Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince

The Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince (in Monegsque: Cumpagnia d’i Carrabiniei d’u Pri̍ncipu, Prince's Company of Riflemen in English) is the Infantry branch of the Force Publique,[4] and one of the limited number of militaries that recruits foreigners.[2] Although Monaco's defence is the responsibility of France,[5] Monaco maintains a small force for the protection of the Sovereign and the Prince's Palace.[6] Formed by Prince Honoré IV in 1817, the unit was re-organized in 1909.[7] The company numbers 124 officers and men. Whilst the NCOs and soldiers are local, the officers have served in the French Army or the Republican Guard. Along with the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers, the Carabiniers form Monaco's total public forces.[8]

Prince's Company of Riflemen
Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince
Cumpagnia d’i Carrabiniei d’u Pri̍ncipu
Coat of Arms of Carabiniers du prince.svg
Patch of the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince
Active8 December 1817 – present
Country Monaco
BranchForce Publique
TypeFoot Guards, and Gendarmerie
RoleClose Protection
SizeOne company, 124 personnel[1]
Motto(s)"Honour, loyalty, devotion"
EngagementsFrench Revolutionary Wars,
Monegasque Revolution,
World War I,
World War II,
Tōhoku Disaster[note 1]
Chief CommanderPrince Albert II of Monaco
Ceremonial chiefComdt. Martial Pied[3]
Colonel Luc Fringant
Lt. Colonel Philippe Rebaudengo
PlumeRed over White


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 honour of them.[9]

In Monaco, the Milice Nationale was created in 1865.[10] In 1870, the Milice Nationale was renamed the Gardes du Prince, although, the "Gardes" were still tasked with fire-fighting, and national security.[10] On 5 May 1881 the Gardes du Prince were renamed the Compagnie de Sapeurs-Pompiers to better adjust to their fire-fighting duties.[10] On 17 June 1909 the fire-fighting unit was re-organised into a separate operating company called the Compagnie de Sapeurs-Pompiers, while the protection unit was renamed the Corps des Carabiniers du Prince.[10] 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.[10]

The Carabiniers are currently commanded by Comdt. Martial Pied, who was sworn in on 2 January 2022.[3] Previous commanders include, Lt. Col. Gilles Convertini (2017-2022), Lt. Col. Philippe Rebaudengo (2007-2017), Lt. Col. Jacques Morandon (2005-2007), Lt. Col. Luc Fringant (1993-2005), and Comdt. Maurice Allent (1978-1993).[4][11]

Organisation and expendituresEdit

Composed of 119 personnel of Francophone nationality (3 officers, 19 non-commissioned officers, and 97 men of rank), the Carabiniers are split into the following divisions:[1][6]

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

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

Duties and missionsEdit

Barracks - Moneghetti
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 honour, and to assist law enforcement in times of need.[1][6][14] The Palace is guarded at all times, twenty-four hours a day, with two non-commissioned officers of varying rank, one Maréchal des logis, and eight Carabiniers.[6] The Changing of the Guard, is performed daily at 11.55 am, and announced by a musical element (two drums, two trumpets).[1][6]

The Carabiniers provides services of honour. To "requisition", the Company escorts judiciary, participates in official ceremonies, civil and religious, and ceremonial parades and processions.[1][6][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.[6] The Company participate as such, the security of major sporting events or arts that take place in the Principality, requiring emergency supplies and evacuation.[6] The Company participate as appropriate in the implementation of emergency plan, ORMOS Red Plan (Monaco relief organisation), which also includes the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers, and the Direction de la Sûreté Publique.[6]

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][6][14]

A Motorcycle Platoon is responsible for the Prince on his daily schedule, and escorting sovereign heads of state visiting Monaco.[1][6]

The BandEdit

A drummer of the band.

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, Carabiniers 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]


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,[citation needed] six Peugeot P4s, and seven BMW R1200RT-Ps.[18]

Old rifles and revolvers have been replaced by firearms such as the M16A2, and Glock 17.[19][20][21]


Parade dress in the winter is a modernised version of that worn in the early 1900s. It comprises a dark blue tunic, and light blue trousers with red facings.[22] 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.[23] For ordinary duties a modern police style uniform is worn with a peaked cap replacing the helmet.[24]


BMW R60 in 1967.


Vehicle Country of origin Type In service (ca.) Notes
BMW R1200RT-P   Germany Motorcycle 7 [18]
Peugeot P4   France Utility 4x4 6 [18]
Renault Master   France Minivan 4 [18][19]
Renault Scenic   France Compact MPV 4 [18]
Renault Espace   France Large MPV 2 [18]
MOWAG Piranha V    Switzerland IFV 2 [18][failed verification]

[note 2]


Vehicle Country of origin Type In service (ca.) Notes
Dodge WC series   United States Light truck 3 [25]
GMC CCKW   United States Heavy truck 1 [25]
Harley-Davidson WLA   United States Motorcycle 11 [26]
Zündapp 250   Germany Motorcycle 4 [26]
BMW R50   Germany Motorcycle 9 [26]
BMW R60   Germany Motorcycle 11 [26]
BMW R65   Germany Motorcycle 9 [26]

[note 3]


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


Weapon Country of origin Type In service (ca.) Notes
Glock 17   Austria Semi-automatic pistol 100 [18][19]
Beretta 92   Italy Semi-automatic pistol 12 [18]
SIG P210    Switzerland Semi-automatic pistol 12[note 4] [18]
M16A2   United States Assault rifle 100 [18][19]
M4A1   United States Assault rifle 12 [18][19]
SIG SG 510    Switzerland Battle rifle 80[note 5] [18]
FN MAG   Belgium General-purpose machine gun 6 [18]
LGI Mle F1   France Rocket-propelled grenade 3 [18]

[note 2]


Weapon Country of origin Type In service (ca.) Notes
Fusil modèle 1866   France Bolt-action rifle 70 [18]
Remington Rolling Block rifle   United States Rolling block 60 [18]
Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80   France Bolt-action rifle 60 [18]
Modèle 1874 Revolver   France Service Revolver 110 [18]
Fusil Mle 1886 M93   France Bolt-action rifle 80 [18]
Modèle 1892 Revolver   France Service Revolver 100 [18]
MAS Modèle 36   France Bolt-action rifle 80 [18]
MAS Modèle 49   France Semi-automatic rifle 110 [18]

[note 3]


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

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

  • Male;
  • Between nineteen and twenty-seven-years-old;
  • Single (marriage licence granted after the confirmation period);
  • Francophone;
  • Pass a vision examination;
  • Within a minimum height of 1.8 m to a maximum height of 2 m;
  • Body mass index less than or equal to twenty-five;
  • Pass a physical fitness test and examination;
  • Graduated with a high school or equivalent degree;
  • Possess a driving licence;
  • 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, mechanics training, or combat experience.[2]

Career developmentEdit

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 insigniaEdit

Rank Insignia (All ranks in French)[27]
Sovereign Prince (GO)
Commander-in-chief[note 6]
Commissioned Officer (CO)
Lieutenant Colonel
Sous Lieutenant
Non Commissioned Officer (NCO)
Adjudant Chef
Maréchal des Logis Major
Maréchal des Logis Chef
Maréchal des Logis

Popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ An eleven man peacekeeping and rescue force was deployed, however, the majority were Sapeurs-Pompiers.
  2. ^ a b Ordered by largest to smallest quantity.
  3. ^ a b Ordered by oldest to newest.
  4. ^ Originally 12 pistols were used, however, many pistols have been permanently retired.
  5. ^ Originally 80 rifles were used, however, many rifles have been permanently retired.
  6. ^ Retained by His Serene Highness the Prince of Monaco as his constitutional role.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Monaco, Gouvernement Princier de. "Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince / Département de l'Intérieur / Le Gouvernement / Gouvernement et Institutions / Portail du Gouvernement - Monaco". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Monaco, Palais Princier de. "Palais Princier de Monaco". Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Prince's Palace of Monaco".
  4. ^ a b "Force Publique - Annuaire Officiel". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Monaco signs new treaty with France". Monaco Consulate. Archived from the original on 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Monaco, Palais Princier de. "Palais Princier de Monaco". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Monaco signs new treaty with france". Monaco Consulate. Archived from the original on 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  8. ^ Monaco, Gouvernement Princier de. "Corps des Sapeurs-pompiers / Département de l'Intérieur / Le Gouvernement / Gouvernement et Institutions / Portail du Gouvernement - Monaco". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e History of the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers and Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince Archived August 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Monte-Carlo. "His Serene Highness Prince Albert II - Monaco Monte-Carlo". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  12. ^ a b "popupadhe 3". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  13. ^ "2012-2013 National Budget" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  14. ^ a b c chartrestw (15 March 2010). "La Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince de Monaco recrute..." Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved 21 July 2017 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Monaco, Palais Princier de. "Palais Princier de Monaco". Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  16. ^ a b "::: Monaco Wealth Management :::". Archived from the original on 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
  17. ^ Madmonarchist (7 July 2009). "The Mad Monarchist: Royal Guardians Profile: The Prince's Company of Carabiniers". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Giletta, Jacques (2005). Les Gardes Personnelles des Princes de Monaco (1st ed.). Taurus Editions. ISBN 2 912976-04-9.
  19. ^ a b c d e "Monaco: dans les coulisses avec les carabiniers du Prince Albert II". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Recession? What Recession? - CNN iReport". Archived from the original on 1 January 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  21. ^ BIKER06. "LA RELEVE DE LA GARDE SUR "THE ROCK" - le blog freeriders2". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Whiter Uniform". Archived from the original on 19 March 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  23. ^ "Summer Uniform". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Ordinary Duties Uniform". Archived from the original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  25. ^ a b Sale N° 2231 - Reserves from H.S.H the Prince of Monaco's Private Collection of Cars | Artcurial | Briest - Poulain - F. Tajan Archived May 30, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ a b c d e "La Compagnie des Carabiniers Du Prince de Monaco fête les 60 ans de son escorte Motocycliste". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Prince's Company of Carabiniers / Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  28. ^ "Grace of Monaco (2014)". IMDb. Retrieved 21 July 2017.

External linksEdit