Come April 30, legions of devoted Royal Wedding Watchers will suffer the disease known as RWW, or Royal Wedding Withdrawal*.
Never fear, RWW sufferers – help has arrived, in the form of one of the world’s richest countries, Monaco. On July 1 2011, the principality will celebrate the nuptials of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II and elegant South African Olympic swimmer Miss Charlene Wittstock. Okay, so it’s not *quite* the same. He’s the son of Grace Kelley and Prince Rainier III, but the once devoted bachelor prince is in his 50s and has two illegitmate children, neither of whom can inherit the title as per Monaco’s inheritance laws. At present, Prince Albert’s sister, Princess Caroline, is the heir presumptive to the title.
Still. It’s a ROYAL. WEDDING.
On July 1, 2011, the civil wedding ceremony will take place in the Throne Room of the Prince’s Palace. Later that evening, a large concert will be offered by the newly-wedded couple at the Port for all residents and visitors. On July 2, 2011, the religious wedding ceremony will take place in the Main Courtyard of the Prince’s Palace.
To be celebrated by Monseigneur Bernard Barsi, Archbishop of Monaco, more than 3,500 invited guests will witness the wedding on giant screens in the vicinity of the Palace and screens will also be set up at prime locations throughout the Principality to enable residents and visitors to watch the proceedings.
The couple will take a special procession route in a Lexus luxury hybrid vehicle, underscoring Prince Albert’s commitment to environmental conservation, to the Church of Sainte Devote where the bride will lay down her bouquet. The official dinner and a gala ball will be held at the Salle Garnier and the Terraces of the Casino later that evening followed by fireworks for all of Monaco to enjoy.
[Flickr via davharuk]Never visited Monaco? Here are a few things to do:
Royal Houses Exhibition at Grimaldi Forum
This summer the Grimaldi Forum will showcase important pieces from four centuries of historic European monarchies with The Magnificence and Grandeur of Royal Houses in Europe exhibition. Open July 11 through September 11, 2011, 600-plus artifacts will provide visitors with a unique glimpse into the imperial homes and lives of Europe’s most powerful and respected leaders and couples.
Musical Legends Headline Sporting Summer Music Festival
This year’s Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Music Festival, from July 8 through August 27 at Salle des Etoiles, offers, yet again, a list of legendary musicians as key performers. Janet Jackson will open the festival on July 8 and 9, Stevie Wonder will return after his acclaimed performance last year and Sting will perform on July 25.
New National Museum
Monaco’s recently opened Nouveau Musee National de Monaco (NMNM) is located in two venues – the stunning Villa Paloma and Villa Sauber. The newly re-designed venues focus on modern contemporary works of art and will feature two exhibitions annually that will spotlight the cultural, historic and artistic virtues of Monaco.
In addition to the five restaurants that boast a combined eight Michelin stars, fine food connoisseurs will appreciate the Principality’s many new culinary offerings including a transformed Le Vistamar at the Hotel Hermitage, which recently re-opened its doors under the direction of Chef Joel Garault. The Horizon at The Fairmont Monte Carlo has proposed a new menu featuring a “chic and ethical” concept, demonstrating Executive Chef Maryan Gandon’s commitment to sustainable development and the planet. YOSHI at the Metropole Monte-Carlo – Chef Joel Robuchon’s only Japanese inspired eatery – recently received a Michelin star.
Relax and Rejuvenate
Monaco has a distinct advantage: a combination of climate, sunshine and abundant natural resources drawn directly from the Mediterranean Sea. This summer the Monte-Carlo Beach Spa will re-open, highlighting its sleek makeover and unique location, nestled in the pool area overlooking the sea.
Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House
Among one of the world’s most famous cultural landmarks, the Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House continues to be a “must-see” attraction in Monaco. Travelers from around the world can try their hand at the Casino’s gaming tables and witness operatic performances in the Salle Garnier, where 45 world premieres have been held and Matisse and Picasso designed sets and costumes in the not-so-distant past.
*This fake disease was made up by the author, whose only claim to medical knowledge is that her father is a doctor.