24 July – We have constructed prisons of glass

We know that a certain (almost) microstate will return in 2024, possibly singing in French. But in the early days of the contest you couldn’t move for songs in français. That’s because one of those other francophone countries was the Principality of Monaco.

Monaco is currently back on the sidelines, but after a plethora of appearances (and one win) between 1959 and 1979, they came back in the 2000s. In 2004, the principality sent today’s birthday girl Märyon (née Maryon Gargiulo) who was – surprise surprise – French. Most Monégasque entrants were. TMC probably didn’t hold out much hope of getting out of the single semi-final, but there was always a chance. They did beat some countries, and might have beaten more had France taken the trouble of broadcasting and voting in that semi-final. Monaco only managed two further appearances before picking up their ball and going back to the sidelines with the others currently sitting things out. But who know, could they return again?

Märyon is 36 today.

Bonne annoversaire/Bon aniversari, Märyon!