The celebration of the 66th birthday of HSH Prince Albert on Palace Square on Thursday, March 14, was undoubtedly a great success.

Local organisations had called for the public display of affection as a show of support for the Prince at a time when the Principality has been the centre of an international media storm that had the potential to damage the reputation of the House of Grimaldi at home as well as abroad.

The response to the call for a show of support was met with evident enthusiasm and an outpouring of genuine affection, with a crowd of cheering Monegasques and residents well into four figures, greeting the Prince and Family on the balcony of the Palace and during a walkabout.

The demonstration of loyalty will no doubt stand the House of Grimaldi and the Principality itself in good stead in the weeks and months to come as Monaco faces several external challenges and the unpleasantness of at least one criminal case into possible high-level corruption involving public officials.

PHOTOS: Monaco Government Press Service