Prince Albert's 'Forced' Vision for Monaco?

Recognizing Baby Alex

Although Albert's affair with Coste had cooled off, she insisted on celebrating her 31st birthday with the prince in December 2002, according to Paris Match. Albert arrived late and she was pouting, but they still ended up doing more than just blowing out candles.

Coste calls it a night of destiny, saying a baby wasn't planned. She said she forgot her pills and when she informed Albert a few months later, he said, "I don't promise I will marry you, but keep it and don't worry," according to the magazine.

Reports differ on what exactly ensued. Albert's tune may have changed when he realized the consequences of an out-of-wedlock child, especially a baby boy. Albert avoided Coste but visited his son, Alexandre, two months after his birth on Aug. 24, 2003.

With a determined mother and a princely father, little Alex could live up to his emperor-like name.

Despite the "cold entente" between father and mother, Coste said Albert remained a "perfect gentleman." Or, rather a perfectly "generous" gentleman.

Coste ditched her apartment and started living in the prince's Parisian apartment in lavish style with a $15,000 monthly pension, according to published reports.

But that didn't seem to satisfy her.

She hired a bunch of lawyers and tried to force Albert to officially recognize his son. On Dec. 15, 2003, after haranguing phone calls and legal pressures, Albert signed papers recognizing Alexandre on the condition that it be made public only upon Prince Rainier's death.

After Rainier died in April, Coste still couldn't get her playboy prince to fess up. Albert had imposed a period of mourning until July 6, but Coste feared he was stalling yet again.

Photos in hand, she gave an interview to Paris Match in early May saying that she "wanted an end to the lies."

Leadership Pledge: Honesty

Coste got what she wanted. On July 6, Albert's lawyer and confidant, Thierry Lacoste, released a statement on the prince's behalf acknowledging his "secret son."

The child, aged 22 months, would not be in line to the throne and would not have the name Grimaldi, according to the statement.

Albert declares that honesty is the way he wants to lead his "Rock on the Riviera" and what better way to do so than by starting with himself?

Thus, his vision for Monaco is born.

"I want to put morality, honesty and ethics at the forefront of my government and my Cabinet," Albert said in an interview with French newspaper supplement, Le Monde2.

The prince has vowed to make sure that Monaco will never again be associated with money laundering, according to the interview.

Meanwhile, he's also decided to clean house.

His Cabinet is yet to be assembled, according to palace spokesman Nicolas Saussier, but "he has asked for his father's Cabinet members to hand in their resignation." Albert will probably name a new government a few days after his coronation, said Saussier.

No one knows if Coste and Alexandre will join the inaugural party. She's a French citizen and not a Monegasque, so unless the prince grants a special privilege, she'll have to watch it on TV like the rest of us.

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