In Monaco, the princesses of the principality, Charlene, Caroline and even Stéphanie, are used to wearing this light black veil at funerals.
The mantilla. This term may mean nothing to you, yet you have all seen this light veil worn by women from the Monegasque family during a mass. Indeed, on the Rock, this tradition which dates from the 16th and 17th centuries has been maintained and it is not uncommon to see Charlène Wittstock, the wife of Prince Albert, or Caroline of Monaco, the sister of the current leader Monegasque, wear this veil during religious ceremonies. The most common, the mantilla is black in color and is worn at funerals in the principality.
Until the second half of the 20th century, the mantilla was obligatory for women if they wished to attend a mass. In France, this custom has been lost but in Spain, for example, it is common to see women wearing this veil when they go to church. Moreover, the mantilla is very often worn by women when they have an audience with the Pope. Recently, Melania Trump was seen sporting this veil when she met Pope Francis. Note that only Catholic queens have the right to wear the white mantilla. To date, they are four in number: the Queen of Spain, the Queen of the Belgians, the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and the Princess of Monaco.
Parade of black mantillas at the funeral of Rainier III
In 2005, Prince Rainier, emblematic Monegasque leader and father of Albert, Caroline and Stéphanie, died at the age of 81. A funeral with great pomp is then given on the Rock. For the occasion, the Monegasque princesses, Caroline and Stéphanie, had taken out their black mantilla to mourn their late father. Proof that in the principality, this veil is still in use when it comes to paying homage to a loved one.
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