The stunning new Lord Foster-designed Yacht Club de Monaco has been officially opened by HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II, accompanied by the royal family and Lord Foster himself. Around 4,000 guests were there to witness the event last Friday, which began when HSH Prince Albert II closed the old premises on Quai Antoine 1er and, accompanied by the club’s general secretary Bernard d’Alessandri, brought the flag across the harbour in a traditional pointu. The Sovereign was welcomed on the quay by HSH Princess Charlene and members of his family, to the cheers of YCM members.

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Photograph: Mike Edwardson

“The flag I have just raised today flies proudly on the mast at the top of our new premises. It marks an important phase in the life of our club, for Port Hercule and for the Principality,” said the Sovereign Prince of Monaco as he officially opened the doors. “With this architectural masterpiece we wished to affirm Monaco’s yachting identity, our ambition being to continue to orient our country’s future prosperity towards the sea.”

“When designing this building which is open to the sea, at the centre of the harbour and embracing the city, we wanted to preserve the traditional spirit so dear to the Principality,” said Lord Foster, adding that if this building was a real yacht he would call her Free Spirit. The 200-metre-long building was built in partnership with Monaco architect Alexandre Giraldi and supervised by the Public Works Department. Festivities continued into the weekend with a number of yacht races, and the official launch of Riva’s new 37-metre flagship, the 122 Mythos. For more images of the opening, click here