Prince Albert II’s First Four Years

  April 6, 2009 at 7:48 pm by

Prince Albert and Prince Rainier

Prince Albert II and Prince Rainier III. Click the image to see more at Corbis.com

With the arrival of the sad anniversary of the death of His Serene Highness Prince Rainier III, his son His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, has now been sovereign of Monaco for four years. For years, reporters questioned the type of monarch the very “American” educated Prince would be. One reporter even noted that he was too “nice” to rule.

The Prince was born to rule and as the saying goes: Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi! (The King is Dead, Long Live the King). Prince Albert had almost half a century by the side of his father, who died at age 81 on April 6, 2005 to wait and prepare. For years prior to his father’s death, Prince Albert had assumed many of his father’s duties and almost all foreign travel since the Prince’s health was steadily declining. When Prince Albert was named Regent on March 26, 2005, reporters rushed to quote citizens who expressed their guarded concerns in interviews. Change is always feared, and Prince Rainier was the only monarch they had ever known.

Those who wondered if Monaco could continue to thrive without Prince Rainier have been pleasantly surprised. Prince Albert’s first years have actually closely marked his father’s. Both began their reign began by asking for the resignation of many of the advisors and staff members of the previous Sovereign and both inherited a country in transition and in need of new direction.

Prince Albert during Monaco National Day celebrations 2005

Click the image to see the gallery at Zimbio

The first four years of Prince Albert II’s reign have led to strides in Monaco’s world reputation as a small but powerful country. It’s reputation as a money laundering state has been almost wiped clean (although it remains on the OECD list of uncooperative tax havens). Monaco has even joined the other EU Nations who use the Euro as currency and has encouraged diplomacy through the opening of new embassies and consulates.

The Prince’s largest concern has been the environment which prompted him to start his own foundation. He continues to be active in supporting and traveling for the IOC – International Olympic Committee (of which he is still a member) while making time for the various charities of Monaco. He spends more time traveling the globe than his father before him.

The Prince, unlike his father, remains unmarried and his lack of an inheriting heir has helped to flame publicity surrounding his reported relationship with South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. Even his father’s death was quickly overshadowed when he was forced to acknowledged the first of two illegitimate children, Alexandre Coste and Jasmine Grace Grimaldi (neither have titles or ability to inherit their father’s throne).

Perhaps the next four years will bring a marriage the longed for heir to the Prince. As long as he remains unmarried, his private life will continue to overshadow the abilities and strengths in his public life.

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One Response to Prince Albert II’s First Four Years

  1. Pingback: The Royal Forums » Monaco’s Prince Facing Mounting Criticism

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