Prince Albert II of Monaco's son Alexandre Grimaldi shared his thoughts on whether he will have a role in the future of the country.
Grimaldi, who is the son of Albert Grimaldi, 65, and Nicole Coste, 51, opened up about his relationship with his "benevolent" parents and his future plans in a rare interview with French magazine Point de Vue ahead of his 20th birthday next week. The college student, who is studying business management at a British university, told the outlet that he is focused on his education at the moment.
"The commitment which takes precedence in my life today is finishing my university studies," Grimaldi said.
He explained that he believes he is at the "age when you make choices. These can be good or bad depending on the background you have and those around you. I think I'm certainly a reasonable person."
When asked what role he saw himself playing with regard to Monaco's future, Grimaldi said, "I'm only 20 years old. Let me get a diploma and we'll talk about it."
He continued, "All the friends of my older brothers who have entrepreneurial parents collaborate with their fathers or with their family and they are quite happy about it. So I have no concerns about that. I'm studying business and management as I said before, a very exciting branch which will allow you to have interesting opportunities."
Albert met Coste, who is from the African country of Togo, when she was working as a flight attendant. Coste gave birth to Grimaldi in August 2003 and Albert officially recognized him as his son in July 2005, shortly before he ascended to the throne following the death of his father Prince Rainier III.
Prior to acknowledging paternity of Grimaldi and afterward, Albert provided for his son financially and has been consistently involved in his upbringing. Coste told Point de Vue that she did not raise her son "alone" since he grew up with his father in his life as well as his two half-brothers from her previous marriage.
However, Coste explained that it was important to her that Alexandre was kept out of the public eye and away from media scrutiny.
"I had a peaceful childhood," Grimaldi said. "It was important to my mother. We traveled a lot. My father is in my heart just like my mother. Both are benevolent parents."
During the interview, Grimaldi explained his decision to go by his father's last name, which he began using in 2022 after being encouraged by Albert. Previously, Grimaldi had been referred to in the media by his mother's last name or by the hyphenated "Grimaldi-Coste."
"My father's name is Grimaldi. It makes sense that I bear his name. I would have been called Dochomel if my father had been Mr. Dochomel!" he said. "Besides, I never called myself Coste or Coste-Grimaldi. On no ID, at school or on my diplomas. Those who call me that have a malicious attitude."
He continued, "My mother is tender by nature and let a lot of things be said because she was always advised to 'let the story go. Me, I will be more procedural because I was born in France, but I grew up in an Anglo-Saxon country. I'll attack if necessary."
"Nor am I 'illegitimate' since when I was born, neither of my parents was in another marriage, and they did not commit adultery," Grimaldi added. "Using that word is insulting! I hope no one believes the lies conveyed on the internet. One bears the name of one's father when one has been recognized since birth. I had voluntary recognition from my father when I was a baby. Not from a judge or the press who have forced him to."
"My mother, whom I adore is my rock, and she is not jealous at all of my choice," Grimaldi noted. "If she never said anything about my surname, it's been to protect our privacy. I was 2-years-old when I was revealed in the press."
"One thing is certain: Today, I am a happy man being open and honest with you," he concluded.
Despite being the recognized son of a sovereign, Grimaldo told Point de Vue that he doesn't feel that his friends have ever treated him differently.
"I've had some rather happy times, to tell the truth, and I've never had the feeling that the way others, my friends in particular, change their views of me and who I am," he said. "But maybe I'm still too young to discern this. I appreciate my friends very much, and I hope they'll never disappoint me."
Grimaldi also has a half-sister, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, 31, who is Albert's daughter from his relationship with California native Tamara Rotolo and named after her paternal grandmother Grace Kelly. After giving birth, Rotolo chose to raise her daughter away from European tabloids in California. The reigning prince met Jazmin for the first time when she was 11 during her first trip to Monaco.
"I wanted that moment to connect with my father, to get to know him, and to have him get to know me," Jazmin told Harper's Bazaar in 2015. "Not having had that figure around, I missed that. It's wonderful that it happened when it did, and we've been enjoying a great relationship ever since."
Grimaldi and Jazmin are not in the line of succession as Monégasque law requires an heir’s parents to have married. However, they are both eligible for a portion of their father’s estate.
In 2011, Albert married former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock. The pair share 8-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, who are next in line to the throne.
Both Grimaldi and Jazmin travel to Monaco frequently to visit with their father and other family members and they have attended public events.
In September 2021, a source told People Magazine that it was Charlene who has encouraged Albert to connect with Grimaldi and Jazmin. The insider dismissed rumors that the princess wasn’t supportive of Albert’s relationship with his older children.
"Charlene was really the one that was trying to pull the whole family together," claimed the source.
Grimaldi told Point de Vue that he and Jazmin share a close relationship. "She is my big sister, and I love her like I love my two big brothers on my mother's side," he said. "We all get along very well, and Jazmin is also very close to one of my two brothers with whom she shares the same birthday. We've a good relationship despite the fact that we live in distant countries."
When asked what he shares with his younger half-siblings Jacques and Gabriella, Grimaldi said with a smile, "Not toys, that's for sure given our age difference."
"I share tenderness with everyone," he added.
Grimaldi, who attended several events during Paris Fashion Week and has received offers to model in the past, also weighed in on whether he would consider a career on the runway.
"As a teenager, I thought about it," he admitted. "The idea of being photographed in nice clothes and looking elegant amused me. But COVID happened, and I ended up losing interest.
He continued, "I was also a minor. My father is a prince and head of state — I personally cannot imagine myself marching on a podium."
"On the other hand, if a prestigious brand asks me to be its ambassador and its image suits me, why not?." he added.