Since the unit was established under Prince Honoré IV in 1817, it has been reorganised several times. It was initially conceived as a police force to protect the Principality of Monaco, along the lines of the Italian carabinieri. “When an uprising broke out in Menton in 1821, the guards proved their loyalty to the Grimaldi dynasty.
To reward this loyalty, in 1822 Prince Honoré V entrusted them with the mission of guarding the Palace and the Prince himself,” explains Thomas Fouilleron, Director of the Prince’s Palace Archives and Library. In 1870, this task was temporarily ceded to the Papalins Honour Guard, former soldiers of the Papal States, before returning permanently to the Palace Guards in 1904, during the reign of Albert I. Just like in London, every day tourists can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony at 11.55 a.m. Over time, this has become one of the Principality’s attractions.