Thursday, 17 November 2016

Albert and Charlene's gifts

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene distribute gifts in a special week for Monaco
(photo Palais Princier Facebook)

As Monaco gets ready for its national day, there are gifts to be given. And these presents had a new meaning this year. Traditionally, Monaco's royals hand out baskets and gifts ahead of their country's National Day to locals but in a year when Europe has seen a refugee crisis there were new recipients in a cermony filled with meaning.

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene visited the Red Cross on November 17th for the annual presentation there. Just to add to the sense of occasion, Charlene wore Monaco's national colours for the event - with the red and white also paying homage to the colours used by the institution she was visiting.

After an official welcome and flowers for Charlene, the royal couple headed inside where they got ready to distribute almost 140 gift bags to a wide range of people. This event usually includes retired people from Monaco but this time round they were joined by new recipients as Albert and Monaco also distributed gifts to refugees from Syria among other countries.

Prince Albert handed over the gifts with Charlene adding a traditional sweet offering to each bag that was presented. The couple spent time talking to each of those receiving the bags. Meanwhile, Princess Stephanie and her younger daughter, Camille, were handing out gifts to some of Monaco's senion citizens.

The gift giving by Albert, Charlene and the other royals comes ahead of more celebrations for Monaco's National Day, also called La Fete du Prince, which falls on November 19th. On the day itself there will be a Te Deum, a parade and a balcony appearance as well as a gala with many of Prince Albert's family expected to be in attendance across the day. But this year's celebrations have begun with a new twist on an old tradition as Albert and Charlene bring gifts with new meaning.

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