Playing tourist – Monaco

A few weeks ago while I was in cannes for my pre-summer holidays, I decided to take a day off from the fancy private beaches and headed on the train to the principalty of Monaco,

Monaco is obviously on the French Riviera, it is a tiny soreveign city state of only 2.02km for over 39 thousand people. How is it even possible you may ask? such a small area – so many people!

Well simple, if you look at the geographical area, Monaco is built on a massive rock (see image below) also they have been building very high buildings in order to fill the need for places to live.


Monaco is very high-end, its casino is very popular, many movies where shot in Monaco the most popular being:

  • To catch a thief 

  • Iron Man 2

  • Ocean Twelve

  • Casino Royale

  • Goldeneye

Monaco is popular for its casino, the Grand Prix, the lifestyle, the tax laws and obviously the Royal Family.

Here are a few things I’v witness, it truly is a beautiful place to visit.


In 2014, it was noted that about 30% of the population is made of millionaires. more than Zurich or even Geneva

It is governed by a constitutional monarchy lead by Prince Albert II, which is a basic mix between a democracy and a monarchy (in short)

Albert and his family ‘the house of Grimaldi’ have governed over Monaco since 1297 making them the oldest Royal family in Europe. They Originally came from the Genoa area in Italy. Remember the French riviera is right by the Italian border!

A little modern history about the Grimaldis, they became super popular when Prince Rainer (Albert’s dad) married Grace Kelly a beautiful American Actress.

grace and rainier

The original royal wedding, well after Charles and Diana I suppose

For those who do not know, Grace Kelly acted in a good few famous movies at the time.

While growing up the Royal family was always full of scandal, and I always found them extremely fascinating.

so let me tell you a bit about them …

Prince Renier and princess Grace (Kelly) married in 1956 after a short courtship.

During their marriage Prince Renier & princess Grace had 3 children:

Princess Caroline, born January 23, 1957

Prince Albert, born March 14, 1958, current Prince of Monaco

Princess Stéphanie, born February 1, 1965

in 1982 Princess Grace (kelly) died in a car crash, the gossip were that her 16 year old daughter Stephanie was driving, other gossips were that the car was shot by the Italian mafia – the official story is that it was a ‘normal’ car accident. Grace died, but Stephanie survived.

car crash

The news spread like wild fire, you have remember that is before the age of social media, All the newspapers across the world could not stop talking about it.

Prince Renier & Princess Grace’s son is Albert II, who is currently rules over Monaco.

the fact that Prince Albert married only recently brought about a lot of rumors when he was a young man. He married Charlene Wittstock at age 53.  A lot of gossips were happening, the fact that he was single for so long OR unmarried, people were saying the Prince liked the company of men, then he had 2 elegitimate children with 2 different women before Marrying Princes Charlene (South African Olympic swimmer)

Prince Albert, has 2 sisters, Caroline and Stephanie … who had their fair share or gossips too through the years.

Caroline has been married 3 times, Her first marriage to Parisian banker Philippe Junot ended in divorce;

her second in tragedy when Italian husband Stefano Casiraghi died in a speedboat accident. Her relationship with third husband Ernest August Prinz von Hanover is a regular source of gossips.

Stephanie, 46, married then divorced her bodyguard Daniel Ducret after first having two children by him.

After having a third child by an unnamed man,

She married trapeze artist Adans Lopez Peres in 2003, & divorced him 2004

Kind of seems like the family is cursed doesn’t it!

Here are a few ‘old’ photos of the House of Grimaldi Family



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