Prince Albert II gave his family, and the people of Monaco a nice Christmas treat at the weekend. After visiting the staff working on a charity telethon in the south dock area of Port Hercule, the Prince went higher up the rock to visit a Christmas village and declared it open. The Prince was joined by his wife, Princess Charlene and their twins; Prince Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco and Princess Gabriella. Born in December 2014, this will probably be the first Christmas the twins will really be able to enjoy and they certainly revelled in this excursion to the delight of the watching crowd.
After taking part in the opening ceremony, the Princely family went on a walkabout around the village and chalets. The large crowd watching was also treated to the twins enjoying several rides., including riding on the wooden horses of a carousel, under the watchful eye and controlling arms of their parents, to say nothing of the adoring crowd who watched on from afar.
Though living in warm Mediterranean climes, the Prince is no stranger to the cold wastes of the North Pole where no doubt he has told the twins that Father Christmas lives. As part of his continuing interest in climate change, Prince Albert took part in a Russian expedition to the North Pole in April 2006 about a year after taking over from his father Prince Rainier. He has followed this up with a trip to the South Pole in 2009 to be able to see at first hand the effects of global warming.
As recognition of his continuing work and support for projects which protect the environment and promote scientific research he was awarded the Roger Revelle Prize by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolle, California.