Monaco is situated along France’s Riviera on the Mediterranean Sea, near to the Italian region of Liguria. Its population is around 40,000, or about the same as the city of Durham.
It has a geographical area of just 0.81 square miles, and is the most densely populated sovereign state in the world.
Monaco is widely recognised as one of the wealthiest places on earth, attracting the rich and famous, not just as a result of its glamour, prestige and quality of life, but principally because Monaco is a tax-haven, with zero income tax and low business tax (which is largely responsible for its glamour, prestige and quality of life).
It is estimated that around a third of Monaco’s residents are millionaires. Property in Monaco is highly sought after and prices are amongst the highest in the world, reaching an astonishing £85,000 per square metre in 2018.
Monaco’s economic development really started to grow in the late 1800s when a rail link with Paris was established around the same time Monaco opened its famous Monte Carlo Casino, bringing wealthy Parisians to the south coast – with its mild climate – for recreation.
Monaco has since become a major banking centre.
Though it has no part in the EU, Monaco’s currency is the Euro – each party keen to deepen their relationship, but Monaco being too small to be recognised as ‘a state’, instead being classified as a ‘microstate’.
Monaco’s head of state is Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco and head of the ruling Grimaldi family – son of Prince Rainier & Hollywood star Grace Kelly, who was killed in a car crash near Monaco in 1982, when Big Al was just 24.
And that pretty much concludes everything there is to write of any note about Monaco as of 10am on Monday the 21st of May 2021.
Oh hang on – it almost slipped my mind! Once a year there is a procession of insanely expensive Grand Prix cars around Monaco’s streets. Nobody really enjoys it, but – ooo – that boat next to the track is worth a hundred million quid, and there’s Brad Pitt.
I can’t wait for next year.