Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince

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Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince
Coat of Arms of Carabiniers du prince.svg
Patch of the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince
Active December 8, 1817–
Country  Monaco
Branch Force Publique
Type Foot Guards, and Gendarmerie
Role Close Protection
Size One company, 119 personal[1]
Garrison/HQ Moneghetti[2]
Motto "Honor, loyalty, devotion"
Engagements French Revolutionary Wars,
Monegasque Revolution,
World War I,
World War II,
Tōhoku Disaster[note 1]
Commander in Chief HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco
Senior Commander Lt. Col. Luc Fringant[note 2]
Corps Commander Comdt. Philippe Rebaudengo
Plume Red over White

The Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince (Prince's Company of Carabiniers) is the Infantry division of the Force Publique,[3] and one of the limited number of militaries that recruits foreigners.[2] Although Monaco's defense is the responsibility of France,[4] Monaco maintains a small force for the protection of the Sovereign and the Prince's Palace.[5] Formed by Prince Honoré IV in 1817, the unit was reorganized in 1909.[6] The company numbers 119 officers and men – while the NCOs and soldiers are local, the officers have generally served in the French Army or the Republican Guard. Along with the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers, the Carabiniers form Monaco's total public forces.[7]


Carabinier at the Prince's Palace in Monaco-Ville.

An antecedent of the Carabiniers was the company known in the 19th century as the "Papalins", former soldiers of the Papal States, who, upon the destitution of the Papacy's temporal authority at the time of the Italian Unification, were given the role of protecting the Sovereign and the Princely Family. A road in Fontvieille is named in honor of them.[8]

In Monaco, the Milice Nationale was created in 1865.[9] In 1870, the Milice Nationale was renamed the Gardes du Prince, although, the "Gardes" were still tasked with fire fighting, and national security.[9] On May 5, 1881, the Gardes du Prince were renamed the Compagnie mixte de Sapeurs-Pompiers to better adjust to their fire fighting duties.[9] On June 17, 1909, the fire fighting unit was reorganized into a separate operating company called the Compagnie de Sapeurs-Pompiers, while the protection unit was renamed the Corps des Carabiniers du Prince.[9] This lasted over 60 years, until the companies were finally renamed the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers, and the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince, and were placed under the Force Publique's direct control.[9]

The Carabiniers are currently commanded by Comdt. Philippe Rebaudengo, who was sworn in on February 1, 2007.[3][note 3][10] Previous commanders include, Lt. Col. Jacques Morandon (2005-2007), Lt. Col. Luc Fringant (1993-2005), and Comdt. Maurice Allent (1978-1993).[11]

Organization and Expenditures[edit]

Composed of 119 personnel of Francophone nationality (3 officers, 19 noncommissioned officers, and 97 men of rank), the Carabiniers are split into the following divisions:[1][5]

  • Band;
  • Diving Team;
  • Motorcycle Platoon;
  • Bodyguard Unit;
  • Palace Guard;
  • Honor Guard;
  • Civil Defence.

The 2012-2013 stating salary for a Carabinier is 2,200 ($2,908) a month or 26,400 ($34,893) a year.[12] While the Corps 2012-2013 budget is 6.7 million ($8.8 million) a year.[13]

Duties and Missions[edit]

Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince is located in Monaco
Barracks - Moneghetti
Barracks - Moneghetti
Palais Princier - Monaco-Ville
Palais Princier - Monaco-Ville
Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince - Barracks.

Since its inception, the Carabiniers were tasked with guarding the Prince's Palace, ensuring the security of the Sovereign and the Princely Family, to provide services to honor, and to assist law enforcement in times of need.[1][5][14] The Palace is guarded at all times, twenty-four hours a day, with two noncommissioned officers of varying rank, one Maréchal des Logis, and eight Carabiniers.[5] The Changing of the Guard, is performed daily at 11.55 am, and announced by a musical element (two drums, two trumpets).[1][5]

The Carabiniers provides services of honor. To "requisition", the Corps escorts judiciary, participates in official ceremonies, civil and religious, and ceremonial parades and processions.[1][5][14]

The Carabiniers also perform various missions of public service. With the creation of a Military Aid Unit, the Carabiniers implement ambulances for the Monegasque Red Cross.[5] The Corps participate as such, the security of major sporting events or arts that take place in the Principality, requiring emergency supplies and evacuation.[5] The Corps participate as appropriate in the implementation of emergency plan, ORMOS Red Plan (Monaco relief organization), which also includes the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers, and the Direction de la Sûreté Publique.[5]

The Diving Team is regularly asked to integrate with security devices, and participate in various rescue missions during the sailing competitions in Monegasque waters. They also participate in scientific observations, underwater environment for the study of pollution in the Mediterranean.[1][5][14]

A Motorcycle Platoon is responsible for the Prince on his daily schedule, and escorting sovereign heads of state visiting Monaco.[1][5]

The Band[edit]

The Carabiniers maintain a musical band consisting of twenty-six "rifle-musicians" under the command of a Maréchal des Logis Chef.[15][16] In 1978, the title of "Fanfare de la Companies des Carabiniers" was adopted.[15][17] An integral part of the unit, the band is not trained solely to perform music. Instead, Carabiners receive the same training as their comrades.[15] The band participates in the same occasions, and duties as the Company.[15] The diversity of the repertoire of the band allows it to perform at official ceremonies, sporting events, and public concerts.[15][16] Since 1989, the band has performed outside of Monaco, in multitudes of destinations, such as: Saumur, Nîmes, Albertville, Lugano, Düsseldorf, Turin, Lisbon, Seville, Geneva, and Hanover.[15]

Dress and Equipment[edit]

The equipment and vehicles of the Carabiniers have been upgraded in recent years. Mobility has been improved by the adoption of modern vehicles, adapted to different missions, such as two MOWAG Piranha Vs, six Peugeot P4s, and a number of BMW R1200RT-Ps.[11] Old rifles, and revolvers have been replaced by weapons like the M16A2, and Glock 17.[18][19][20]

Parade dress in the winter is a modernized version of that worn in the early 1900s. It comprises a dark blue tunic, and light blue trousers with red facings.[21] A medium-blue cloth helmet is worn, with plumes for gala occasions. White trefoil epaulettes, spats and aiguillettes date from the 19th century. In the summer a simple white shirt sleeve order is worn with a white helmet.[22] For ordinary duties a modern police style uniform is worn with a peaked cap replacing the helmet.[23]


Police version of the Renault Master in Monaco-Ville.
Police version of the Renault Scenic in La Condamine.
BMW R60 in 1967.


Vehicle Country of origin Type In service (ca.) Notes
BMW R1200RT-P  Germany Motorcycle 7 [11]
Peugeot P4  France Utility 4x4 6 [11]
Renault Master  France Mini Bus 4 [11][18]
Renault Scenic  France Compact MPV 4 [11]
Renault Espace  France Large MPV 2 [11]
MOWAG Piranha V   Switzerland IFV 2 [11]

[note 4]


Vehicle Country of origin Type In service (ca.) Notes
Dodge WC series  United States Light Truck 3 [24]
GMC CCKW  United States Heavy Truck 1 [24]
Harley-Davidson WLA  United States Motorcycle 11 [25]
Zündapp 250  Germany Motorcycle 4 [25]
BMW R50  Germany Motorcycle 9 [25]
BMW R60  Germany Motorcycle 11 [25]
BMW R65  Germany Motorcycle 9 [25]

[note 5]


From top to bottom: M16A1, M16A2, M4A1, M16A4.


Weapon Country of origin Type In service (ca.) Notes
Glock 17  Austria Semi-automatic pistol 100 [11][18]
Beretta 92  Italy Semi-automatic pistol 12 [11]
SIG P210   Switzerland Semi-automatic pistol 12[note 6] [11]
M16A2  United States Assault rifle 100 [11][18]
M4A1  United States Assault rifle 12 [11][18]
SIG SG 510   Switzerland Battle rifle 80[note 7] [11]
FN MAG  Belgium General-purpose machine gun 6 [11]
LGI Mle F1  France Rocket-propelled grenade 3 [11]

[note 8]


Weapon Country of origin Type In service (ca.) Notes
Fusil modèle 1866  France Bolt action rifle 70 [11]
Remington Rolling Block rifle  United States Rolling block 60 [11]
Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80  France Bolt action rifle 60 [11]
Modèle 1874 Revolver  France Service Revolver 110 [11]
Fusil Mle 1886 M93  France Bolt action rifle 80 [11]
Modèle 1892 Revolver  France Service Revolver 100 [11]
MAS Modèle 36  France Bolt action rifle 80 [11]
MAS Modèle 49  France Semi-automatic rifle 110 [11]

[note 9]


Carabinier at the Prince's Palace in Monaco-Ville.

Carabiniers are recruited from among candidates who meet the following conditions:[2][12]

  • Male;
  • Between 20 and 30 years old;
  • Single (marriage license granted after the confirmation period);
  • Francophone;
  • Pass a vision examination;
  • Measuring a minimum size of 1.80 m (5.9 ft) to 2 m (6.6 ft) maximum;
  • BMI (Body Mass Index less than < or = 25);
  • Pass a physical fitness test and examination;
  • Graduated with a high school or equivalent degree;
  • Possess a drivers license;
  • Capable of swimming.

Applicants may be esteemed if they know skills in one or more specialties relevant to the Carabiniers. For instance: music (primarily band instruments), diving, first aid, culinary, computer, and mechanics training, or combat experience.[2]

Career Development[edit]

At the time of his enlistment, a Carabinier signs his first contract for five years which is validated after a period of instruction, and confirmation period in which ability and motivation are verified.[2] This confirmation is usually after one year's service, but may be extended for one or even two years further probation.[2] A Carabinier can pursue his career and commitments by successive reenlistments after each five years of service until reaching age 55, subjecting to meet all the conditions of fitness.[2] Promotion on merit allows a number of Carabiniers to reach the various grades of noncommissioned officers.[2] However, a very low turnover rate of enlistments means that 50% finish their military career as a Carabinier first or second class.[2]

Rank Insignia[edit]

Popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ An eleven man peacekeeping and rescue force was deployed, however, the majority were Sapeurs-Pompiers.
  2. ^ The Senior Commander heads the Force Publique; the military oversight agency.
  3. ^ The Prince of Monaco who holds the rank of Colonel is the Commander in Chief.
  4. ^ Ordered by largest to smallest quantity.
  5. ^ Ordered by oldest to newest.
  6. ^ Originally 12 pistols were used, however, many pistols have been permanently retired.
  7. ^ Originally 80 rifles were used, however, many rifles have been permanently retired.
  8. ^ Ordered by largest to smallest quantity.
  9. ^ Ordered by oldest to newest.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince / Département de l'Intérieur / Le Gouvernement / Gouvernement et Institutions / Portail du Gouvernement - Monaco
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Faire carrière dans les Carabiniers du Prince - Palais Princier de Monaco
  3. ^ a b Force Publique - Annuaire Officiel
  4. ^ "Monaco signs new treaty with France". Monaco Consulate. Archived from the original on 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k La Compagnie des Carabiniers de S.A.S. le Prince - Palais Princier de Monaco
  6. ^ "Monaco signs new treaty with france". Monaco Consulate. Archived from the original on 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  7. ^ Corps des Sapeurs-pompiers / Département de l'Intérieur / Le Gouvernement / Gouvernement et Institutions / Portail du Gouvernement - Monaco
  8. ^ Avenue des Papalins, Fontvieille, Monaco - Google Maps
  9. ^ a b c d e History of the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers and Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince
  10. ^ His Serene Highness Prince Albert II - Monaco Monte-Carlo
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Giletta, Jacques (2005). Les Gardes Personnelles des Princes de Monaco (1st ed.). Taurus Editions. ISBN 2 912976-04-9. 
  12. ^ a b Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince de Monaco
  13. ^ 2012-2013 National Budget
  14. ^ a b c La Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince de Monaco recrute... - YouTube
  15. ^ a b c d e f The Palace Guards - Prince’s Palace of Monaco
  16. ^ a b ::: Monaco Wealth Management :::
  17. ^ The Mad Monarchist: Royal Guardians Profile: The Prince's Company of Carabiniers
  18. ^ a b c d e Diaporama | Dans la salle d'armes, le carabinier Laurent Garcia | Monaco: dans les coulisses avec les carabiniers du Prince Albert II | Nice-Matin
  19. ^ Recession? What Recession? - CNN iReport
  21. ^ Whiter Uniform
  22. ^ Summer Uniform
  23. ^ Ordinary Duties Uniform
  24. ^ a b Sale N° 2231 - Reserves from H.S.H the Prince of Monaco's Private Collection of Cars | Artcurial | Briest - Poulain - F. Tajan
  25. ^ a b c d e La Compagnie des Carabiniers Du Prince de Monaco fête les 60 ans de son escorte Motocycliste : moto-retro-vesubienne
  26. ^ Prince's Company of Carabiniers - Insignia
  27. ^ Grace of Monaco - IMDb

External links[edit]