Monaco’s heir to the throne, Hereditary Prince Jacques, copied his father on Thursday during the country’s National Day celebrations and saluted the troops.
The five-year-old Prince was in a uniform like his father while his older twin sister, Princess Gabriella’s outfit was coordinated with their mother, Princess Charlene. Jacques’s uniform matched the Palace Guard and included the plumed helmet, which needed some adjusting throughout the ceremony.
Gabriella held tight to her mother’s hand throughout the ceremony and was seen yawning about halfway through; however, both she and her brother showed patience that not many five-year-olds would have as they attended the 20-minute ceremony outside the Princely Palace.
Prince Albert, who battled COVID-19 earlier this year, wanted to honour healthcare workers and others who have been involved in the fight against the pandemic. As such, a COVID-19 award was created. The Monaco Red Cross was also bestowed the the Order of Grimaldi on the organisation and ceremonially pinned the decoration on the flag of the Red Cross.
At the end of the short ceremony on Thursday morning, the changing of the guard took place. Prince Albert saluted the military members, and his young son emulated him. Princess Gabriella smiled and waved as the troops marched past. Prince Albert took note of his son’s actions and could be seen chatting with Princess Charlene after their son saluted the troops. Even though they were wearing masks, their eyes showed their pride at their son copying his father.
Others in attendance at the ceremony at the Princely Palace included Albert’s older sister, Princess Caroline and three of her four children. Andrea Casiraghi attended alongside his wife, Tatiana, but they did not bring their three children; Pierre Casiraghi and his wife, Beatrice, also made appearances with their two sons, Stefano and Francesco. Princess Alexandra, Caroline’s youngest child, also attended, but her older sister, Charlotte was not there with her husband and two children.
Prince Albert’s younger sister, Princess Stéphanie, did not attend; her son, Louis Ducruet and his wife, Marie, as well as Stéphanie’s youngest child, Camille, attended in her place.
Princess Charlene’s brother, Gareth Wittstock, also attended the celebrations.
Earlier in the day, the Princely Family, minus the children, attended a small Te Deum at the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate.
Due to the pandemic, the usual celebrations in the principality for its national holiday were scaled back. This year, the traditional Te Deum service only had half the number of normal guests; the normal changing of the guard and parade in the Palace Square were also cancelled. The changing of the guard in the main courtyard did take place, which is where young Jacques was seen mirroring his father’s salute.
A concert was held in the evening with only 500 masked guests.
Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella will celebrate their sixth birthday on 10 December.