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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

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.

Consul of Monaco rescues rare Grace Kelly print from Sahara Hotel closure June 14, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Las Vegas, Princess Grace of Monaco.
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Denied purchase, Consul of Monaco pulls local strings

thief

Consul Jonathan Warren with rare print rescued from Sahara liquidation

After making inquiries through all proper channels and sending known emissaries to the highest levels of the ownership of Sahara hotel, just before it was shuttered on May 16, 2011, the Consul of the Principality in Monaco in Las Vegas was denied the ability to purchase a rare print of Grace Kelly.

“Nothing is for sale.”  Came the word from the Sahara’s leadership,  “We don’t think it is polite to pick at what little meat is left on our bones.”  This despite Consul Warren’s offer even to purchase the piece and gift it to the Principality in the name of the Sahara’s holding company or its officers.  The Sahara has since announced a public sale of everything in the hotel, set for Thursday, June 16.

For many years the heavy piece hung on the wall behind the font desk at the Hotel.  Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III in 1956.  Consul Warren is headed to the wedding of her son, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, on July 2nd.  Jonathan was determined to obtain the print for the Consulate of Monaco in Las Vegas.

“I wasn’t going to be dissuaded by some guy who owned it for three years and had no idea what it was, or the significance of the piece,” says Warren, “so when I was turned down at the highest level, I went back to the street level.”

Friends of Warren worked at the Sahara as far back as when he went to dinner there after his Junior prom, 30 years ago.  He got the tip that a private sale was going on for a closed list of bidders, two days before the public liquidation of the Sahara’s contents.  The informant told him that all the prints were sold except this one, which would be gone very soon, and was momentarily under the watchful eye of a connection.

“Fortunately, the Sahara still had some old-time Las Vegans, not tied to management or ownership, who cared about things like this.”  Warren says,  “with a little help I managed to gain access to the buyer pool and dole out some cash for the piece before anyone was the wiser.  I’m afraid they’ll miss it at the public liquidation which begins Thursday.  I would apologize – if I were sorry.”

To Catch A ThiefConsul Warren says the piece is a rare, semi-candid shot of Academy Award-winning actress Grace Kelly in April of 1955, a few months before she would meet Prince Rainier III of Monaco, whom she married one year later.  She is pictured with Cary Grant, her co-star in To Catch A Thief, which was filmed in Monaco, and during which she was first introduced to the Principality.  According to a friend of Consul Warren’s, archivist and historian Brian Paco Alvarez, the Las Vegas New Bureau holds the original 1955 photo in its collection.

Pictured with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant are actor/singer Ray Bolger, who was the first performer at the Sahara when it opened, and Cary Grant’s wife, actress Betsy Drake.  The Sahara sign is clearly visible in the background.  The print now belongs to the Consulate of Monaco, and will hang there permanently.

Asked who helped him obtain the sale ahead of the gavel at the Sahara, Warren just smiles, “I can only report that Las Vegas has saved face, Monaco has recaptured a rare artifact, and Grace has left the building.”

Consul Warren to keynote Convention Services Association luncheon June 2, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Las Vegas, Monegasques in the USA.
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Convention Services Association of Las Vegas

Consul Warren will be the keynote speaker at the Convention Services Association luncheon on June 22, 2011.  The CSA of Las Vegas was organized in 1968 to promote cooperation, professional growth through education and fellowship among its members in the convention and tourism industries in Las Vegas.

“Las Vegas:  Meeting Place of the World” 

Monte Carlo:  Consul Warren with consuls of Chile, Yemen, and Dem. Rep. of Congo

Monte Carlo: Consul Warren with consuls of Chile, Yemen, and Dem. Rep. of Congo

In his talk, Consul Warren will discuss the impressions of his home town of Las Vegas outside the US,  and why it is the most visited city in the world.  He will inform the group about the history of the Principality of Monaco, and its unique position in business diplomacy, and in hosting conventions and conferences.  Consul Warren will bring news from the wedding plans of HSH Prince Albert II and Miss Charlene Whittstock.  He will also introduce others who he describes as the new breed of honorary consuls, a new guard in the world’s oldest form of bilateral diplomacy.

Consul Warren will describe his vision for Las Vegas as the business diplomacy center of the United States, and how local business will profit from helping make this vision a reality.

Reserve early, seating is limited to 80 attendees.  See the Facebook invitation to view other attendees.

Consul of Monaco visits Ambassador of San Marino during legendary race May 26, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, mille miglia.
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Consuls Warren of Monaco and Biggs Sparkuhl of Chile with Ambassador Rondelli of San Marino

Consuls Warren of Monaco and Biggs Sparkuhl of Chile with Ambassador Rondelli in San Marino

Consul Warren recently traveled to the Republic of San Marino to be introduced to the tiny state, the oldest republic in the world, by H.E. Ambassador Paolo Rondelli.

After enjoying a day of viewing the Mille Miglia classic auto rally as it rolled through the historic center of San Marino, Consul Warren was accompanied by Consul Biggs Sparkuhl (Chile) to dinner with Ambassador Rondelli.
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The trio discussed business and tourism in San Marino, and Ambassador Rondelli gave a fascinating history of the Republic.  Consuls Warren and Biggs Sparkuhl suggested that San Marino could be well served by an honorary consul in Las Vegas, and invited the Ambassador to be their guest in the city of glitter.
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Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Mayoral Candidate Mrs. Caroline Goodman remember Monaco, intend to return soon May 25, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Las Vegas, Mayor Goodman.
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Consul Jonathan Warren and First Lady of Las Vegas Caroline Goodman

Consul Jonathan Warren and First Lady of Las Vegas, Mayoral candidate Caroline Goodman

Veteran Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman took a seat in the audience at a neighborhood clubhouse in Las Vegas last night, to hear several Las Vegas city councilmen and others tell a group of long-time locals why his wife, First Lady of Las Vegas Caroline Goodman, should be the next Mayor of Las Vegas.  Mrs. Goodman followed to give her own version, well-received by an audience very familiar with her life’s work in Las Vegas.

After organizer Paul Workman introduced the several office holders present, including Consul Warren, he asked the Mayor to speak.  “The only one (of the officials present) that I care about here tonight it the Consul of Monaco” joked the Mayor, “Monaco was a stop that Caroline and I made on our first trip abroad.”  He went on to tell of the couple’s time in the Principality in 1962, and in particular a stop at the casino where he followed his wife’s advice in placing two bets, both winners.  Mayor Goodman said he has listened to his wife ever since.

Following her husband and the other speakers, Mrs. Goodman described her plans to continue Mayor Goodman’s legacy of growing the City of Las Vegas on the international stage.  With two weeks to go until the general election, the First Lady of Las Vegas closed her speech by promising, “Win or lose, we’re going to Monaco with Jonathan!”

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Monaco – themed Washington DC fundraiser draws Las Vegas consular contingent March 23, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Las Vegas.
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The Prevent Cancer Foundation annual spring gala is always themed with a country.  On March 11, 2011, the theme was “The Enchanting Principality of Monaco.” 

Amanda Heffner and Patrice Brunet

Amanda Heffner and Patrice Brunet with Las Vegas Consulate group Photo: Washington Scene

Ambassador Noghes, Consul Warren, Jim Aldige, Ambassador Nematov

Ambassador Noghes, Consul Warren, Jim Aldige, Ambassador Nematov

At the front of the room of nearly 900 guests was the table of the Consulate of Monaco in Las Vegas, co-sponsored by China Pharmahub Corp.  In all, the Las Vegas Consulate accounted for 14 attendees to the DC events.  The Foundation raised $1.2 million.

Among the guests at the Consul’s table were H.E. Ilhom Nimotov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the USA; the Honorable Gary Furlong, Consul General of Uzbekistan; the Honorable Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Consul of Chile in Las Vegas; Mr. Van Heffner, CEO of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association and Ms. Amanda Heffner; renowned attorney to Canadian Olympians Mr. Partice Brunet; J. Kathleen Baroness von Schaefer; Mr. Felix Danciu and Miss Kim Schmidt, both of Olive Capital.   The table was sponsored by Mr. Richard Lui, CEO of China Pharmahub Corp, who attended with Miss Monica Ding, Founder and CFO of the company.

Cosmopolitan gathering at Monaco-themed DC Fundraiser

Gary Furlong, Hon. Consul General of Uzbekistan; Amanda Heffner; Van Heffner, CEO Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association; Maguy Maccario, Consul General of Monaco in New York; Ambassador Ilhom Nematov of Uzbekistan; Jonathan Warren, Consul of Monaco; Michel Bouquier, Monaco Director of Tourism. Photo: The Scene

Dignitaries representing the Principality of Monaco at the event also included H.E. Gilles Nóghes, Ambassador of the Principality of Monaco, H.E. Jose Badia, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Hon. Maguy Maccario-Doyle, Consul General of Monaco in New York; Mr. Michel Bouquier, Director of Conventions and Tourism, and others.

In addition to the celebrations of the event, a great deal of business was discussed, and promising relationships developed.

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Las Vegas Consulate welcomes Monaco’s San Francisco vice-Consul March 22, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Las Vegas.
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Honorary vice-Consul Ale Gicqueau and Mrs. Alina Gicqueau visited Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day weekend.  The team at the Las Vegas Consulate and the Consular Chamber of Commerce took advantage of the visit to show vice-Consul Gicqueau how the international society in Las Vegas treats visiting dignitaries.

Consuls of Monaco at the Wynn

Ale Gicqueau, vice-Consul of Monaco; Mrs. Alina Gicqueau; Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Consul of Chile; Jonathan Warren, Consul of Monaco in the Le Reve theater at Wynn Resort

The first night the visitors were treated to front row seats at Two Tenors and a Rose, an operatic musical event and after-party sponsored by the Consulate of Monaco. 

The next evening vice-Consul and Mrs. Gicqueau, Consul Warren and Consul Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl were treated by our good friends at the Consulate of Poland to VIP seating at Le Reve, the amazing show at the Wynn Resort.   This followed a wonderful dinner at the Wynn, where we were joined by John Petkus, Honorary Consul of Poland and Mrs. Mickey Petkus, who is certainly one of the best Las Vegas connections anyone could have.

Consul Warren interviewed by Green Talk Radio March 22, 2011

Posted by jonathanwarren in Consul of Monaco, Las Vegas.
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Consul Warren on Green Talk Radio

Consul Warren on Green Talk Radio

Consul Warren was recently interviewed by Stan Wilkerson on Green Talk Radio, KNUU 970 AM, Las Vegas. 

The 45 minute interview took place during the holiday season, and included questions and answers about the ecological initiatives of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, as well as many of the most commonly asked questions about Monaco.  The entire recorded interview will be posted here shortly.

Stan Wilkerson of Green Talk Radio interviews Jonathan Warren

Stan Wilkerson of Green Talk Radio interviews Jonathan Warren, Consul of Monaco in Las Vegas

 The Prince Albert II of Monaco foundation is focused on three primary areas:  Climate change, biodiversity and water.

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