BBC2 documentary lifts lid on Monaco's ultra rich

What it takes to live in Monaco: Residents must have half a MILLION in the bank and be able to afford €30,000 for a single truffle – but unimpressed viewers say it looks more like ‘Benidorm for billionaires!’

  • BBC2 series Inside Monaco: Playground Of The Rich gives look into tax haven
  • Country sees visitors splash out on €28,000 champagne and €15,000 hotels
  • Residents must be ‘liquid’ and are able to prove they have €500,000 available
  • Viewers were left unimpressed by the lavish displays, branding it ‘vulgar’ 

A new documentary has given a rare glimpse inside one of the world’s most glamorous and elite tax havens.

New BBC2 series Inside Monaco: Playground Of The Rich, which premiered last night, saw Prince Albert of Monaco waive strict privacy rules to reveal the luxurious life of the tiny country’s super wealthy.  

The programme reveals how visitors and residents splash out €30,000 for one truffle, €28,000 for a magnum of champagne and over €2,000 for boat mooring for one day . 

Meanwhile citizens born in the country rely on financial aid to pay their rent, with one bed apartments reducing their fees from over €3,000 per month to around €700, so those born in the country can afford to live there.

Swedish model and singer Victoria Silvstedt, pictured, attended a party at the royal palace in last night’s episode of Inside Monaco. She is one of the principality’s wealthy residents

The programme reveals how visitors moor their multi-million pound superyachts at a cost of  €2,000-per-night. One member of staff joked the owners of the yachts are never revealed

The programme reveals how visitors and residents splash out €30,000 for one truffle, €28,000 for a magnum of champagne (pictured being served at a party)

The scenes of lavish wealth left the majority of viewers unimpressed, with some saying it was ‘grotesque’ and comparing the destination to ‘Benidorm for billionaires’. 

One tweeted: ‘Anybody else find this a really uncomfortable watch? #insideMonaco What could be done for the world? The worst excesses of humanity, unchecked.’

Another posted: ‘What a slice of of fun #insidemonaco was on BBC2. Absurd, outrageous and tasteless. Get me there now!’

A third wrote: ’35K for a truffle. 30K for a bottle of wine.’ 

To gain residency in Monaco residents must have no criminal record and abide by strict rules, including being ‘liquid’, which means always being able to prove you have half a million euros always available in your bank account. 

The scenes of lavish wealth left the majority of viewers unimpressed, with some saying it was ‘grotesque’ and comparing the destination to ‘Benidorm for billionaires’

Mark Thomas, a real estate agent and Monaco resident, said: ‘The property market here is expensive, property is a good position to be in. I’m a resident, the citizens are the people who are here, generation by generation. 

‘You can be a resident if you have no criminal record, you have a job, you have an apartment – whether you own it or lease it – and there are certain rules you have to follow. 

‘You have to be liquid and behave like a normal human being, it’s such a special place.’ 

A stunning two-bedroom suite at the Hotel de Paris, where rooms can cost up to €15,000-a-night

New BBC2 series Inside Monaco: Playground Of The Rich saw Prince Albert of Monaco (pictured) waive strict privacy rules to reveal the luxurious life of the tiny country’s super wealthy

Monaco covers just two square kilometres and sits on the French Riviera, and is one of the world’s most glamorous and elite tax havens 

While those with half a million can become a resident of the country, Prince Albert personally gets to decide which applicants will be allowed the privilege of becoming a citizen. 

Monaco covers just two square kilometres and sits on the French Riviera, it was once home to Prince Albert’s mother, Hollywood legend Grace Kelly. 

It boasts the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Ringo Starr among its residents, while the documentary shows figures such as King Carl Gustaf of Sweden rubbing shoulders with the country’s elite. 

Other residents of the country include Monika Bacardi, the 51-year-old rum heiress, who has used her wealth to fund the making of films and has made a name for herself as an influential movie producer. 

Residents of the country include Monika Bacardi (pictured), the 51-year-old rum heiress Who has used her wealth to fund the making of films and has made a name for herself as an influential movie producer 

Prince Albert personally gets to decide which applicants will be allowed the privilege of becoming a citizen.Pictured, Carabiniers, waiting in Palace courtyard to drive the royal family

As well as Her Royal Highness Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro, the daughter of an Italian industrialist who married Prince Carlo of Bourbon in 2003. 

Housekeeper Sylvie Lamia and valet Eric Guillaut at Hotel de Paris were seen preparing a two bedroom and bathroom suite, which will set you back €15,000 for one evening, for a VIP guest. 

‘Famous people have different requests in the room’, said Sylvie, ‘Like once I made the bed only with pillows on the top of the mattress and black curtains. It was so strange, but I said okay. 

‘Some people are living strange lives. I’ve met a lot of famous people, I can’t give you the names but some famous people. 

The country was once home to Prince Albert’s mother, Hollywood legend Grace Kelly, pictured on the set of High Society 

Her Royal Highness Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro (pictured), is also a resident 

Eric added: ‘One man asked me to put the mattress directly on the ground and take away the bed frame, he wanted simply that.’ 

While preparing for a national dinner celebrating Monaco’s success as a sovereign state, a few lucky residents have the chance to have dinner with members of the royal family and senior members of state. 

On National Day, no expense is spared, and the lavish lunch is served with equally as luxurious wines    

Gregorie Gomond, the palace butler, said: ‘We roughly have 15,000 bottles resting, some of the bottles are the best wines you will find ever, very rare. 

‘Ranging in the €30,000s. Here we have one main customer, the Prince. When the chef provides us with the menu we have four to five choices for each colour and then the Prince will tick the wine that he prefers.’ 

Housekeeper Sylvie Lamia and valet Eric Guillaut (pictured) at Hotel de Paris were seen preparing a two bedroom and bathroom suite, which will set you back €15,000 for one evening

The programme saw visitors and residents splash out €30,000 for one truffle, €28,000 for a magnum of champagne and over €2,000 for boat mooring for one day. Pictured, aerial shot of Prince’s Palace of Monaco

While the country’s residents dine with royalty, trainee air traffic controller Quentin Rayard told how being a citizen of the country comes with it’s own perks.   

He told: ‘There are only two ways to live in Monaco be extremely rich or a citizen. 

‘Essentially, rent here is extremely high a one bedroom apartment you’re looking at €3,000 or €4,000 a month. So there are programmes to subsidies for the citizens, my rent is about €700 a month, for a €4,000 apartment. 

‘We have priority for employment, there were French people who applied for the job but I got the job’. 

Inside Monaco: Playground of the Rich airs this evening on BBC2 at 9pm 

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