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Prince Albert becomes Monaco monarch

MONTE CARLO, Monaco, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Foreign dignitaries gathered in Monaco Saturday to witness Prince Albert II formally assume the throne of his late father Prince Rainier.

Rainier died in April at age 81 and his 47-year-old son was sworn into office during a day of celebrations in July.

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Saturday's ceremonies began with a mass at the cathedral where Rainier and his wife Princess Grace are buried, to be followed by the formal transfer of power, a soccer match between Monaco and St. Etienne and an opera.

Although no outside royalty attended the festivities, Albert was accompanied by his sisters Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, the BBC said.

The day will end with the new ruler and his guests attending the Monte Carlo Opera's performance of Rossini's "Voyage to Reims."

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