Princess Charlene and her eight-year-old children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella led the celebration by beginning the traditional boat-burning ritual to commemorate Monaco’s patron saint St. Devoted. The royals also greeted members of the public as they attended a chapel service before the boat burning took place.
Princess Charlene and her royal twins of Monaco, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, used their own red and white candles to light the traditional bonfire, which consumed a full-sized model of a boat.
Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella were seen enjoying the celebrations by hugging and larking about as they watched the boat go up in flames, showing the close relationship between the royal twins.
The lighting of the boat has been a tradition maintained by Monaco’s Royal Family since the 19th century and marks the beginning of a two-day holiday.
However, the tradition this year also had a drone show which told the story of St Devote in the sky, which seemed to delight both Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella as they were seen laughing and pointing as they watched the show.
The annual celebration is to honor St. Devote, a Corsican-born woman from the 4th century who was arrested and killed for being Christian.
Her body was retrieved by villagers who sent it adrift on a boat, and legend says the boat was led through a storm by a dove before it landed in Monaco.
It is said her saint’s body landed in Monaco’s Port Hercule, where a chapel was built to as a marl of respect to St. Devoted.
In the 16th century, St. Devotee is said to have appeared to the citizens of Monaco during a siege and is believed to have protected its people while her presence helped the Lord of Monaco, Lucien Grimaldi defeat the Genoese troops.
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St. The devotee also has a special link to Princess Charlene as well as all Monaco brides, as it is traditional for women after getting married to visit her chapel and offer their wedding flowers to the saint.
In July 2011, Princess Charlene was accompanied by Prince Albert as she left St. Devote a bouquet of orchids, gardenia and lilies of the valley, flowers representing both Monaco and Princess Charlene’s home country, South Africa.
The ceremony included musicians singing ballads as the royal laid down her flowers, which caused Princess Charlene to cry in front of the media.
Earlier this week, Princess Charlene also celebrated her 45th birthday and was wished a happy day by her South African charity foundation.
On Twitter, the organization wrote: “The Foundation wishes HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco a very happy birthday!
“Today, we celebrate the grace, kindness, and dedication that you bring to your role as a member of the royal family and advocate for numerous incredible causes. Happy birthday, Your Serene Highness!”