The Trésorerie Générale des Finances du Gouvernement Princier de Monaco have unveiled the design for their 2021-dated commemorative €2, which, this year is in celebration of the 10th wedding anniversary of Monaco’s princely couple. This is the second time such a commemorative coin has been issued in celebration of a Monegasque sovereign’s wedding anniversary. The first occasion was in 1966 when silver 10-franc commemorative coins were issued to mark the 10th wedding anniversary of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace.
Albert II is the Sovereign Prince of Monaco and head of the Princely House of Grimaldi since his succession in 2005. He was born on the 14th March 1958 as the only son of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace, formerly known as Grace Kelly, the Academy Award-winning actress from Hollywood. In March 2005, Prince Albert was appointed regent after his father became ill, and became sovereign prince upon his passing on the 6th April. His official enthronement as ruler of the principality took place on the 12th July 2005, during a morning Mass at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Monte Carlo presided over by the archbishop of Monaco. A keen environmentalist, Prince Albert embarked on an Arctic expedition, reaching the North Pole on Easter Day, 16th April 2006, thus becoming the first serving head of state to have reached the North Pole.
Miss Charlene Wittstock, born on the 25th January 1978 in Bulawayo, Rhodesia, she and her family relocated to South Africa in 1989. Miss Wittstock gained notoriety for having embarked on athletic pursuits in swimming. She would go on to represent her new country in the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games winning a silver medal in the 4 × 100-metre medley relay in the latter competition. Miss Wittstock also represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with her team finishing fifth in the 4 × 100-metre medley relay. Before this, she won three gold medals and a silver medal at the 1999 All-Africa Games in Johannesburg. Though Charlene retired from professional swimming in 2007, she planned to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics in China as her last event. However, she did not qualify, owing to an earlier shoulder injury that kept her out of competitive swimming for 18 months.
It was during her time as a competitive swimmer that Charlene met Monaco’s heir, Prince Albert, at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monte Carlo in 2000. The Olympics have played a very important role from the start of the couple’s meeting as Prince Albert has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1985 and also competed in the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. As such, they made their public debut as a couple at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. The princely couple announced their engagement on the 23rd June 2010, and on the 2nd and 3rd July 2011. The two were married in both a civil and religious wedding in the presence of their family, friends, dignitaries, and, of course, Jacques Rogge, the then president of the International Olympic Committee. Upon her marriage, Miss Wittstock became Her Serene Highness, Princess Charlene of Monaco. The couple joyfully announced the birth of their two children, twin son and daughter Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella on the 10th December 2014.
This anniversary has been quite eventful and unusual for the princely couple. During a visit to her family’s home in South Africa beginning in March, Princess Charlene experienced a serious ear, nose, and throat infection necessitating medical attention and a surgical procedure. As such, she was unable to return home to Monaco, as airplane travel was not recommended whilst she was recovering from the ailment. This was the first wedding anniversary Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene spent apart from each other and not being able to share the day with their two children and Monegasque well-wishers.
The new €2 commemorative coins are produced by the Monnaie de Paris on behalf of the Trésorerie Générale des Finances and are designed by chief engraver and artisan Joachim Jimenez. The design depicts conjoined effigies of the princely couple HSH Prince Albert II and HSH Princess Charlene. Below the portraits are the commemorative years and inscription 2011 MARRIAGE PRINCIER (“Princely Wedding”) 2021, and above is the name of the issuing country, MONACO. The insignia of Joachim Jimenez can be seen just to the left of the year of issue. The overall design is surrounded by 12 stars representing the European Union. The reverse design is that of a standard €2 coin, found throughout all countries of the euro zone. The face value of €2 appears in front of a map of Europe.
|8.5 g||25.7 mm||Proof||
Each Proof-quality coin will be encapsulated and presented in a genuine red leather custom case with personal conjoined stylised monograms “A” and “C” of the princely couple on the top applied in gold foil and will include a certificate of authenticity. No firm date has been yet announced for the coins’ release. Interested collectors are advised to visit the website of the Musee des Timbres et des Monnaies.