Inside Monaco: Playground of the Rich – 30 December 2020 – 30/12/2020 – Wednesday – BBC Two

Series 1 Episode 2 of 3

This episode goes inside the famous Casino de Monte Carlo, where the present fortunes of Monaco began. Its impressive architecture conjures up an era of exotic glamour, but it no longer provides the vast revenues it once did. They have to work hard to attract the new wealthy, especially from Asia, where the approach to gambling is very different.

The film follows the build-up to an exclusive soiree at the casino with a prohibition theme, aimed at the highest rollers from around the world. Prince Albert II and members of his family are in attendance, which adds to the attraction of the evening.

The princely family is at all times guarded by a private army, the carabiniers. The episode reveals the secret armoury where the guns are stored, observes the carabiniers during firearms practice and sees a new recruit driving the prince’s car for the first time.

Security is a big attraction for residents in Monaco. The police, with a ratio to population seven times higher than in the UK, are everywhere, aided by CCTV cameras at every corner. Laws are strictly applied – you can’t go barefoot or even shirtless. If convicted, lawbreakers are sent to the local prison, which is just a few hundred metres from the palace, perched on a rock with fabulous views of the sea. And the catering is also extraordinary – entrecote steaks for lunch keep the prisoners calm. But, just in case, wire barriers are in place to prevent escape by helicopter.

At the palace, Prince Albert II hosts the new French ambassador. He arrives to a trumpet fanfare, as the relationship between Monaco and France is an important one. Down the road in Monaco’s only tattoo parlour, the prince’s niece Camille Gottlieb, daughter of Princess Stephanie, is getting a discreet new tattoo and shares what life is like for her in Monaco.

As the annual yacht show begins, four billion euros worth of motor yachts enter the harbour, and there is a unique glimpse into the buying and selling of these modern emblems of wealth and success.

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About Inside Monaco: Playground of the Rich

Director Michael Waldman explores how this extraordinary country operates. He meets everyone from Prince Albert and his staff in the palace to wealthy widow Monika Bacardi, who takes him on a tour in her chauffeur-driven classic Rolls Royce.

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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