As with many other celebrations around the world, National Day in Monaco will look much different than usual this year. This past weekend, Prince Albert II announced a scaled-back version of the holiday for 2020 in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Given the large crowds that gather, the National Day parade will not take place, and all diplomatic receptions will be cancelled.
Following the new month-long coronavirus health measures Albert announced on 30 October, the National Day celebrations on 19 November will fall in line with the principality’s 8 p.m. curfew. This means the annual fireworks will be cancelled.
There will be limited access to the Te Deum Mass in the cathedral, with face coverings required for all attending, and the guest list slashed in half. While Prince Albert will continue to hand out awards in the palace courtyard, many of the recipients will receive theirs at home instead.
However, a new addition for 2020 is the awarding of medals to those working on the frontlines of the pandemic. This will take place during a special ceremony on Monday, 16 November, at the Prince’s Palace.
Traditionally, Monegasque over-sixties receive a gift in the Foyer Rainier III for National Day, but this year the packages will be delivered to their homes.
A tradition remaining intact is the National Day concert at the Grimaldi Forum. Featuring opera singer Cécilia Bartoli and other musicians, this year’s concert will feature a much smaller guest list, with 500 people expected to attend.
During his speech on 30 October, Prince Albert shared that while new measures were being taken to curb the spread of COVID-19, schools and most shops, restaurants, and businesses would remain open.
“As you can see, the chosen option is not to take the route of a lockdown,” he said. “I appeal to your discipline and your sense of public interest to comply strictly with the measures which will be detailed to you by my Government so that we do not find ourselves obliged to tighten up this system even further.”