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Every year the Prince Pierre of Monaco Literary Prize, established by Prince Pierre of Monaco, honours a well-known author in the French language for their entire body of work to mark a recent publication.

The winner is selected by a literary council made up of members of the Académie Française, members of the Académie Goncourt and authors representing writing in the French language from other countries (Belgium, Canada, Congo, Switzerland, etc.). It is chaired by Princess Caroline of Hanover, President of the Prince Pierre Foundation.

Laureates of the Prince Pierre Literary Prize include Julien Green, Louise de Vilmorin, Joseph Kessel, Maurice Druon, Eugène Ionesco, Marguerite Yourcenar, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Patrick Modiano, Françoise Sagan, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio and Alain Mabanckou.

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© Fondation Prince Pierre

Prince Pierre of Monaco, Duke of Valentinois, who was born Pierre de Polignac, was the husband of Hereditary Princess Antoinette, the daughter of Prince Louis II and mother of Prince Rainier III.

A friend of Marcel Proust, with whom he maintained correspondence that has recently been made public, Prince Pierre was the inspiration for the Count of Nassau character in In Search of Lost Time (also translated into English as Remembrance of Things Past). An advocate for literature and the arts, he headed Monaco’s delegation to UNESCO.

Today, the Prize is awarded by the Prince Pierre Foundation, which was established by Prince Rainier III in 1966 as a tribute to his father. In 2020, it was presented to the poet Christian Bobin.

In a further celebration of literature, the Prince Pierre Foundation has awarded the Discovery Grant since 2001, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Literary Prize. The Discovery Grant recognises a young author in the French language. In 2020, it was awarded to Salomé Berlemont-Gilles for her first novel, Le premier qui tombera (The First to Fall). Since 2017, the Principality Prize has been presented to honour a life of philosophical writing, an outstanding body of work which has opened up new paths in the field of philosophy and introduced alternative approaches in science, politics, theology, history, anthropology, ethics or psychoanalysis.

The winner of the 2020 prize, awarded jointly with Philosophical Encounters of Monaco, is Hélène Cixous, a French writer, poet, playwright and scholar of English. Known for her commitment to feminism, she was awarded the Marguerite-Yourcenar Prize in 2016.

© Direction de la Communication / Manuel Vitali
© Direction de la Communication / Manuel Vitali

The Prince Pierre Foundation also awards a Musical Composition Prize and an International Prize of Contemporary Art.

Finally, the Foundation organises a series of conferences every year which give the public an opportunity to attend lectures by renowned experts in fields as varied as current affairs, the arts, literature, history and the sciences. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Maurice Béjart, Yves Coppens and Karl Lagerfeld have all participated in previous events.

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Prince Pierre Foundation

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