On Thursday and Friday, the people of Monaco and the Princely Family of Monaco celebrated Sainte Dévote, the patron saint and protector of both the Princely Family and the Principality. The celebrations date back to the 6th century.
On Thursday the celebrations began as His Serene Highness Princess Albert II and his wife, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene attended the Salvation of the Blessed Sacrament, which is a traditional mass in the Church of Saint Devote. After this, a symbolic boat was burned in the front of the church, which is a tradition that dates back to 1924 and the reign of Prince Louis II. The legend states that Dévote, a Corsican Christian girl, was martyred by the Romans in the 4th century. Her remains were then placed in a boat, which drifted to the port of Monaco.
On Friday, a ceremony in the Cathedral of Monaco was followed by a procession of penitents made up by the Archconfraternity of Mercy. When it arrived at the Palace, the procession presented the Saint’s relics to the Princely Family on the square in front of the palace.
The couple also appeared on the balcony with their two-year-old twins, Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco and Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès. The adorable twins played hide and seek and took turns peeking through the balustrade as their parents waved to the crowds below. Just before their second birthday, last December Prince Albert said of his children: “The kids are great. They’re running around everywhere, still jumping in and out of the pool up at the ranch on a day like today when it’s still warm enough here. They’re still all smiling and laughing. I still haven’t seen any tantrums, though those are probably coming, but for now, they’re very sweet and alert.”