Last week it was William and Kate, on July 1st, Prince Albert II of Monaco will marry South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, and a possible son from that marriage could be the next heir to Monaco’s throne. But, the monarchy has a even deeper African connection?
Albert, the child of Academy Award winning American actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, fathered a son in 2003 with international flight attendant Nicole Coste who is a citizen of Togo–a British colonized African nation (the prince also fathered a daughter in 1992 with real estate agent Tamara Rotolo.)
It is not clear if Albert’s father Prince Rainier was made aware of his grandson’s existence before he died in 2005. But, in Le Monde magazine, the Prince said, “I recognized this child legally within weeks of its birth and asked for the birth certificate to be available at the end of the period of mourning [the death of Prince Rainier]. The child therefore has a father and will want for nothing. I will make sure of that and will see him regularly. “
According to a 2005 article on the BBC New’s website, the attorney for Prince Albert states that the son “would have the same rights to inheritance as any other child of Prince Albert, should he have any others” ,and added that the child would not be in line for the throne.
The article also stated that Prince Rainier changed Monaco’s constitution in 2002 , so, if Prince Albert was childless, his sisters could take over the throne. Since Albert is no longer childless, should the constitution be revised further so Albert’s first born son, a child he has publicly acknowledged, could inherit? Or, should a possible son from the marriage of Prince Albert and Ms. Wittstock be the heir?
Tod Roulette is a private art dealer who works have been published in the Avon Books anthology, Paper, Harlem World Magazine and Out magazines.