[caption id="attachment_29148" align="alignnone" width="1350"] Photo: Facebook PhotoMonaco[/caption]
A new event is about to make its debut in the Principality. PhotoMonaco promises to be an international fair with an emphasis on artistic photography and collectibles.
Renaud Siegmann, the event’s director, is known for his inspired take on contemporary creation over the last 30 years. He curated the Marrakech Art Fair in 2010 and 2011, and steered the Monaco Art Fair as its executive director in 2016.
Under the High Patronage of Prince Albert, PhotoMonaco will be a new platform with an aim to trigger original encounters between the public and images, and for this first edition, Mr Siegmann has chosen to promote photographic moments under the theme of “Le Temps du Regard”.
“PhotoMonaco is special because it offers an experience of the photographic moment. This is not yet another fair focusing solely on the commercial aspect,” Mr Siegmann said.
“I see our fair as a significant step towards defending images but also publishing, measured against extremely rigorous standards. For example, at every edition of PhotoMonaco, I intend to present a large collection of photographs, whether historic, modern or contemporary, to bring a qualitative tempo to the event.”
PhotoMonaco will be open to the public at Exhibition Hall, Quai Albert 1er, from Friday, April 6, until Sunday, April 8, from 1 pm to 7 pm. Admission is free.
Another week, another ride on the Monaco Express, as I call the BA Friday flight from London.
But this was no ordinary day. With a dense drizzly fog clinging to the ground, it had the hushed atmosphere of a Sherlock Holmes movie. Planes were grounded, passengers stranded, the BA Lounge packed. I grabbed a coffee and asked a pretty blonde if I could share her table.
We soon struck up a conversation about what we both did for a living. “Dating Industry,” I shared. “Nanny for an Oligarch in Monaco,” she said.
LOG IN TO READ FULL ARTICLE
[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type="show" ihc_mb_who="reg" ihc_mb_template="" ]
“Ah, so you look after someone’s loved ones and I look after the love lives of others,” I replied.
I explained that I was an International Matchmaker. “Ooh, what’s that?”
“Well, we’re like head-hunters. We find serious partnerships for exceptional but time-poor people. This is our busiest month and, in fact, the first working Monday of the year is what lawyers dub 'Divorce Day'. We get most of our enquiries this month.”
“Really, so how does it work?" Ines, my table sharing friend, asked inquisitively.
“Well our clients pay us from £10,000 to £50,000 depending how many locations we cover for them. Clients work with a matchmaker who searches our extensive network of vetted singles, honing in on the closest matches.”
“So how successful is it – do you go to lots of weddings and christenings?”
“Well, we have an 85 percent success rate. But that’s because we turn away about a third of our enquiries and concentrate on the people that really are serious and know what they want, or can let us help them find out.
"The prospective date of the client isn’t charged – so if we ask someone to be part of our database as a potential match, it means they’re a good fit for us.”
[caption id="attachment_27345" align="alignnone" width="640"] Young Women Travel Together Concept[/caption]
It transpired that Ines the nanny was single and needed help with her online dating profile. With time on our hands, I offered help. She was using an app called Bumble, which matches like Tinder but lets the girls text first. The result is that men try harder with their “Billboard” and women get to be choosy and not constantly bombarded.
“Oh, Ines this won’t do!”
“Why not”, she asked, “men just look at pictures?”
“But your profile picture is of you straddling a giant tortoise! If you’re going to be astride anything, better make it a racehorse! And the others are just your face? You’ve got a great body, find one with all of you in it and add one with you smiling in the middle of a group of friends. We always photograph better surrounded by loved ones.
“Now let’s write something about you. Men are visual creatures, but they do read … What do you do that’s interesting? Men love sporty girls. Do you do any sport?”
“Oh, I run the marathon in Istanbul every November and love No Finish Line in Monaco – my girlfriends and I get competitive with that.”
"Well I did Politics at Gothenburg, but I’m originally from Stockholm. And I did TEFL in London where I was working in financial PR for a few years. That’s what I’m doing in Monaco, teaching twin four-year-old Russian boys English. “
“Well I spend all my free time travelling. I share the children with another nanny, so we can each have some time off. I’ve been exploring France and Italy mostly.”
“Lastly, what are you looking for in a partner?”
“Well, I’m 35 and I love children, so someone serious, not a player. He needs to love the outdoors, have a great sense of humour and good family values. Spontaneous, not stuck-in-a-rut square. Preferably blonde.”
While I was writing up Ines’ little profile for the big wide world of online dating, I had a thought. We have a Scandinavian client, Lukas, who travels like crazy and wants to meet someone with a super-flexible career, someone with great values and a solid degree. Preferably a pretty blonde. Boom.
Lukas was in Monaco for business the following month, so I struck the match and they’ve been dating ever since.
The moral of the story? A high-flyer doesn’t always want another high-flyer. For our client, it was more important to be able to find enough time for a relationship.
Barbara Brudenell-Bruce is a matchmaker with London’s exclusive matchmaking agency, Vida, and her network boasts an impressive list of entrepreneurs, celebrities and aristocrats. She lives between Monaco and London. Article first published January 16, 2017.
[caption id="attachment_29293" align="alignnone" width="640"] Prince Albert and Nancy Heslin at Rocagel.[/caption]
On March 14, HSH Prince Albert celebrates his 60th birthday. If you're hoping to know all the important details about what flavour of cake HSH will be eating and what the twins are wearing for the birthday occasion ... then go to People Magazine. That's not my style.
I’m sure the Prince himself, who this week told Le Figaro that he “feels somewhere between the age of 15 and 45”, will take a moment on his big day to reflect over his achievements to date. The list is impressive, as the Olympian, and the Foundation that bears his name, continue to promote environmental protection and sustainable development, both at home and on a global scale. From the National Pact for Energy Transition to solar roads in Fontvieille, and from Yersin, the ecological research ship flying the Monegasque flag currently on a 3-year worldwide mission, to Prince Albert’s North Pole expedition in 2006 to draw attention to climate change.
As recently as last Friday, I listened at the Awards Ceremony of CleanEquity Monaco as Prince Albert announced the creation of the world’s first Global Award for Sustainability with the Nobel Sustainability Trust, and a Global Green Investment Bank. Wow.
Yet as the Prince celebrates this milestone on Wednesday, rather than provide a resumé-style retrospective, I would like to pay tribute to the Prince of the People.
As a journalist in Monaco, I cross paths with HSH in a variety of contexts: an art vernissage, the London to Monaco Charity Cycle arrival at the palace, a celebration for the Solar Impulse 2 Team, the opening of the Energy Security Forum or the Monaco US Celebrity Golf Cup Gala Dinner. I have been a guest at the Prince’s home, Rocagel, when he kindly agreed to an exclusive interview along with Mungo Park, his co-founder of CleanEquity Monaco.
[caption id="attachment_29292" align="alignnone" width="640"] Bertrand Piccard, Prince Albert and André Borschberg congratulating Solar Impulse 2 team. Photo: ML[/caption]
All of these encounters allow me to paint a bigger picture of HSH across a day, or week, and it’s more than just the words that fill column inches. It's a story about a Prince who is as loyal to the people as they are to him.
Let me share some snapshots from over the years. Before arriving at the Fairmont last Friday to make his closing speech at CleanEquity Monaco, the Prince had been at Grimaldi Forum, where he met with 18-year-old Felix Finkbeiner who was launching his Trillion Tree Campaign with the Prince’s full support.
On the morning of November 8, 2017, after hosting HRH Prince Andrew Duke of York at a Palace Gala reception the night before, Prince Albert was at the Yacht Club for the inaugural Princes’ Cup, a rowing competition for youth organised by Outward Bound Monaco. Then he was off to the Hermitage for the 90th anniversary luncheon of the Monte-Carlo Club. By 5 pm, he arrived at MonacoTech’s new premises to inaugurate the joint initiative between the government and Monaco Telecom.
The Prince is not just showing up, he’s committed; he spoke to each of the kids participating in the rowing regatta. He took the time to ask questions to each of the 15 startup companies at MonacoTech, even though that delayed the speeches.
I constantly see how Prince Albert has a way of validating each of the people he has contact with in his role as a sovereign. While Prince Andrew is painfully awkward socially, unsure of how to hand a youth a baseball cap, Prince Albert is old hand at putting people at ease with a smile and casual conversation.
[caption id="attachment_29291" align="alignnone" width="640"] Prince Andrew and Prince Albert with 2017 Princes Cup winners ,Facebook Prince's Palace of Monaco[/caption]
On June 9 last year, immediately after landing from New York, where he had addressed the UN at a three-day Ocean Conference, Prince Albert arrived for the closing of Monacology’s EcoVillage, at Quai Antoine 1er. He spoke to each local business and student at every booth, asking questions, and even watched a puppet show.
On December 14, 2016, fresh from Quebec City, Canada, where HSH participated in an Arctic Circle event on sustainable development, at 11:15 am, he was paying a visit to the tribute exhibition to Monaco’s former Minister of State, Michel Roger, at La Cremaillere restaurant. The Prince genially shook everyone’s hand as he entered and spoke to each artist.
Later that afternoon, HSH and Princess Charlene welcomed 600 Monegasque children for the traditional Christmas at the Palace.
At 6:45 pm, Prince Albert pulled up to the Hotel de Paris for the “Vente aux enchères de sapins de Noël”, the annual Action Innocence fundraiser that auctions Christmas trees for charity. Later that evening, Prince Albert attended an awards ceremony at 8:30 pm at the Automobile Club of Monaco, where he presented Nico Rosberg with an original work of the British artist Michael Turner.
[caption id="attachment_29288" align="alignnone" width="640"] 2016 World Rowing World Championships. Photo: Facebook Palais Princier de Monaco.[/caption]
Throw into the mix the Prince's sense of fun, community and sportsmanship: his participation in the Riviera Water Bike Challenge, the 140 km St Tropez to Monaco Cycle and the 2016 World Rowing Championships when he joined the Yole 8+, to name a few events.
For me, the success of a person’s life is measured by how he or she treats others. In February 2016, Prince Albert graciously paid a visit to some 40 parishioners of St Paul’s Monte Carlo, in support of the church’s elevator appeal, for which the Prince is patron. After spending a fair amount of time chatting with various people, it was time for the Prince to leave. On his way out, I watched as he made a point to stop and shake hands with the young caterers.
Happy 60th Birthday to the Prince of the People.
Sunday 13 August, 5 pm, Monaco Cathedral
12th International Organ Festival: two-part reading of an adaptation of L'Enfant de Noé (Noah’s Child) by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt accompanied by Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin, organ with Pauline Choplin and Pierre Marie Escourrou, actors, organised by the Department of Cultural Affairs
Information: +377 98 98 83 03