National Day of Monaco

    Saint-Rainier day is Monégasque National Day — a holiday for Monaco residents. Monaco’s National Day is also a celebration of its independence which is just as important to Monaco as July 4th is to the Americans. It is held every 18th and 19th of November.

    The people of Monaco celebrate by displaying the Monégasque flag and wearing white and red. There are festivities throughout the town including concerts, parades, a drone light show, live theater, and other ceremonies.

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    Mass with the royals – a coveted invite

    Monaco’s National Day: A Rich History

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    gathered at the palace to watch the parade

    In a different form, Monaco’s National Day was first celebrated by Honoré III on May 16, 1734 and then in 1854. However, the current annual itinerary of celebrations for National Festival only dates back to the reign of Prince Charles III (who is also the founder of SBM and the Casino de Monte-Carlo).

    It was during his reign that Monaco became a modern, truly independent state. During his reign, the towns of Menton and Roquebrune, constituting some 80% of Monegasque territory, were formally ceded to France, paving the way for formal French recognition of Monaco’s independence. Rebellions in these towns, aided by the Kingdom of Sardinia, had exhausted Monaco’s military resources for decades.

    Charles III established diplomatic and consular relations with other countries, found a national flag for the Principality, provided the Principality with a medal (the Order of Saint-Charles) as well as an autonomous diocese, reestablished monetary impressions and also issued the first postage stamp in the history of the Principality in 1885. Monte Carlo (in English, Mount Charles) itself takes its name from Charles.

    In 1857, during the second year of his reign, Charles III picked November 4 as the “Sovereign’s Festival”, as it was the day of his patron’s saint. Starting during his reign, on the day of the “Prince’s Festival,” as it is called by the Monégasque, people celebrated with a Te Deum mass ceremony in Saint Nicholas Cathedral. As early as 1871, following the mass, the first military parade took place on the Place du Palais with the Prince’s Guards (it was not until 1875 that the “Carabiniers” took part in the parade.) There were also joyous celebrations, fireworks, concerts, and popular games on the Rock.

    On November 19, 1949, Prince Rainier III ascended to the throne. Soon after, he changed the date of the National Festival from November 4 (as it had been for a century), to November 19, by creating Sovereign Order n°465.

    HSH Prince Albert could have chosen November 15th after his own Patron Saint. But in honor of his father Prince Rainier he kept it as November 19.

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    Inside the palace walls

    Monaco National Day’s Program for 2023

    • Wednesday, November 15, 2023, from 2pm to 6:30pm: National Children’s Day! An afternoon entirely dedicated to children aged 4 to 12 will be held in the salle de spectacle. The concept is to recreate the Principality, its places, its events and its symbols through events, activities and workshops. On the program: inflatable structures (exotic forest, clown slide), fun activities (wooden games, fairground cabins, etc.) and games (football zones, basketball, large Formula 1 remote-controlled car circuit, etc.)! Children, aged 4 to 12, must be accompanied by an adult.
    • Saturday, November 18 at 8:15pm: Fireworks over the Port of Monaco.
    • Saturday, November 18 from 7:30pm: A festive evening will held at the Condamine Market . Requires reservation with the shops of the Halle.
    • Saturday, November 18 at 9pm: Musical show with “Blønd and Blönd and Blónd!” . Made up of Tø, Glär and Mår (a brother and two sisters), the trio has been singing together since their early Swedish childhood. Nourished by an insatiable curiosity and an immoderate love for the classics of French song, they rewrite them, twist them and interpret them in their own way with surprising singularity. Children aged 10 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
    • Sunday, November 19 at 12pm: A giant fish will be prepared on the Place d’Armes with the possibility of catering on the spot or to be taken away (without reservation).
    • Sunday, November 19 at 11:40am: The Military Parade in the Place du Palais is a parade in front of the Palace. You’ll see the Knights of Malta, ambassadors, consuls and state officials in uniforms.
    • Sunday, November 19 at 6pm: Singer Anna Chedid, better known under the pseudonym Nach , will perform on the stage of the Espace Léo Ferré. Author, composer, performer, the 36-year-old musician is the youngest of the Chedid family. While touring with her new album “Peau Neuve”, she will stop in the Principality accompanied by her piano for a very original French-speaking pop-rock concert. Children aged 10 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
    • November 19th events that are invite-only, where HSH the Prince will attend:
      • 10am: Te Deum Mass in Saint Nicholas Cathedral
      • 11:20am: “Prise d’Armes” ceremony
      • 1pm: Official lunch
      • 6pm: Concert
      • 8:30pm: National Day reception and gala evening

    Tickets & Practical Information for Monaco’s 2023 National Day

    Date: November 15 (Children’s Day), November 18 in the evening, and November 19 throughout the day.

    Official Programme: Available on the Mairie de Monaco website.

    Locations: Espace Léo Ferré , Saint Nicholas Cathedral , Place du Palais , and La Condamine Market .

    Tickets: Tickets are free. If you would like tickets to the National Day Events, they will be given out at Espace Léo Ferré between 8:30am and 6pm on November 8th for Monegasques and on November 9th and 10th for Monegasques and residents. Presentation of an identity card, resident card or family booklet for resident children is required.

    Transportation: Check out our guide to Monaco’s transportation options.

    For more events, check out our complete Monaco & the French Riviera events calendar.

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