Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Edward Royce and his wife Marie Therèse

Prince Albert II of Monaco, the 49-year old bachelor son of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, formally opened his principality’s first U.S. embassy with great pomp and color (red carpets and sashes were everywhere at this former residence of Warren G. Harding on
Wyoming Ave. NW). Ambassador of Monaco Gilles Noghès, along with his wife Ellen, diplomats, Kalorama neighbors, long-time American friends (even a few bunk mates from New Hampshire’s Camp Tecumseh) and a costumed Ben Franklin and Buffalo Bill Cody (the Prince’s great-great grandfather went bear hunting with the real Cody in 1913) welcomed the Prince to his country’s combined embassy and ambassadorial residence.
“Today, I have many thoughts of my parents, especially my mother …. I am very fond of this country and harbor many happy memories here, ” said Prince Albert, whose American cousin, John Kelly, will be leading the new American arm of the Prince Albert II Foundation. The Prince, who is trying out new solar panels and hybrid cars back home, said his American summer camp experience instilled him with a love of nature.
Signed, framed pictures of Grace de Monaco - evidence of Monaco’s Camelot days of Prince Rainier and his storybook American princess - are displayed throughout the handsomely decorated residence. Keeping with the green theme,

the embassy is the only in Washington with an all-hybrid fleet of cars.


It’s finally official: Nancy Brinker, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and the well-known founder of the Race for the Cure, is the new chief of protocol of the United States. Brinker promises to create an “extensive broad-based outreach program” to bring “together leaders in business, education, government, cultural organizations and not-for-profits to help advance the principles of diplomacy. By achieving a better understanding between our peoples, my hope is that we can have a positive impact in furthering bilateral relations.” In this appointed position, Brinker may accompany the President on official visits abroad and will oversee state visits here, including arrangements at Blair House, the official White House guest quarters. She will also serve as the President’s personal representative and liaison to the Washington diplomatic corps. Watch for more creative programs for ambassadors and their spouses.

French Amb. Pierre Vimont began his duties here by celebrating the 250th birthday of the Marquis de Lafayette with a gathering of French and American legislators. Not a bad opportunity to note the parallel to renewed Franco-American ties, a policy cornerstone of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

According to Vimont, the young French aristocrat Lafayette was “immediately captivated by the vision of a free and independent United States” and “this became hislife ambition.” “He believed so much in this noble cause that he decided to dedicate his fortune and use his personal connections at the French Court of Versailles to help the patriots succeed in the Revolution. ” Lafayette felt a “very deep and warm friendship with the American people … and with George Washington, whom he regarded as his adoptive father.” No wonder Lafayette was the first foreign dignitary to address the U.S. Congress in 1824. To this day, only two portraits hang in the U. S. House Chamber: George Washington’s and Lafayette’s.

Slovenia’s new embassy and residence on California Street (the former Yugoslavian Embassy) has opened just in time for this young country (Slovenia never existed as a separate nation before the break-up of Yugoslavia) to hold the European Union presidency for winter-spring 2008. “This building was renovated as to reflect the characteristics of Slovenia – including transparency, friendship and modernity,” said proud Slovenian Amb. Samuel Žbogar in an address welcoming over 500 guests along with Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, a familiar face and one-time ambassador here. wl



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