It is said that behind every great man is a great woman, but in the case of Prince Albert of Monaco, a host of fiercely protective and strong women have helped guide him throughout his life. From his birth in 1958 to his coronation in 2005 and becoming a devoted husband, father and leader of the Monegasque people, Albert has been gifted with overwhelming love and support from all the women in his life.
As a youngster growing up in the monarchy’s official residence, the Prince’s Palace, Albert developed an unwavering bond with his motherPrincess Grace. ‘I think mothers and sons have a very special relationship,” Albert once told Hello! “It’s not to say she didn’t love my sisters just as much, but she and I had a different relationship.”
As wife to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III, the Oscar-winning actress was mindful of the responsibilities and obligations that awaited her son on the day that he would inherit the monarchy, so she made it her mission to give him as normal a childhood as being a prince would allow. Described as ‘very hands on’ by her son, the princess made sure that her family’s world within the palace walls was as homey as possible by hosting pool parties and barbecues for her children and their friends. Albert told Hello! that be believes he has inherited his mother’s sensitivity, as demonstrated by his devotion to charity work including the work he does through the Princess Grace Foundation in honour of his late mother, who died in 1982 following a tragic car accident.
The death of their mother unified the enduring relationship between Prince Albert and his sisters, Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, who are always by his side at charity events and important celebrations on the Grimaldi family’s calendar. Most recently, the princesses were front and centre at the baptism of Albert’s twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, where they were spotted blowing kisses to their brother across the aisle as the ceremony drew to a close. Caroline and Stephanie were the main women in Albert’s life until 2000, when a chance meeting with an elegant former Olympic swimmer, Charlene Wittstock, set him on a path towards marriage.
Over the past 15 years, Princess Charlene of Monaco has been a constant source of love and support for Albert, who recently praised his wife for her ability to adapt to public role. Speaking to People magazine, Albert reveals that Charlene "feels a little more comfortable with the media now, and to be quite honest she got there on her own. I think I underestimated her. She surprises me."
The arrival of his daughter Princess Gabriella and twin brother Prince Jacques in December has provided Albert with immense joy and inspiration to continue to use his role as head of the principality to enrich the lives of the people of Monaco and build a strong monarchy for his children to inherit.
Here, Hello! rounds up the amazing women that have helped shape and support Prince Albert throughout his life.