|English: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train in Safety Harbor, Florida, (U.S.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Coming out of the south of France and into the Principality of Monaco and you will find that Circus has a very serious royal patronage. The Monte Carlo Circus Festival has been a well-attended, high class, annual festival and competition since 1976. Many wild animal acts have won the coveted silver and gold clowns over the years, and to this day are met by standing ovations. The festival was started by Prince Rainier III and is still going strong under Prince Albert II and Princess Stephanie. Most Italians know the Orfei circus family like the UK know the Beckhams, and other traditional circus families like the Tognis also enjoy similar celebrity status.