcards, early photographs and paper items were to be found. Happily, this event is now on annual basis and will be held again in 2013 in conjunction with another auction by Éditions V. Gadoury. The auction is scheduled for Saturday, November 30th with the coin fair to follow on Sunday, December 1st.

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.

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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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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