On July 5, 2012, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco arrived in the Cotes d’Armor (a department in Brittnay, France) to begin his two-day official visit to the area. The purpose of the visit is to:
… trace the footsteps of his ancestors. The commune of Matignon and the Principality of Monaco have a common history. The sovereign prince bears the title of ‘Sire of Matignon’. Louise-Hippolyte Grimaldi married James IV of Matignon on October 1715. The latter became Prince of Monaco in 1731 at the death of his wife.
Any way, this morning the sovereign prince visited the town of Matignon where he was warmly greeted by the locals as well as local dignitaries. After the welcoming ceremony, Prince Albert visited the photo exhibition entitled, L’histoire du Marriage Princier, and inaugurated a historical walking tour and path entitled, Sur les Traces des Matignon et des Grimaldi.
From there, the sovereign prince visited the town of Saint-Cast-le-Guildo where he inaugurated “…a square in the name of Charles-Maurice Grimaldi of Monaco, Count of Valentinois.” When that was all over, Prince Albert II and his delegation bolted on over to Fort-la-Latte (south of Cap Fréhel in Brittnay) where he, once again, inaugurated yet another exhibition entitled, Les Princes de Monaco en Bretagne: Des Matignon aux Grimaldi.
Now, you are probably wondering why Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene did not attend, right? Well, she was busy with other engagements and prepping for the upcoming official visit to Germany beginning on July 8, 2012.
Recently, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco gave an interview regarding his trip, and well… here is a horrible translation.
Why did you want to trace the footsteps of your ancestors in the Côtes d’Armor?
I wanted to get each year in one of the former possessions of my family. This allows me to discover areas that I know until then as the story that linked him to my predecessors. This brings me especially to come to the meeting of their inhabitants and to reconnect with them the links that had been loosened by the time and distance.
This back to my roots is important to me because they allow me, as to each, to become aware of the moral legacy of those who have gone before us. I also want to feel the soul of these extraordinary landscapes and people who made live, and immersing myself in the special atmosphere of this country, its light and its relief.
I would like to thank those who have participated actively in the preparation of these days, I know that they are put all their heart.
Why this visit now? What is the nature of your attachment to the Breton territory you will discover?
This visit took place now where, following several local initiatives, I was invited by the communities concerned to visit the country of Matignon. I had not until then identify the necessary time.
Attachment to the Breton territory, that shows the title of Sire of Matignon. I am proud to continue to wear comes from my distant family because, in 1715, Louise-Hippolyte Grimaldi, who was Princess sovereign of Monaco, married Jacques de Goyon – Matignon, derived from an old Breton line which a branch settled in the 15th century in Normandy.
I also visited the year last in the English channel, and I keep a memory moved to the home which had been reserved.
What representation you make these ascending?
Paradoxically, they are close, because the idea of their role passed me was given by the contemplation of a series of tables that are in a gallery of the Palace in Monaco. They illustrate the achievements of Matignon, their heroic participation in famous episodes in the history of Brittany, battles, seats. I always try to meditate the examples of life they provide us.
Then, the work of builders of my ancestors I was known by the Fort-la-Latte, this superb medieval framework I saw in several major film productions.
What do you expect upon your arrival to the area? Do you want to strengthen relations between the Principality of Monaco and Brittany?
I know that the concerned communes have work for a long time to the success of my coming. I inaugurated several historical routes and exhibitions devoted to my marriage and my family in Matignon country history. These municipalities will benefit from impact media and tourism for their efforts.
I am, you know, attentive to the preservation of the environment and ecosystems approaches incurred by the communities concerned in the Côtes-d’Armor. This might be one of the axes of the maintenance between us to lasting relationships.
Click the links below to watch videos as well as to view photos.
Source and photo courtesy of Palais Princier de Monaco and Ouest France