Sure, Prince Albert is mega rich, and his mother was former actress, Grace Kelly, one of the most glamorous and beloved Hollywood stars of the 20th century, but the ruler of the tiny, casino-rich principality of Monaco continues to be an embarrassing, scandal-plagued figure on the world stage.
Consider the latest report in a French gossip magazine alleging that Albert pays his often miserable-looking wife, Princess Charlene, $12.5 million a year to stay with him.
The report from the French magazine Voici is the latest twist in Albert and Charlene’s rollercoaster marriage and in Albert’s beleaguered reputation, the Mirror reported.
Princess Charlene of Monaco wipes away a tear as she and Prince Albert II of Monaco leave Sainte Devote church after their religious wedding ceremony at the Prince’s Palace of Monaco on July 2, 2011 in Monaco. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Friends of the 64-year-old prince deny the report, which suggests that his wife, former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, from South Africa, is being paid to return to her royal duties and appear in public with him and their 7-year-old twins, Jacques and Gabriella.
Charlene, 44, was absent from Monaco for much of 2021 and early 2022, staying first in South Africa and then at a clinic in Switzerland, recovering from what Page Six reported was a long illness and exhaustion,
“After being away for so long during her illness, Charlene is so happy to be back with Albert and the kids,” a source told Page Six. “They spend every weekend at their country place.”
Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques stand with a message for Princess Charlene at the balcony of Monaco Palace during the celebrations marking Monacos National Day in Monaco, on November 19, 2021. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP) (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
In any case, Charlene wouldn’t need more money from Albert, the source said. “Of course she has a generous prenup, but Albert doesn’t have to pay her to stay,” the source said.
True or not, the report was avidly picked up by outlets in Europe and the United States, probably because it sounded plausible, and because Albert is so easy to pick on.
The prince, who once competed on Monaco’s Olympics bobsled team, offers a good argument for anti-monarchists because he comes across as the pampered and privileged beneficiary of immense inherited wealth.
Albert also holds one of those lesser European royal titles that still exist in the 21st century. Moreover, he governs a picturesque speck of land along the Mediterranean that has long fought the reputation as being a refuge for wealthy tax dodgers and money launderers — “a sunny place for shady people,” as the writer W. Somerset Maugham once said, the New York Times reported.
Supposedly, Albert is known as a “nice” guy, according to a New York Times report published in April 2005, after “the bachelor prince” ascended to the throne upon the death of his father, Prince Rainier. At least, Albert showed more dignity in his position than his …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment