Albert II Prince of Monaco
- Category : Royalty
- Type : GE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 1
Monegasque royalty, the head of the princely house of Grimaldi, he ascended to the throne of Monaco on 12 July 2005. The only son and heir of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace (formerly American actress Grace Kelly), his mother died in an auto accident on 14 September 1982 and his father died on 6 April 2005, the start of Albert II's reign. Prince Albert II is one of the wealthiest royals in the world, with assets valued at more than US$1 billion, which include land in Monaco and France.
With a shy, strong character, he shunned the limelight in his earlier years that his two sisters, Caroline and Stéphanie, attracted. At college in Amherst, Massachusetts up to 1981, he was a political science major. He learned banking on Wall Street in New York in 1983.
He represented his nation on the bobsled team in the 1988 Winter Olympics; he was also an international competitor in sailing and equestrian sports.
Though seen in the company of many attractive women, he held his title as the world's most eligible bachelor. In 1991, his name was linked with that of Florida native Helen Willis and on 4 November 1991, a tabloid magazine printed an interview with porn star Teri Weigel in which she related the story of her romance with Albert five years before, in which she played hard to get for two weeks before agreeing to a romantic interlude. The media noted past flings with actresses Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah and a bevy of other beautiful women. Inasmuch as Monaco reverts to France in the event that there is no male heir, Albert's affections had a greater import than simply the sowing of wild oats of a young man.
Rumours also periodically reported that Prince Rainier was ready to turn the throne of Monaco over to his only son. However the people of Monaco questioned whether Albert spent too much time polishing his love life and his sports skills, making him seem more the child of Monaco than the father-figure that Rainier presented for 40 years. Rainier had no intention of stepping down until he saw Albert securely married, hopefully to a wise choice.
When Rainier became sick, Prince Albert took over the princely duties. Rainier died on 6 April 2005 at 6:35 AM in a Monaco hospital. Just a few weeks later, in May 2005, a French publication broke the story that the unmarried prince of Monaco had a son. On 6 July 2005, the Prince confirmed that he had fathered a child with former Air France attendant Nicole Coste. The child, Alexandre, was born in August 2003. Under present law, Alexandre cannot inherit the throne of the principality though Albert has assumed financial responsibility.
Albert subsequently hinted that there may be other illegitimate children. On 31 May 2006, the prince acknowledged that he has a daughter, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, born in 1992 to an American woman with whom he had a brief affair.
He announced his engagement to a former Olympic swimmer from South Africa, Charlene Wittstock, on 23 June 2010. Born on 25 January 1978 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Wittstock is 20 years his junior. They wed civilly on 1 July 2011, followed by the religious ceremony on 2 July 2011. Twins Gabriella Thérèse Marie, Countess of Carladès and Jacques Honoré Rainier, Hereditary Prince of Monaco were born to Prince Albert and Princess Charlene on 10 December 2014.
On 19 March 2020, amid the large-scale outbreak of COVID-19, it was officially announced that Albert II had tested positive for the infectious disease. Albert II was the first monarch and head of state to have contracted COVID-19. He is the second head of a royal house to contract the virus, after Karl von Habsburg. On 31 March, it was announced that he had made a full recovery and would begin to self-quarantine with his family.