Prince of Monaco
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
Ox tail Soup
Petits Croustades Mogador
Small enclosed puff-pastry cases filled with a mixture of sliced truffles and bone-marrow bound in a Madeira sauce
Céleris à la Möelle
Baked celery stalks topped with bone marrow and a Gruyere cheese crust
Hazelnut ice-cream bombe
Menu dated 17th November 1935
Dinner at the Château de Marchais, (Champagne, France), hosted by His Serene Highness Prince Louis II of Monaco
In 1935 Monaco was suffering from the effects of the Great Depression with its gambling revenue in such freefall, that Prince Louis II had to disband the nation's 76-man army to reign in the princely budget. It would appear from this menu, however, that the Prince’s kitchens were exempt from any such budgetary restraints with Louis II able to offer his hunting guests a seven course dinner while they stayed with the sovereign on his private hunting estates located in Champagne, France.
The estates of the Château de Marchais have been the private property of the ruling Grimaldi family of Monaco since the 1850s.
Ironically, at 180 hectares, the Château and its surrounding hunting grounds measure an area six times larger than the actual Principality of Monaco over which the Grimaldi family rules.
The castle, pictured on the menu, was first built in 1540. However it was not until 1854, when it was purchased by Prince Charles II of Monaco, that it became the private property of the Monégasque ruling family.
The castle and its grounds are regularly used for hunting parties personally hosted by the ruling Prince: an activity impossible to host in the sovereign’s dot-sized Principality of Monaco which measures just two square kilometers in size.
The Château de Marchais narrowly escaped destruction during World War I when German forces occupied northern France and demanded the local villagers at nearby Sissonne pay a $US100,000 ‘fine’ for covering the nearby roads with smashed glass to slow the German advance.
If they failed to pay, then the Germans had threatened to destroy the entire region’s heritage including the Château de Marchais. Unable to pay, the local Mayors went to Monaco to seek the help of Prince Albert: he promised to pay $100,000 to the German Emperor “if the war ends without intentional damage to my residence or to the communes”.