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Visit by H.S.H. the Prince to Montpellier

On Tuesday 15 June, H.S.H. Prince Albert II paid an official visit to Montpellier, at the invitation of the Mayor of the city and President of the Metropolis, Michaël Delafosse.

During this visit, the Sovereign Prince followed in the footsteps of Prince Rainier III, who was a schoolboy in Montpellier between 1941 and 1943 and passed his baccalaureate there.

Keen to integrate into life in the Hérault capital, Prince Rainier was part of an amateur theatre group, and publicly performed a play, Les Jours Heureux; by Claude-André Puget, playing the role of "Bernard" at a performance at the Théâtre Municipal in 1942. For this reason, the Sovereign began his tour on foot in the Place de la Comédie, after visiting the interior of the building, which is the present opera house.  H.S.H. the Prince was then received in the chapel of the Pénitents Bleus, as His father had joined this brotherhood in 1943.

The Sovereign also visited the mansion where Rainier III rented a flat during his time in Montpellier, which is now the "Maison de Heidelberg", a Franco-German cultural centre. After passing in front of the Fabre Museum, which was the high school in his father's time, Prince Albert II unveiled a commemorative plaque in his memory in the grounds of the Lycée Joffre, in the presence of the headmistress and the rector of the Academy.

In the afternoon, after a typical Languedoc lunch in the presence of the Prefect of Hérault and several regional and departmental elected officials, His Serene Highness the Prince was the guest of the University Space Centre of Montpellier and of the Van Allen Foundation, chaired by Jean-Claude Gayssot, former Minister of Transport.

The day ended with a visit to the laboratories that manufacture nano and micro-satellites. Francesco Bongiovanni, head of the Monegasque company Monaco Orbital Solutions, was able to meet and talk with the researchers, and the representatives of the Prince Albert II Foundation and the Monaco Scientific Centre, were able to do the same with a marine biology laboratory that is already working in partnership with the Explorations de Monaco.

Visit by H.S.H. the Prince to Montpellier