In Persia, the 16th century saw the birth of poker and the beginnings of the game can be traced to
a game called As Nas. ...[Read more]

As with any game, there are certain rules of etiquette that should be learned in order to avoid offending other players. ...[Read more]


Half Century For Prince Albert

Luxury cars carrying the rich and celebrities fill Monte Carlo every evening to socialise and play the tables at her fabled casino, but as Prince Albert of Monaco turns 50 he is often spending his evenings on matters of State and the wider world. And as the prince reaches his half century, his reputation and the respect he commands is deservedly a more serious one among his fellow world leaders than that the celebrity magazines portrayed before he became Monaco's sovereign. For far from spending all his time in Monte Carlo's casino and rubbing shoulders with Grand Prix drivers, actresses and multi millionaires, he is just as likely to be found trekking the North Pole or maing an impassioned speech about the environment at events in Europe and around the world.

In the world of politics, Monaco has extended her influence since Albert became Sovereign by opening new consulates in both London and New York. Closer to home as well the Prince has been busy, and there are plans to extend Monaco's land base with a new island off Monte Carlo which will be ready in 2018, which will host a university, housing, a museum and new Monaco hotels. Prince Albert's mother was the American Oscar winning actress Grace Kelly, star of hit 1950's films such as To Catch A Thief, Dial M for Murder and High Society, acting alongside screen legends such as Cary Grant and James Stewart. With a Hollywood actress for a mother Prince Albert might find his stage of Monaco a glamourous one, but his campaigning for the environment has seen him turn to the world of politics with ease and increasing influence with decision makers. One policy that Prince Albert has seen introduced since becoming Monaco's Sovereign is the reduction of bus fares to one Euro, meaning that thousands of workers travelling in from Monaco to work in the casino and the hotels can travel by train and catch the bus from Fontvieille to Casino Square, instead of driving a car to work.

But the Prince has managed to balance a world of Grand Prix, casinos, yachts and glamourous lifestyles with the more serious but perhaps mundane subject of reducing Monaco's carbon footprint, with the overall aim of the whole country becoming carbon neutral in a few years time, perhaps the first country in the world to achieve carbon neutral status. But the world of glamour and celebrity magazines could very easily be focused on Monaco this year, not only for the Monaco Grand Prix - sometimes known as Monaco Formula One - but also because of rumours of the possibility of Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock announcing their marriage. Prince Albert and Charlene have been seeing each other for a couple of years now, and while for a time it looked as though their romance had cooled, she has been seen at official events in recent months accompanying the Prince.

Charlene was a member of the South African 2000 Olympic team, representing her country in the swimming, and shares his passion for sport. As Prince Albert turns 50 and Charlene recently celebrated her 30th birthday, there is good reason to assume that 2008 will be make or break year for the couple. If there is to be a wedding this year, Monaco will be a magnet for celebrities everywhere. has information for both Monaco and Monte Carlo including this year's Grand Prix Monaco For houses and Monte Carlo apartments for sale visit


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