Prince Albert Of Monaco's Complicated Dating History

It's no secret that Prince Albert of Monaco has gone on his fair share of dates. Over the years, the Monegasque royal went out with so many women that his father, Prince Rainier II, began to worry that he would never settle down. As explained in the biography, "Grace of Monaco: The True Story," by Jeffrey Robinson, Rainier was desperate to see his only son — and the heir to the throne — get married and ensure the continuation of the Grimaldi bloodline. Apparently, the older ruler would frequently say, "I would like him to take things in hand and at the same time to set up a family. This is important."

Nevertheless, for decades, Albert continued to date casually, choosing to bring his lovers not to the palace but to the various apartments — or "love nests," as he reportedly called them — that he kept dotted across Monte Carlo. Because of this, the press started calling him "the playboy prince," poking fun at Albert's womanizing ways. The prince, of course, insisted that he would marry whenever he found "the right person," but by the age of 44, he remained unwed. Distraught, Rainier altered the constitution in 2002 to ensure the line of succession in case his son never made it down the aisle. 

Ultimately, however, Rainier's concerns were for naught, and Albert married Princess Charlene in 2011 — albeit at the age of 53. Before that, however, the prince dated plenty of women from across the globe.

Prince Albert dated the much-older Michele Freeman

Prince Albert may be a Monegasque royal, but that doesn't mean that he only dated women from Monte Carlo. In the late 1970s, Albert headed off to the United States, where he studied political science at the prestigious Amherst College. During this time, it is believed that Albert began going out with more American women. Decades later, when The Amherst Student university newspaper asked Albert about his favorite classes at Amherst, the prince joked, "Wow, maybe human sexuality?" before quickly affirming, "No, no, no, [laughs] I don't know. I can't say I had one favorite one."

Interestingly, Albert did not only date Americans during the time when he was living in the United States. In November of 1981 — just months after the prince graduated from Amherst — the Weekly World News spotted him "snuggling" with the American singer, Michele Freeman, in an unnamed "European nightclub." As reported by the outlet, "Michele [was] 10 years older than the hot-blooded prince." 

Unfortunately, this age gap was said to "shock" Albert's mother, the U.S.-born Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco. After all, in the past, Grace had already opposed the prince's dalliances with another older American woman, Cathy Lee Crosby. As the Weekly World News had reported in October of 1981, Albert's mother "heaved a sigh of relief" when that previous relationship had ended. Thus, she was likely happy when Albert and Michele's fling proved to be equally short-lived. 

He might have cheated on Catherine Alric

Prince Albert's mother might have been happy to see him quickly move on from older women, like Cathy Lee Crosby and Michele Freeman, but the young playboy hardly stuck to one woman for long. In fact, back in his single days, Albert was known for having a relatively high turnover rate when it came to dating. And, unfortunately, this was said to be a major turn-off for some of his girlfriends.

The French actor, Catherine Alric, was perhaps one of Albert's chief critics. When she dated the prince, she found that he had something of a wandering eye — not exactly the best characteristic for a long-term lover. According to royal expert, Jeffrey Robinson, in his book "Grace of Monaco: The True Story," Catherine would not stand for Albert's infidelity, ending the relationship because of his dalliances. When the prince tried to make amends, Catherine refused. The biographer explained that the actor "allegedly returned [Albert's] apologetic flowers, along with his luggage, with a note which read, 'Love without faithfulness is like a flower without sun.'"

Albert, meanwhile, found that it was almost impossible for him to stop meeting new women. As Robinson explained, the prince was quite unabashed in his approach for dating. According to the biographer, Albert would openly admit: "At discos, or restaurants or at parties or on the beach or even on the street, I say hello to girls. Why not? I like that sort of thing."

The prince taught Sonja Morgan all about royal life

While Prince Albert did not tend to stick with any one woman for long, he did date some people for longer than others. Apparently, the American reality TV star, Sonja Morgan, captured the prince's heart a tad more than the rest. At least from what Sonja has shared on "The Real Housewives of New York City," her fling with Albert blossomed into a full-blown romance. In the show's Season nine premiere, Sonja chatted with her co-star, Bethany Frenkel, about what it was like to go out with the prince. 

Grabbing a shirt out of her closet, the reality star recalled, "I used to wear this with Prince Albert when we were dating in Monaco." When she couldn't find the matching set, Sonja went on to exclaim, "Can you believe this? It has a skirt. I must have left the skirt at Albert's" (via Yahoo!Entertainment).

Of course, this was not the only time that Sonja spoke publicly about her royal romance. Chatting with Bravo After Hours, the real housewife opened up more about the relationship — and even hinted that Albert had taught her a thing or two about decorum. Sonja said, "I would advise some people I know to behave themselves and not go to the Regency. I mean I used to go there with Prince Albert. You behave yourself there. You are in a fish bowl; it's glass in the front. You have heads of state staying there."

Prince Albert wooed Donna Rice

Sonja Morgan was not the only woman who Prince Albert taught about royal life. The American Internet safety activist, Donna Rice, was also said to have dated Albert for some time. And, according to some sources, Donna enjoyed the glitz and glam of the upper crust experience. As the Chicago Tribune reported in 1987, Donna was, at the time, a successful model who could often be found mingling with rock stars, athletes, and even the arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi. Speaking to the outlet, one of her former university classmates hinted that she enjoyed dating high-profile men, "Donna always knew what she was going after. She always knew what she wanted and was going to get it some way."

While this statement might be a little bit exaggerated, it is true that Donna was linked to a number of big name figures — including Albert. That being said, Donna and Albert never got especially serious, as Princess Grace Kelly was believed to be against the match. 

Albert, too, might have had his own reservations, as he was said to be particularly suspicious of women who dated other famous men. In his book, "Grace of Monaco: The True Story," Jeffrey Robinson quoted the prince: "I always have to ask myself [when dating someone new]: Is she with me because of me or because of who I am? When I meet women, it's, okay, she seems nice, but what is she really here for?"

He was rumored to have romanced Brooke Shields

Over the years, Prince Albert has proven himself to be quite the sportsman. Not only did he become an avid skier during his youth, but he also dabbled in swimming, soccer, and even a bit of ultimate frisbee. He represented Monaco in the Olympics on five separate occasions as a bobsledder, although he never placed. And, of course, he also played his fair share of tennis.

Indeed, back in 1979, Albert signed up for Monaco's Celebrity Tennis Tournament, where he and the model, Brooke Shields, sparked dating rumors. Indeed, the pair was photographed gazing lovingly into each other's eyes and even sharing coy smiles. While the two seemed to enjoy each other, though, they never really got serious — much to the chagrin of the press. In fact, some royal fans were so invested in Albert and Brooke's relationship that, in 1982, the Italian version of Grand Hotel magazine announced on its cover: "The son of Grace [Kelly] marries Brooke Shields!"

Albert and Claudia Schiffer kept things casual

Brooke Shields was not the only model that caught Prince Albert's eye. During the early 1990s, the prince was also linked to the German supermodel, Claudia Schiffer. The two apparently met at the World Music Awards and proceeded to date for about a year. But, while the couple certainly stayed together for longer than Albert and his other paramours, they didn't seem to take their relationship too seriously. 

When rumors of an engagement swirled, Claudia told the world not to get their hopes up. Speaking to Vanity Fair in 1993, the model explained, "I prefer not to talk about [my relationship with Albert]. But one thing I can tell you is that I'm not getting married right now. I'm only 22. I do know Albert very well. I live in Monte Carlo, so it's only normal" (via Daily Mail). The prince later echoed Claudia's more casual approach to their romance, telling the Evening Standard, "I took her out on a couple of dates but that was it" (via Insider).

Unfortunately, though, Albert's blasé approach to the relationship might have only fueled the rumors that he would never settle down. And, this angered much of the public. As the historian, Robert Lacy, put it on ABC's "Good Morning America," the prince had "too many girlfriends, pretty blondes. And I think the people feel the sooner he settles on one of them, the better that will be."

The prince had an illegitimate daughter with Tamara Rotolo

In some ways, the Monegasque public had the right to worry about Prince Albert's romantic antics. Prior to 2002, the constitution of Monaco detailed that if a prince failed to produce an heir, the principality would become French territory. This meant that Albert's inability to settle down essentially put the whole state of Monaco at risk for extinction. What's more, just a few generations before, the principality had fallen into a state of crisis when Prince Louis II's marriage proved childless. The prince, however, had conceived a daughter with a cabaret singer in Algeria — and saved the crown by arranging for his illegitimate grandson, Prince Rainier II, to take the throne. 

Thanks to Albert's playboy ways, the Monegasque crown's history of having royal love children repeated itself. In fact, Albert's oldest known daughter, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, was born out of wedlock to a California-based realtor by the name of Tamara Rotolo. Albert first crossed paths with Tamara in 1991 at the beach in France. At the time, the American woman was coming fresh out of a failed marriage and likely wanted to live a little.

 Things quickly got serious for Tamara, however, as she returned to the United States only to discover that she was pregnant. Albert, meanwhile, insisted that he was not the baby's father and ignored Tamara's requests for a paternity test. In 2006, the prince had a change of heart and officially recognized his daughter. 

Prince Albert had a son with Nicole Coste

Jazmin Grace Grimaldi was not the only one of Prince Albert's love children. In fact, the "playboy prince" had at least one other baby out of wedlock — a boy named Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste. And unlike Jazmin Grace, who was the result of a short affair, Alexandre was the fruit of a six-year relationship between Albert and the elegant Togo-born Air France flight attendant, Nicole Coste.

It is believed that Nicole and Albert first met on board an Air France flight between Nice and Paris. According to the flight attendant herself, the encounter was absolutely serendipitous. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Nicole remembered, "The strange thing is that I wasn't even supposed to be on [Albert's] flight. I was on standby that day and was filling in for a colleague." In spite of all this, Nicole said that she felt an instant attraction to Albert. She revealed, "I always served in First Class so I was accustomed to dealing with VIPs. When I saw Albert our eyes met and I knew this was different. There was definitely an aura around him and we hit it off immediately."

As time went on, however, Nicole and Albert fell out of love. Thus, when their son, Alexandre, was born in 2003, the prince waited over a year to claim paternity of the child. In the end, though, Nicole told the Daily Mail that Albert and Alexandre got on well, sharing a "natural father/son relationship."

Albert and Bo Derek went out briefly

Prince Albert and Nicole Coste may have gone out for six years, but very few of the prince's relationships lasted so long. On the contrary, it is believed that very few of his flings went beyond more than a few dates. This was certainly the case for the American actor, Bo Derek, who revealed that she and Albert went out just once. Speaking on "Larry King" in 2000, Bo recalled the experience as a positive one, relaying, "I have to say it was really fun walking in. I mean, to walk into a restaurant and a nightclub with him. It was hilarious. The food was falling out of people's mouths [when they saw us]. It was fantastic." 

In the end, though, Bo viewed the date as a fun and novel thing that she did, rather than as the start of something real. She mused, "Here I am, a little girl from Southern California going out with a prince," before going on to affirm how nervous she felt about dating after the death of her first husband, John Derek. Bo explained, "I can't even imagine [remarrying]. But, I assume it will happen because most people do. But, I'm not out looking [for someone new]."

He was rumored to jet set with a woman named Mariza

As the years have gone by, fans of the Monegasque royal family have buzzed with rumors that Prince Albert had other, secret love children. Naturally, very few of these allegations have gone very far. As Albert's friend, Stéphane Bern, told Town & Country, "One day Albert told me, 'Oh, if I listened to all the [paternity] claims [that I receive], I would have more children than anybody else in the world."

That being said, some paternity claims have certainly garnered more attention than others. In 2021, The Telegraph reported that a woman by the name of Mariza S went so far as to sue Albert for paternity in the Italian court system. Mariza, who is originally from Brazil, has said that she met Albert in a Rio de Janeiro nightclub in September 2004. From that initial encounter, Albert was said to have swept Mariza off her feet, taking her on a wild jet setting adventure. Court documents claim that Albert took Mariza first to Milan, then to Monte Carlo, and, eventually, to Russia, before sending her back home to Brazil on a KLM flight.

Soon after returning to Rio de Janeiro, though, Mariza discovered she was pregnant. According to her claims, Albert stopped responding to her messages as soon as she told him the news. Nine months later, she gave birth to a daughter, named Celia. Albert firmly denies these claims. 

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert actually made it down the aisle

In 2011, it appeared that Prince Albert had finally found the love of his life. Indeed, it was in this year that the playboy prince finally settled down and married former Olympic swimmer, Charlene Wittstock, in a four-day ceremony. The couple's wedding was an over-the-top event that involved fireworks, a concert by the Eagles, and 110 pounds of strawberries, which People reported, were meant to decorate their larger-than-life wedding cake. Albert declared his love to his bride, stating, if perhaps a bit awkwardly, "Charlene, thank you for putting up with my very busy schedule, with my absences sometimes, with my inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies. You are a wonderful, sometimes patient woman, with me" (via The Daily Telegraph).

In the end, though, royal life was not easy for Princess Charlene, who struggled with everything from dressing like a royal to living in a palace. As royal expert Baron Henri Estramant told Insider, the newly-minted princess "had to change quite a lot" to fit into her new role. Apparently, she felt isolated at the same time. The royal expert noted that, unlike previous royal brides, Charlene did not move to Monaco with friends and companions.

On top of that, Estramant believes that Charlene had to recognize that Albert's "flirtations" would not stop, just because he was a married man. The baron explained, "She had hopes he would change" — hinting, all the while, that these expectations were far from being realistic.