Who is Albert II, Prince of Monaco?
The reigning monarch of the principality of Monaco, Prince Albert II, is the 32nd in line of the rulers of this sovereign microstate. The only male heir to the throne, he ascended it in 2005 upon the death of his father, Prince Rainier III. He belongs to the House of Grimaldi which has wielded power in this constitutional monarchy since 1297, with a few short periods of interruption. Bordered on three sides by France and on one side by the Mediterranean Sea, the prince has strong political power in this second smallest country in the world, which is nonetheless a major banking center with a diversified economy and home to some of the world's richest and most celebrated people. The prince has a commanding presence in this principality; he has received education befitting royalty, and is active in his role as a ruler. An avid sport enthusiast, Albert II participated five times in the Winter Olympics as part of his country's bobsleigh team. A lover of cars and aircrafts, he is a collector of both of them. He supports environmental protection and sustainable resource development — a cause he is committed to, both personally and in keeping with his family's long tradition. He has fathered legitimate and illegitimate children through several relationships, which he has publicly acknowledged
Childhood & Early Life
Prince Albert II was born in Monaco on March 14, 1958 in the royal family of Prince Rainier III and his wife, Grace Kelly, an American actress and movie star. He has two sisters: Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie.
He attended the prestigious Lycee Albert Premier high school, in Monaco, and graduated in 1976.
In 1977, he went to Amherst College, Massachusetts for his higher education. He studied political science, English literature, economics and music and graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor degree in political science.
Always a keen sportsman, Prince Albert II participated in several different sports, which included swimming, tennis, fencing, javelin throwing, sailing, rowing, judo, and cross country.
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A keen sportsman, the prince joined the Monaco bobsleigh team and participated in five consecutive Winter Olympics from 1988– 2002, including being the flag bearer for Monaco in three of the games.
With a background in economics and management, he has held trainee positions in Morgan Guaranty Bank, New York, Roger & Wells International Law Firm, New York, and LVMH Group, Paris.
Princely duties were part of Prince Albert's life, and as the heir incumbent, he was groomed from an early age. As his father, Prince Rainier III became increasingly ill, he spent more time taking care of him during his illness while handling royal responsibilities in 2005, eventually succeeding his father to the throne upon his death.
He was formally enthroned as Sovereign Prince of Monaco in a two-part investiture on July 12, 2005 and November 19, 2005.
The prince serves as president of the Monaco Red Cross which was established in 1948 by Prince Louis II. He presides over the Princess Grace Foundation, established in memory of his mother, Grace Kelly, to promote and offer assistance to budding talent in the theater and arts by offering scholarships and grants.
As president of the 'Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation', he has committed his support and efforts in achieving solutions to the global climate and environment issues, to encourage sustainable planet resources and explore solutions to problems of diminishing biodiversity, clean water access and management, and climate change concerns.
Awards & Achievements
In 2009, he was awarded the Roger Revelle Prize by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, for his global outreach to promote understanding and awareness of the environmental challenges.
On October 20, 2009 he was honored with the Teddy Roosevelt Medal at the United States Congress for his dedication and work in the field of environmental protection.
Prince Albert II is one of the wealthiest people in the world. His assets exceed $1 billion which include his holdings in the famed Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.
Personal Life & Legacy
Prince Albert led the life of a bachelor until he was 53 and then married Charlene Wittstock in July 2011 in an elaborate wedding celebrated throughout Monaco in all its royal splendor. Before his marriage, he had been in and out of relationships with several glamorous women in the fashion and film industry.
His wife, Charlene, gave birth to their twin children, Gabriella Therese Marie and Jacques Honore Rainier, on December 10, 2014, with the accession right to the throne going to Jacques.
In addition to his legitimate children, the prince also has two illegitimate children. These include: Jazmin Grace Grimaldi born to a California woman, namely Tamara Rotolo, and Alexandre Coste born to Nicole Coste, a former Air France flight attendant of West African origin. Both the children have been acknowledged as his by the prince