17 years ago to the day, in April 2005, Prince Albert of Monaco acceded to the throne and succeeded his father, Rainier III, at the head of the Principality of Monaco. The opportunity to look at the complicated relationship between the sovereign and his father.
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 marked the seventeenth anniversary of the death of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and the arrival on the throne of his son Prince Albert II. If they have always appeared smiling and united in front of the cameras, father and son actually maintained a rather complicated relationship. An episode of the documentary Héritages devoted to the princely family of Monaco, which was broadcast on NRJ12, Thursday, April 7, has precisely highlighted their sometimes conflicting relationship.
As reported by several journalists and experts during the film, Prince Rainier has involved his future heir in the political and economic life of the principality since his youth. But Grace Kelly’s husband sometimes put so much pressure on him that young Albert had trouble keeping up. Since his adolescence, he knew that he would have to reign on the Rock. Above all, he would have to live up to the immense heritage and demands, often difficult to satisfy, of his father. Rainier III “will make Albert carry the weight of the Grimaldi dynasty on his shoulders,” explains Philippe Delorme, historian and author of Les plus belles heures de Monaco et des Grimaldi. “He was expected to be perfect,” he adds. “The relations between father and son are often stormy because Rainier is an eternal dissatisfied,” notes Bertrand Deckers, journalist and columnist specializing in royal families. “For him, Albert never does enough,” he concludes.
Albert of Monaco and his father, closer than ever in illness
If their relationship has often been conflicting, the husband of Princess Charlene and his father have had to learn to get along and work together. And for good reason, during the last years of his life, Rainier III was ill for a long time. Indeed, Grace Kelly’s husband underwent a coronary artery bypass surgery in 1994, and six years later underwent a partial removal of the lung to control a tumor. His health problems forced him to delegate some of the day-to-day business of the Principality to his son. The future Albert II was in charge of representing the sovereign during official trips abroad. What to prepare him for his accession to the throne, a few years later.
Photo credits: DOMINIQUE JACOVIDES / BESTIMAGE