The royal delegation from Monaco, including Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene and advisor Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, were guests of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence at St. Daniel’s Monastery, Moscow.
St. Daniel’s Monastery, the administrative and spiritual centre of the Russian Church, provided a grand location for the meeting, which created a diplomatic platform, for the parties involved, under the advice and brokerage of Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.
Princess Corinna was seen having lunch with Princess Charlene earlier this year at the UN General Assembly and it is thought her role was instrumental in orchestrating the meeting.
The Holy Patriarch thanked the delegation for their visit and noted a strong link between the two countries as many Russians live in the sovereign state of Monaco, creating a “living human bridge between our two countries.” He then expressed his hope that the Prince and Princess would find success and enjoy their stay in the country.
In return, Prince Albert thanked His Holiness and explained that although the countries have a long and historic past, they have received a renewed and improved impetus as, to complement their diplomatic and political dimensions, they work to develop a cultural one. The esteemed guests then posed for pictures in their impressive location.
The Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s visit comes at a historic time for Russia as it celebrates the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. On a previous trip, the couple famously visited the North Pole, including the nearby Orthodox Church, and they were told that the resident priest they had visited has now practices in the region around Mountain Altai.
The meeting was part of a busy 3-day schedule for the group and, as well as Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, the royals were joined by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), Miguel Palacio and Lieutenant-Colonel Bruno Philipponnat, Alexei Meshkov, deputy foreign minister of Russia, Alexander Orlov, ambassador of the Russian Federation to the French Republic, and Leonid Slutsky, a member of the State Duma.