SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


Princess Charlene takes her twins to the Sainte Dévote celebrations

Princess Charlene of Monaco took her two children to a celebration of Monaco’s patron saint earlier in the week. 

Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella went with their mother to Sainte Dévote celebrations. Sainte Dévote is the patron saint of Monaco, and each year members of the royal family attend on 26 January, the day before her feast day.

The tradition of burning a boat in honour of the saint started in 1874. The boat is first brought to Port-Hercule, then it is set afire outside of the Église Sainte Dévote (the chapel dedicated to the saint), with a mass celebrating the saint’s life and martyrdom at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. After that, the saint’s relics are processed in a tradition that seeks protection for both the Monagesque Royal Family and Monaco as a whole. 

Prince Albert of Monaco did not attend with his wife and children; he has tested positive for Covid-19 for a third time and is isolating by himself. His eight-year-old twins looked to be having fun with their mother, though, as they took part in the celebrations, using large candles to light grasses on fire and even sharing a hug while watching the fire. 

Sainte Dévote is the patron saint of Monaco and Corsica, and was a young woman in Corsica who was martyred in the early fourth century. She was killed being a Christian; she was most likely stoned to death. 

Although her body was supposed to be burnt to avoid any Christians gathering around it, it was rescued and sent away on a boat sailing for Africa. A storm turned the boat around though, and it ended up coming ashore in Monaco. 

Dévote was made the patron saint of Monaco in the seventeenth century, during the reign of Prince Honoré II. 

"; n.innerHTML = "window._taboola = window._taboola || [];_taboola.push({mode:'thumbnails-a', container:'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement:'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix'});"; insertAfter(t, e); insertAfter(n, t) }injectWidgetByMarker('tbmarker');

About author

Historian and blogger at