Prince Albert II of Monaco
Who is he: Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, is the ruler of the Principality of Monaco and the head of the House of Grimaldi, the son of Monaco's Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly. With the death of Prince Rainier III on April 6, 2005, Prince Albert II of Monaco began his reign, though actually functioning as the reigning prince would have to wait until July 12, 2005, following the traditional three-month mourning period of his father's death. Albert II is a sports enthusiast and environmental crusader, as well as a member of the World Economic Forum, and one of the wealthiest Royals in the World with more than $1 billion, as of 2010. The House of Grimaldi is valued at more than $2.5 billion.
Background: Prince Albert II was born to Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly on the 14th day of February, 1958 at the Royal Palace. Part of Albert's notoriety is due to the status of his mother as an acclaimed world famous dancer, actress and choreographer.
Albert II was educated at Albert I High School, where he graduated with distinction in 1976. He spent his summers camping and was extremely proud of his six summers as a camp counselor at Lake Winnipesaukee in Moultonborough, NH, where he continued to hone his athletic skills and his interest in all sports activities. In 1977, he attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, USA, enrolling as Albert Grimaldi. His primary area of study was political science but he also attended classes in music, English literature and economics.
Albert toured Europe and the Middle East with the Glee Club from Amherst andgraduated in 1981 with a Bachelor's degree in political science. During his time spent at Amherst, Albert studied one summer as an exchange student at the University of Bristol. He enrolled in Marshall School of Economics and Management.
Albert II, Prince of Monaco, was made a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1985 and remains a member today. Several different years he competed in the Olympic bobsled events. He has always participated in javelin, swimming, tennis, judo, rowing, skiing and fencing, among other sports. He is looked at as an extremely well-rounded person with great intelligence and many innate abilities.
Prior to his ascension to the throne, Albert was sued over paternity for three different children. Eventually, he acknowledged two of the children and took paternity tests in all instances. One of the cases was a false claim. At that time, in a legal document, Albert confirmed that neither of the two children conceived out of wedlock can succeed him on the throne. His sister, Caroline was to be his successor and then her son would follow if there were no future children born to Albert by way of a legal marriage, according to Princely Law 1.249, passed because of concern that Albert II may not have produced a surviving legitimate son at the time of his death.
In 2006 Albert II joined the Russian expedition to the Arctic, which reached the North Pole on Easter. He is the only incumbent Head of State to have experienced a trip to the North Pole.
After Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, took his rightful place on the throne, he immersed himself in worldly endeavors and was determined to make his mark in the areas of climate change, the future production of energies and the protection of marine wildlife. When 2007 was declared the Year of the Dolphin by the United Nations Environmental Programme he seized that opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to marine life. He also expresses grave concern with the lack of pure drinking water around the globe.
Albert II married Charlene Wittstock, now Princess Charlene, on July 1, 2011. She was a former South African swimmer, and her interest in sports appears to be a positive aspect of the marriage.
Thus far, Albert has received many honorary titles, various foreign decorations and is depicted on the face of collector's coins. He appears to be destined to fulfill his many personal hopes and dreams, as well as accomplish the noteworthy humanitarian projects that he has envisioned for himself as the Sovereign Prince of Monaco.