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
Historically, Monaco's Sovereign Family has engaged a variety of regimental bands, but in 1978 Prince Rainier III dedicated a group of 26 musicians called the Fanfare de la Companies des Carabiniers to be the Palace's permanent ceremonial band. They receive the same training and have the same duties as other Palace guardsmen, but in addition they must have solid musical training. Their wide musical repertoire allows them to play at official ceremonies and sporting events and to give public concerts in Monaco. Since 1989 and with great pride the Prince has sent the Brass Band to play in other European countries, namely Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and France.
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.