August 28, 2000

Ste. Genevieve hosts French royalty

STE. GENEVIEVE -- The city of Ste. Genevieve rolled out the red carpet for a member of French royalty last weekend.

The 26-year-old senior male descendant of Saint Louis (Louis IX) and the Capetian family, Louis de Bourbon duc D-Anjou was in the historic former French colony on Saturday. The visit was part of a tour of places in America touched by the name of the Bourbon family.

The Alliance Francaise of St. Louis, a non-profit organization founded in 1906 whose goal is to promote French language and culture arranged the visit.

Hosted by Ste. Genevieve Mayor Ralph R. Beckerman, Jr., the Prince was given a short tour of the city. Among the stops on his visit was the Bolduc House, where the mayor presented the Prince with the key to the city and a plaque.

Later, the Prince unveiled a statue of Sainte Genevieve at the Great River Road Interpretive Center.

In addition to local residents, the Prince was greeted by at least 25 persons from Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas and Ohio. They came in very colorful attire representing members of the military, habitants, militia, men and women, a drummer, and Native Americans.

According to a news release issued by the Alliance Francaise, the Prince would like to discover the real America, in its entire social, cultural, sports and economic facets.

Born on April 25th, 1974, (the same birthday as Saint Louis), this young Prince of French and Spanish nationality was educated in Madrid, Spain in French schools. He currently holds an MBA in Finance. On the personal side, the Prince is keenly interested in all sports. Some of his participation in sports includes horseback riding, rugby and skiing.

The visit by the Prince attracted a lot of media attention. A camera crew was among them to record the event for French television.

Jane M. Robert, current president of the St. Louis Alliance, who has visited with the Prince in Paris, France on several occasions indicated that, "...just the possibility of his visit had already gained national coverage in France-Amerique-Figaro for the U.S. (20,000 subscribers across the U.S.)."