Prince Albert II of Monaco has used his traditional New Year’s Eve message to speak of his hope for the future and his determination to lead his nation towards better times.
Speaking in French, the Sovereign Prince looked back on a year he believed would ‘‘remain etched in our memories, marked by doubt, fear and pain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has spread across our planet”.
Albert, who contracted coronavirus in March but who has since made a full recovery, said ”the damage wrought by this epidemic goes further than the health situation. Every sector has been weakened, and the effects will last several years.” He went on ”this health crisis has turned our routines and everything we know upside down. It has forced us to draw on all our intelligence, to think carefully about every aspect of our existence. We must not stifle that process. On the contrary, we must amplify it. The vitality and resilience of our minds and spirits are crucial at the moment when we are most in need of light, warmth and diversion, to ensure we are not overwhelmed by discouragement.”
The Prince, known for his work in environmental matters, also had words of concern for the planet and for those who are going through the pandemic in the most difficult circumstances. He said ”my thoughts are with those people whose suffering is exacerbated by conflict, humanitarian crises or the natural disasters that are becoming more and more frequent due to climate change. I pay tribute to those who, with generosity and solidarity, work to bring relief to those people whose numbers are rising dramatically year after year.”
And Albert urged everyone to make the environment a priority, adding ”our greatest asset is our collective intelligence, and the desire to build a better future together. Together, we must act to preserve a sustainable planet, together we must imagine a kinder society.”
Looking to the future, Prince Albert said ‘‘These New Year wishes are, for me, a very special tradition but today they are made even more important by the circumstances which call for a message of hope and optimism. I have every confidence that 2021 will see us overcome this ordeal thanks to our solid economic and social model and the talented people in our public and private sectors.”
And he gave his fellow citizens a promise ‘‘I assure you of my unwavering commitment to leading the Principality out of this health crisis and towards a more stable, more prosperous and more just future.”
At the end of the message, Prince Albert II was joined by Princess Charlene. Speaking in English, the couple wished the people of Monaco a ”Happy New Year”, sentiments they shared on behalf of their children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, as well.
You can see the full speech on the official Facebook page.