‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ Singer Honored At Prince’s Gala, And In Other Monaco News: Eco Yachting, Tourism, Art, Electric Cars And Covid

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ Singer Honored At Prince’s Gala, And In Other Monaco News: Eco Yachting, Tourism, Art, Electric Cars And Covid

Sting with Prince Albert and Princess Charlene. Photo: Eric Mathon/Palais Princier de Monaco Facebook; Getty Images/FPA2

On Thursday, September 24, Prince Albert ad Princess Charlene hit the blue carpet welcoming Helen Mirren, Kate Beckinsale and Andy Garcia, the Masters of Ceremonies at the 2020 Monte-Carlo Gala for Planetary Health.

In the days of Covid, limited travel and social restrictions, it was a surprising list of celebs—Johnny Depp, Maisie Williams, Sienna Miller, Rebel Wilson, Naomi Campbell and Tommy Hilfiger—that showed up to support the Monaco Red Cross Fundraiser at the Opera Garnier terrace. The evening honored 17-time Grammy award-winner Sting, an environmental activist who cofounded the Rainforest Foundation in 1989. His hit song “Don't Stand So Close to Me” with the Police, released 40 years ago this month, could be the anthem for the year of Covid.

The Gala rounded off the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation’s “Planetary Health Week,” which kicked off with Golf Day and included the “Monaco: Capital of Yachting Experience,” at which the launch of the Superyacht Eco Association (SEA) Index was announced to measure the environmental impact of yacht design and use to evolve over time into a global industry standard providing a transparent ecological rating for all large yachts. The Monegasque yachting sector, headed by the Monaco Yacht Club, brings together 800 owners of superyachts, including 37 of the world’s 100 largest yachts, under its flag.

Helen Mirren, Kate Beckinsale and Andy Garcia. Photo: Eric Mathon/Palais Princier de Monaco Facebook; Getty Images/FPA2

On Wednesday, as IMSEE reported the country’s Q2 turnover plunged 13%—-a loss of €900 million—compared to the same period last year, the minister of finance and the economy, Jean Castellini, said a final draft of the government’s amending budget had just been submitted to the National Council for approval. The deficit of €165 million is “better than expected” as real estate VAT revenues were better than expected and the drop in commercial VAT, especially in the hotel and catering industry, was less severe than in our forecasts.”

On Friday, Guy Antognelli, director of tourism and congress, said the occupancy rate of Monaco hotels in July was 40% (compared to 79% in 2019) and 56.5% in August (against 80% in 2019) with “exceptional days” reaching 95% in some spots. “While the numbers are clearly on the decline, in the current health context, the results are better than expected,” he said.

This week, the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, owned by billionaire brothers Fadi and Majid Boustany, was named “Most Unique Guest Experience in the World” at the 2020 Haute Grandeur Global Awards. It also picked up Best Hotel Service in Monaco, Best Luxury Hotel in Monaco and Best Romantic Hotel in Monaco.

Until October 25, the New National Museum of Monaco and the Prince Albert Foundation are presenting the Mirό exhibition, La Peinture au Défi at Villa Paloma with more than 50 paintings, sculptures and drawings covering the entire career of the Catalan artist. Entrance is free on Sundays.

In an exclusive interview with Prince Albert in the October/November Forbes Monaco (currently in newsstands), the Prince states that the country counts 6.80% environmentally friendly cars—that’s 3,205 registered electric and hybrid vehicles, an increase of 18% and 16% respectively since the end of 2019.

The government’s purchase subsidy, first made available in 1994, has been modernized with an online service introduced this week, which enables users to request a subsidy from home for the purchase of an electric or hybrid electric-petrol vehicle with CO2 emissions of 110 g/km or less. The e-application can be found on teleservice.gouv.mc (“subvention vehicule ecologique”).

On Friday, Monaco health officials confirmed a 91-year-old at CHPG died Thursday night. The patient had been admitted for a separate condition but subsequently tested positive for Covid.

While 22 residents and Monegasques have tested positive since last Friday, parents in Monaco have launched an online petition this week asking the minister of state to give students the right to choose to wear a mask.

France is now one of 11 countries to surpass 500,000 Covid infections. Health officials confirmed on Friday 15,797 new coronavirus cases—bringing the number of infected to 513,034—with 150 deaths, triple the daily levels of the past week, for a total of 31,661. There are currently 6,128 in hospital (compared to 32,000 in April) 50 people have been admitted to intensive care over the past month for a total of 1,098 (versus 7,100 in April).

In the country’s second most-populated city, Marseille, which has the highest rate of the infection (281 cases per 100,000, according to authorities), restaurant and bar owners took to the street to protest against health minister Olivier Véran’s announcement that the must close for two weeks to contain the spread of the virus  

Bars and restaurants in Nice, Paris and nine other cities will have to close daily by 10 p.m. starting Monday. Fitness clubs are waiting to hear if they will also be forced to close.

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Nancy Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.