Originally Posted by Noble Consort Ming
I didn't realize the laws had been changed. Did Rainier have something to do with the change? It would seem strange to me if he did considering his mother's situation and the fact that he would never have been prince of Monaco if not for her adoption.
Prince Rainier instigated the changes.
In 2002, Monaco adopted Princely Law 1.249 which stipulated that if the Reigning Prince dies without legitimate issue, the Throne goes to his siblings and their legitimate descendants, according to laws of male primogeniture. The law has been in effect since 2005 (after ratification by France).
Until 2002, the crown of Monaco could only pass to the direct descendants (including adopted children) of the reigning prince. This meant that Princess Antoinette was not in the line of succession and that as soon as Prince Rainier died, Princess Caroline, Princess Stephanie and their descendants would not be in the line of succession as well. Since Prince Albert had no legitimate issue, it endangered the very future of the Monegasque Throne (because, in theory, that could mean Monaco’s annexation into France). The 2002 changes dealt with that problem, granting Caroline, Stephanie and their legitimate descendants the right to be in the line of succession, and ensuring the line will go on whether Prince Albert had children or not.
One of the articles of the 2002 changes also mentioned that in order for someone to be in the line od succession, his/her parents should be married either at the time of his/her birth, or marry subsequently. For that reason, Princess Stephanie’s two eldest children, who were born out of wedlock, are in the succession line (they were legitimised by their parents’ subsequent marriage), but her youngest child, Camille, is not since Stephanie never married her father.
Thus, Prince Albert’s children born out of wedlock, Jazmin and Alexandre, cannot have claims to the Throne because they are illegitimate. Prince Albert may adopt them legally, but they would only have succession rights if he married their respective mothers. So, in theory, if Prince Albert marries Jazmin’s mother then divorced, and then married Alexandre’s mother, both children would have full succession rights (with Alexandre ahead of his sister based on male primogeniture). Since that didn’t happen and Prince Albert is now married to Princess Charlene, the question is mute.
Right now, the Hereditary Princess of Monaco is Princess Caroline; she is the Heiress Presumptive to the Throne. If Prince Albert has legitimate sons, the eldest boy will become the Heir Apparent; if he only has daughters, the eldest will be Heiress Presumptive.