Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Monaco Christmas Card (2017)

A reply arrived today from Monaco!

It is of course from Prince Albert and Princess Charlene for the Christmas letter I send them.

The envelope is marked "Service of HSH the Princess of Monaco" and features the Monaco's "Happy Holidays" postmark.

The stamp is from 2017, and depicts the Battle of Chemin Des Dames. The Battle of Chemin Des Dames (also called Second Battle of the Aisne) took between French-Russian troops & German troops during WWI. The stamp's release coincides with the 100th anniversary of the battle.

On the stamp is Prince Louis II (Prince Albert's great-grandfather), who volunteered to serve in the French Army during WWI. It was for his service, Prince Louis was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour from France. This is France's highest order of merit for military persons.

The Monaco Royals Christmas card has the same basic look each year, but they like to switch up the paper. Sometimes it more glossy, sometimes it's more of an ivory color. This year the card and the envelope have sparkles. (And yes, the Monoco Royals are big on matching the paper and envelopes). It is hard to see the sparkles from the photos, but if you get the light to hit just right... Here is a photo of the back of the envelope, you can see the sparkles on the left. The back of the envelope also features the couple's joint monogram.

The front of their card features a photo of 3-year-old twins, Crown Prince Jacques and Princess Gabrielle. The photo was taken by Vanessa Von Zitzewitz, who is one of the family's favorite photographers. The top of the card also has Albert & Charlene's joint monogram. The monogram along with the red border are embossed, which make the card extra nice.

Inside the card is a message from the couple, written in French, English and Monégasque. The message changes each year. The two signatures are printed on and are the same as past years.

This is the first time they have included a photo on the inside of their christmas card, (or at least this is the 1st time, since I started writing to them 4 years ago). Usually the left side of the card is blank.

What is very intresting about the photo on the inside, is it is a repeat from their Christmas card last year. I understand, with just the twins on the front of the card, they wanted to include the whole family on the inside. But it seems odd to go with a year-old photo that was apart of your Christmas card last year. (And don't get me started on that weird effect.)

You can compare the photo from this year and last year. This photo was also taken by Vanessa Von Zitzewitz.

Breaking from their past cards, the back of Monaco Christmas card features a small photo of the Prince's Palace of Monaco. The photo is from October 2016, when the Palace was light up orange in support of the Flavien Foundation. The foundation was created in 2014 in honor of Flavien, an boy from Monaco who passed away at age 8 from brain cancer. The Flavien Foundation is Monaco's 1st charity for pediatric cancers and rare diseases.

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