The Palace Guards
Honor, Loyalty and Devotion to Duty is the motto on the flag of the Palace Guards, a group created in 1817 to provide 24-hour security for the Palace, royal residences, the Sovereign Prince and his family.
The Guard is composed of 3 Officers, 15 Sergeant-majors and 80 Privates, all highly trained French military men. It has been reorganized several times since its inception and in January 1904 Prince Albert I renamed them "COMPAGNIE DES CARABINIERS DU PRINCE".
These are the Guards one sees each day promptly at 11:55 AM in front of the royal entrance on the Palace Square performing the ceremony of the Changing of the Guards. This tradition is performed in full dress uniform, black in the winter and white in the summer, and has not changed for more than 100 years. But this ceremony is only one of the many duties of the Palace Guards. They escort religious and civil and ceremonial processions; and ensure security for sports and other public events in the Principality.
The Palace Guards provide assistance to the Monaco Red Cross, assist transportation of the handicapped, help children from the Saint Devote daycare center, and help with relief and evacuation plans during any national emergency. Among the company are trained scuba divers that are charged with underwater security, monitoring water pollution levels and overseeing nautical events held in Monaco waters.
The motorcycle troop of the Guards provides daily escort and messenger services to the Prince and visiting Heads of State and Royalty. The Palace Guards are trained gunsmiths, accountants, electricians, IT specialists, mechanics, carpenters, painters, plumbers, radio specialists, cabinet makers, and designers, which makes their unit completely independent of outside assistance. All in all, the Guards are a highly trained, tightly knit group providing service to the Principality.
THE PALACE MILITARY BRASS BAND
The Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince includes a band made up of twenty-six Carabinier-musicians, under the command of a Warrant officer, known as L’Orchestre des Carabiniers du Prince since 2014. Although it is an integral part of the unit, L’Orchestre is not an independent entity whose sole vocation is music. The Carabineers forming it participate in all the Carabiniers’ services and undergo the same training as their colleagues. Thanks to its rich eclectic repertoire, L’Orchestre performs in official ceremonies, athletic events and public concerts. Since 1989, it represents HSH the Sovereign Prince abroad, in particular in such towns as Saumur, Nîmes, Albertville, Béziers, Lourdes, Lugano, Düsseldorf, Turin, Lisbon, Seville, Geneva, Hanover, etc...
THE HONOR GUARD
A special group called the Sovereign's Color Guard of Honor, was created in 1997 by Prince Rainier III.
It is comprised of 1 Officer, 2 Sergeant-majors and 12 Riflemen, who have the privilege of Presenting Arms during Monaco's National Day every November 19, Fete National, or at other military events designated by the Prince. They perform with or without the Brass Band.