Prince Albert of Monaco admits he has illegitimate son

The grandson of the Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, named Alexandre, is now almost two years old. His mother, Nicole Coste, is originally from the African nation of Togo.

"I recognised this child before a lawyer a few weeks after its birth," Prince Albert, who usually fiercely guards his privacy, said in remarks to appear in Le Monde's II magazine on Saturday.

"The child will therefore have a father and will lack for nothing," he said. "I will watch over this and will see him often."

Albert, 47, has no other children and is not married. He took over royal powers in the Riviera principality shortly before Prince Rainier III's death in April, and will formally assume the throne on 12 July.

Asked if the child would have the family name Grimaldi, Albert said in the interview: "No. His existence will have no effect on the functioning of the regime or on my succession.

"The rules of the constitution are very clear on this matter. There will be only patrimonial consequences." Under Monaco's constitution, only a child born in wedlock can succeed to the throne.

The Prince said he regretted that Paris Match magazine went public with the story just weeks after the death of his father, Prince Rainier, in April. "I find it saddening, shocking, that this affair - which should have remained strictly private - was made public in that way, and at that time," he told Le Monde.

In a cover story in May, Paris Match alleged Albert had fathered a son with Ms Coste. Ms Coste was quoted as saying she met Albert on a flight in July 1997, leading to a relationship and the birth of a child, Alexandre, in August 2003. The interview was illustrated with Pictures of the smiling prince holding and feeding a young boy.

Ms Coste, who lives in Paris, said she went public with the story because she wanted "Alexandre to grow up normally, with a father".

The Prince wanted to face up to his responsibilities, said a statement released by Albert's lawyer, Thierry Lacoste.

"That's why he recognised the child and hopes that he can live out his childhood and adolescence in a calm and protected setting, in strict isolation from the media," said a statement issued by the lawyer.

Albert said he was tired of fielding questions about why he was still single, and said he plans to have a family when he is ready. "Allow me to go at my own pace," he said. "But I assure you, I will get married."

He caused consternation to his father because of his refusal to wed, and the constitution was revised in 2002 to circumvent the problem posed by his only-child bachelor status.

If he has no legitimate heirs, the next in line would be Princess Caroline, the eldest of Albert's two sisters. She, in turn, would be succeeded by her oldest son, Andrea Albert Pierre.

News
Residents of James Turner Street such as White Dee will have a chance to share their experiences of benefits on a Channel 4 spin-off show
peopleBenefits Street star says mixed-race children were subjected to trolling
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Life and Style
Jourdan Dunn gave TopShop’s Unique show some added glamour at London Fashion Week
fashion week
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Higher Level Teaching Assistants in Bradford and West Leeds

£65 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are currently seeking Higher L...

EYP

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Job opportunity for an Early years ...

QA Manual Tester - Agile

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Bursar/Business Manager

£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Experienced bursar or business...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories