Monaco: Prince Albert (1958- )

Figure 1.--Albert at 7 or 8 wears informal white short pants with short white socks. I'm not positive when this portrait was taken. As Princess Stephanie is not included, perhaps about 1964.

Prince Rainier III married Grace Kelly in 1956. Grace was one of the beautiful women in the world. She was the most popular movie stars at the time. She gave up her career to be a princess and mother. H.S.H. Prince Albert, Alexandre, Louis, Pierre, Heir to the Throne, Marquis of Baux, was born on March 14, 1958 in Monaco. Hereditary Prince Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi. Born on March 14, 1958. Prince Albert's godfather was the late Prince Louis de Polignac, and godmother the late Her Majesty Queen Victoria-Eugenia of Spain. HSH the Sovereign Prince bestowed upon HSH Hereditary Prince Albert the Grand-Cross of the Grimaldi Order with the enactment of April 18, 1958, and the Grand-Cross of the Saint-Charles Order with the enactment of March 13, 1979. Albert proved to be a duitful son in contrat to his sisters. Albert never generated the headlines of his free-spirited sisters. He subsequently developed a playboy image and has not married. He became the ruling prince with the death of his father in 2005.


Albert had two of the most famous parents in the world. His father was Europe's most eligible bachelor when he married and became Europe's longest reigning monarch. His mother was at the time she married, America's most beautiful and popular movie star.

Prince Ranier

Although Monaco is only a small principality along the French Rivierra, Prince Ranier is among the most recognizable modern royals. The Prince after World War II was one of the world's most eligible bachelor. He made handlines all over the world when in 1955 he married the beautiful American movie star Grace Kelly. The transition from movie star to princess was a difficult one, but she successfully made the transition. At the time of her tragic death she had become beloved by the people of Morocco. Prince Rainer, now over 70, is reportedly worried about who will succeed him as head of Europe's longest reigning ruling family.

Princess Grace

Grace Patricia Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1929 into a staunchly Catholic Irish American family. Her parents were John and Margaret Kelly. John B. Kelly was a wealthy contractor. Grace from an early age wanted to be an acrtress. She grew to be one of the beautiful women in the world. She was the most popular movie stars at the time. She made seberal notable films with the leading men of her era. The films she made with motion picture director Alfred Hitchcock are perhap[s his best. He never found an actresses that projected the smae image. She gave up her career to be a princess and mother. Even today, Hrace Kelly is seem as setting an almost Grecian ideal for standards of beauty and grace.

Figure 2.--This photo was taken in 1965, soon after Princess Stephanie's birth. Prince Albert would have been about 7 years old. He wears a very American-looking ftey Eton suit, wih a regular shirt and red necktie. This suggests that the children's clothes were personally selected by Princess Grace.


Princess Grace through herself into her new role as Princess of Monaco. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace had three children. The first was H.S.H. Princess Caroline, born in Monaco on January 23, 1957. H.S.H. Prince Albert, Heir to the Throne, Marquis of Baux, was born in Monaco on March 14, 1958. Their third child, H.S.H. Princess Stephanie, born in Monaco on February ??, 1965. The Principality was delighted to hear they had a heir to secure the throne for the future. Grace certainly loved her children. Perhaps she loved them too much, but that never got in the way when it came to disciplining them. In fact she was the diciplinarian in the family. Grace was fair. She tried hard to have her children grow up as normal as any child in the royal lime light could. Vacation time was usually spent back in Philadelphia and for several years Prince Albert attended summer camp with his American cousins. As in all families, her relationships with the children began to change as they grew up. On her death, the Prince was left to raise the children, which in the case of the girls proved to be a difficult undertaking.


Prince Albert's godfather was the late Prince Louis de Polignac, and godmother the late Her Majesty Queen Victoria-Eugenia of Spain. Princess Grace was a very beautifull and elegant woman. She spoke fluent French , but spoke English with her children. As a result they grew up speaking both English and French. Prince Albert as a litle boy had difficulty communicating. For many years he stuttered. His mother said he was a very kind little boy. In fact some believe he was too kind to be an effective prince. His father worked with him a great deal, especially on his speech. Today he speaks practically normaly, in perfect French and English.

Childhood Clothes

Albert was the second of three children. Princess Grace saw to that Albert was dressed very smartly as a little boy. They appear to have been personally selected by her, looking more American than French. He wore smart short pants Eton suits with kneesocks, usually grey kneesocks. He also wore white shorts with short ankle socks. Princess Grace appears to have been partial to lapel-less Eton suits as commonly worn by younger Amertican boys. This was a very popular style for American boys, especially boys from affluent families. As a little boy Albert wore small Eton-like pointed collars with his Eton suits. We note several portraits of Albert wearing Eton suits. At about 5 years of age he wore a blue Eton short pants suit. This was a popular style in America for younger boys at the time. I do not think it was as widely worn in Europe. As a school-age boy wore regular collars and neckties. In one portrait he wore a red necktie. At the age of 9 he was still wearing Eton-style collarless jackets in a classic gray color. I'm not sure when he began wearing jackets with collars and long pants.

American Experiences

Princess Grace often took Albert to America where he would play with his American cousins. I believed he often went to summer camp with them, an American ritual.

Hair Styles

Prince Albert appears to have worn rather short hair. One portrait shows him with extremely short hair (figure 1).


We do not have much information on the recreation Albert enjoyed as a boy. We do note an image of Princess Grace playing with the children in the snow.


The Hereditary Prince Albert went to school at the Lycee Albert I of Monaco, and received his baccalaureate diploma (similar to a highschool diploma) with distinction in 1976. Albert between 1977-1981, he went to University in the United States, Amherst College in Massachusetts where he studied political science, economics, psychology, English literature, art history,anthropology, geology, philosophy, sociology, German language, and music. On May 30, 1981, he received his Bachelor of Administration in Political Science in the presence of Their Serene Highnesses the Sovereign Princeand Princess of Monaco and HSH Princess Caroline.

Figure 3.--Albert at 9 was dressed in a rather American-looking Eton suit--presumably picked out by Princess Grace.


Throughout his youth, scholarly studies and University years, the young Prince continues to shine in numerous sports disciplines. Prince Albert was the best middle distance runner at the Lycee Albert I, and was on the cross-country team between 1972-74. During his studies at Amherst, he trained in the javelin. On the Monaco soccer team for 4 years, he still plays often with the team he created and baptised the 'Barbagiuans'. Hand-ball, Judo black-belt, academic champion in swimming, tennis, sailing, skiing, squash, fencing, rowing, areamongst the many sports he enjoys. During his summer holidays at Camp Tecumseh (USA), he competed and won two gold medals and one silver, inhis swimming category. He won two gold medals in fencing. Twice he was in the finals in the campchampionships in 1971-72, and 1973-74. Since 1986 he has taken up Bobsleighing, and competed in the Olympic games in Calgary, Albertville andLillehammer. Keen on music, he was part of the University chorus, 'Amherst College Glee Club' with which he touredthroughout Europe and the Middle East during the summer of 1979. A multi-disciplined sportsman, in 1985 the Prince participates in the Paris-Dakar Race. During his participation inthe race, the Prince is struck by the misery and poverty of the regions crossed, and decided to do something forthe inhabitants. With support from the Monegasque - Monaco Aid and Presence Association (MAP) of which heis founder and Honorary President, in May 1988 he arranged for the construction of a free health center inAgades, Nigeria which bares his name. Recently a maternity ward was added. Other similar projects are in themakings in war-ridden countries such as in ex-Yugoslavia, and in developing countries such as Sri-Lanka, Brazil, Romania.

Military Service

From September 1981 to April 1982, Prince Albert engaged in the French Navy as second grade sub-lieutenant, onboard the helicopter-carrier 'Jeanne d'Arc', aboard which he traveled around the world. Currently, he is first gradesub-lieutenant.



H.S.H. Prince Albert, Alexandre, Louis, Pierre, Heir to the Throne, with the title od Marquis of Baux. HSH the Sovereign Prince bestowed upon HSH Hereditary Prince Albert the Grand-Cross of the Grimaldi Order with the enactment of April 18, 1958, and the Grand-Cross of the Saint-Charles Order with the enactment of March 13, 1979. He is reported to have about 130 French nobiliary titles.

Figure 4.--Prince Ranier and Princess Grace with their family. Albert was 8-9 years old in this photograph taken in 1966 on the 10th anniversary of their marriage. Note the patterned necktie.

Family Matters

I believe Albert was rather a dutiful son, but both parents had a great deal of trouble with the girls as they grew up. Princess Grace died on September 14, 1982, as a result of a tragic accident of which She hadbeen the victim the previous day. Left alone to raise the family, Prince Ranier had quite a bit of trouble with his strong-willed daughters. They seemed to have settled down to raise afamily, but were rather wild, especially in contrast to their stright-laced father. Both daughters now apear to be the soul of respectability--nothing like the behavior that gave their parents so much concern. Albert on the other hand has become a playboy. He likes to party and travel. He has still not married, leaving the continuation of the royal line in doubt. Albert, a the oldest male child, is next in line to inherit the throne from his father. He has not expressed a great interest in the possibility. He is repotedly leading a bot of the life of a playboy. This is in contrast to his behavior as a teenager when he was rather the dutiful son ] while his sisters were rather wild, especially after the untimely death of their mother.

The Sccession

The sucession in Monacco, however, was not as clear cut as the royal line is in many other European countries. Princess Caroline privately discussing the issue with her father, suggesting that a better choice would be her son Andrea. Albert reportrtedly said that he is not to upset by this, indicating that Caroline does not understand what she is getting Andrea involved in. Whether this is the way he really feels is another question. Apparently Prince Ranier decided to stay wiyh is son, although his failure to marry was a great concern to him. Albert secceeded his father when he died in 2005. He appears to be an intelligent man, quite capable of a successful reign. Some report that he now has a strong sence of his family role and a good command of the Principality's economic situation.


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Created: June 6, 1998
Last updated: 3:55 PM 4/21/2005