Greeted by the Prince and Grand Master of the Order Fra' Matthew Festing, HSH the Sovereign Prince was accompanied by Georges Lisimachio, His Head of Cabinet, HE Jean-Claude Michel, HE Archbishop Bernard Barsi and Laurent Anselmi.
After military honours paid in the courtyard of Palazzo [Villa] Malta, the two States' national anthems were performed. HSH the Prince was then granted an audience with the Grand Master of the Order of Malta.
Afterwards, the Sovereign Prince recalled in particular that, twelve years ago, Prince Rainier III had received in His own presence His Most Eminent Highness Fra' Andrew Bertie for an official visit in Monaco.
HSH the Prince declared: “My family's relations with the Order of Malta go back several centuries. I continue to admire its Members' indefatigable dedication the world over, bringing compassion and relief to so many men and women suffering from conflict and the trials of life. With courage and humility, the Members of the Order practise the principles of charity of which they are the guardians and that were bequeathed to them by all their predecessors in the Order. Your actions are witness to the irreplaceable value of selflessness and providing free care in a world where, too often, the only references seem to be profit and compensation.”
He also added: “I have no doubt that this action will continue bearing fruit. I want to reiterate the tireless support my country will endeavour to bring to the Order, loyal to the ties established between us so long ago.”
Back at the Embassy of Monaco in Rome, HSH the Prince, accompanied by HE Philippe Bianchi, the Principality's ambassador to Italy, inaugurated the Italian branch of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
In the morning, HSH the Sovereign Prince went to Villa Médicis where He was greeted by the new Director of the Académie de France in Rome, Patrick de Chassey, and was able to converse with the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand.
In the evening, HSH the Prince went to Palazzo Ruspoli to open the exhibition “The Grace Kelly Years” organized jointly by the Memmo Foundation and the Grimaldi Forum.