The final countdown has begun to Monaco’s royal wedding between Prince Albert and his South African bride-to-be.
The finishing touches are being added to the principality ahead of two days of ceremonies that begin on Friday.
euronews correspondent in Monaco Isabelle Kumar said: “Preparations are taking place behind me on Palace Square for a massive cocktail party. In this tight-knit community the Prince sent each of the Monaco nationals a personal invitation to attend. The reception will take place just an hour or so after the civil wedding. The prince and his new bride are expected to mingle with the crowds.”
The Mayor of Monaco, Georges Marsan, will present the couple with a gift from Monegasques, who apparently chipped in to buy a work of art. He says it is a big moment for the principality.
“People here feel like it’s the head of the family getting married, a moment of joy and feeling good,” he told euronews. “At the same time, this is an historic event for Monaco, with a new chapter opening, the prince’s wedding, the marriage of the century.”
The feeling of anticipation and excitement is shared by Monegasques and visitors alike.
One Monegasque man told euronews: “Our wishes are those of everyone in Monaco: a beautiful baby, that’s what we’re hoping for.”
An Irish woman told euronews: “Prince Albert, his mother came from our country – our ancestors. It was her great grand father wasn’t it? Came from County Mayo in Ireland, and we’re very excited.”
Monaco’s population has swelled, with extra trains and coaches laid on to bring in visitors. The luxury boats are also sailing in; this is Monaco after all.