Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi was born on 1958 and in March 2005, at the age of 46, it was announced that he would take over the throne from his father—the reigning Prince of Monaco—who was in ill health. His father died the following month, and Albert officially took on the title of Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Today, Prince Albert is said to be the ninth richest royal in the world, with a net worth estimated to be around $1.0 billion.
The fact that Prince Albert never married when he took over the throne sparked rumors that he was gay, even though he had several past relationships with models and actresses. However, it was later revealed that Prince Albert had actually fathered two kids out of wedlock with two separate women.
In June 2010, the news broke that, at 55 years old, Prince Albert had finally decided to get married. His soon-to-be wife was South African swimmer Charlene Lynette Wittstock, who was only 32 at the time. The celebrity couple’s marriage officially took place on July 1, 2011 (civil marriage ceremony) and July 2, 2011 (religious ceremony). The celebrations were said to be the biggest party the country had seen in over 50 years.
Unfortunately, the marriage never reportedly started off on the best foot. Just days before the wedding, reports started to surface claiming that Wittstock was having cold feet and that she wanted to leave Monaco after finding out that Prince Albert had a third illegitimate child. According to the report, police picked Wittstock up at the airport, took away her passport, and convinced her to stay. The palace, however, forcefully denied the rumors and maintained that the report was completely fictitious. But it didn’t really help their case when Princess Charlene was photographed with tears pouring down her face on their wedding day.
Even after the marriage was finalized, the rumors continued, this time claiming that the celebrity couple was actually staying at two different hotels while on their South African honeymoon. Despite being plagued by rumors, their marriage has persevered.
Princess Charlene recently opened up about the infamous photo of her crying at their wedding, but maintains that they were tears of happiness and that the rumors of her trying to run away were “categorical lies.” As she told The Times Magazine: “Everything was just so overwhelming and there were all the mixed emotions because of the rumours, and obviously the tension built up and I burst into tears,” adding, “I think back and wonder how we managed to pull it off. There was a lot going on. It was beautiful; it was sentimental, showing my most intimate moment to the world.”
What do you think: Did Princess Charlene make the right decision to marry Prince Albert?
“Princess Charlene of Monaco puts runaway bride drama behind her as she shows off her swimmer’s figure on luxury yacht holiday in Sardinia,” Daily Mail web site; http://goo.gl/Hx6tNJ, last accessed July 29, 2013.
Serafin, T., “The World’s Richest Royals,” Forbes web site; http://goo.gl/vhzW6w, last accessed July 29, 2013.
Photo Credit: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com