After a few days of scandal and gossip – that spread, like an epidemic, from the boutiques of Monaco to the pages of Mail Online, Charlene – having tried to flee the country – said “I do” and the celebrations kicked off.
Rumours of absurd extravagance: €1500+ per-head dinners; tens of thousands of flowers, rivers of champagne etc. are doubtless true – arriving at the concert last night with a bottle of water in my bag, I was pleasantly surprised to find an open bar overlooking the port, serving champagne and just about everything else – absolument gratuit. So, the crowd was in very good spirits – literally.
Few performers could pull off this kind of concert with the same Gallic panache and vigour as Jarre; despite giving the concert “in the presence of” the royal couple, he was the star. Familiar pieces from Oxygène and Equinoxe dominated the set and moved a crowd that was somewhat ungenerous with its applause; within a half-hour, the fireworks were more spectacular than most grandes finalés, the velvet-blue sky filled with multi-coloured lights and smoke, music and explosions co-ordinated to heart-soaring effect, for two hours.
Jarre and his vintage (1970s) electronica are now older than many of the crowd (although the principality’s population is certainly old enough to revel in nostalgia), but have, like the composer, aged gracefully enough to command centre stage in the world’s most glamourous square mile.