Albert and his wife, Princess Charlene, both attended a special mass in Monaco on July 16. Then on Monday, Albert stood alongside American Ambassador Jane Hartley during a minute of silence along the Promenade des Anglais.
Noting that the attack on a crowd of 30,000 watching Bastille Day fireworks is “still an incomprehensible act,” he says he was attending a similar outdoor public event that night, 20 minutes away on the other side of Nice.
“I was actually at the Jazz Festival in Juan-Les-Pins [where Monaco’s Palais Guards orchestra performed] when the Deputy Mayor of Antibes came and informed me,” he tells PEOPLE.
“Everyone’s reaction was shock and horror at this unpredictable tragedy.
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“Those affected are our neighbors,” he adds. “It isn’t just people from Nice but people in Monaco as well, and also people who work in Monaco. Their sons, their daughters. It’s friends of people who work at the palace. It was felt in France, around the world, and here in particular. Everyone here knows someone.
“We all know that Nice is one of the cities in France with a large radical population but you could never imagine anything this horrific.
“Is this time more personal? Of course when your neighbors are affected, it affects you. We were all moved by the events in Paris, in, Brussels, but when it happens to your neighbor it takes on a different perspective.”