Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella of Monaco have joined their parents, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, to watch traditional celebrations for St. John’s Day in Monte Carlo. The family watched events unfold from the balcony of the Prince’s Palace.
It was the first public engagement for Jacques and Gabriella, who are now five, since the coronavirus pandemic began. The Hereditary Prince and his sister saw a bonfire being lit and traditional dancing unfold in a ceremony on the square in front of their royal home.Embed from Getty Images
The event, which marks the midsummer feast of St. John the Baptist, took place on June 23rd with social distancing in place. It began with a religious service in the Palatine Chapel before the traditional bonfire, called a batafoegu or fire of joy, was lit on the Place du Palais.
Physical distancing was in place at all times with many of those involved in the ceremony on the square wearing face masks.Embed from Getty Images
St. John’s Day celebrations in Monaco usually take place across two days. On the eve of the feast, June 23rd, elected representatives usually take part in the religious service at the Palatine Chapel which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is followed by the lighting of the bonfire and traditional dancing. On June 24th, the feast day itself, another fire is lit in the Moulins area of Monaco.
The family’s appearance comes less than a week after Prince Albert and Princess Charlene led mourners at the funeral of his cousin, Elisabeth-Anne de Massy, in Monaco.