Monday, May 9, 2005 at 7:13 PM
HSH Prince Albert II, the absolute ruler of the Monegasque Royal Family of Monaco, is as confirmed a skirt-chasing bachelor as Warren Beatty was until – at the (evidently still virile) age of 55 – he was domesticated by Annette Benning. (Now, instead of skirts, he’s chasing 4 kids….) Unlike Beatty, however, it seems Prince Albert was not too concerned about planting his seed in whomever he laid.
But an intriguing feature of the Prince’s sexual predilections is the jungle fever that has driven him on occasion to seek pleasure in the ample bosom of Nubian commoners.
And thus, consummating the inevitable synergy of his carelessness and fate, it was revealed last week that Prince Albert has sired a son who, alas, is illegitimate in more ways than one: Born out-of-wedlock and also black!
The proud Mummy is Nicole Coste. She’s a former flight attendant from the African country of Togo. And she rejects, with justified indignation, any notion that she’s just a fly-by-night tryster who caught an unsuspecting Prince in a baby trap.
Indeed, Ms Coste seems to have given the Prince such royal satisfaction during his exotic booty calls that, after just a few assignations in 1997, he offered her a more suitable job as his mistress and provided her with commensurate accoutrements – including an elegant Parisian pied-à-terre – befitting her new station in life.
It redounds to her dubious honour, therefore, that she endured 6 years of service to the Prince before (lo and behold) God blessed her with child. And really, all things considered, could it have happened to a more deserving damsel in distress and her promiscuous Prince?
But like all mistresses, Ms Coste craves legitimacy and her son Alexandre gives her a legitimate claim. After all, it’s been almost 2 years since his birth and Prince Albert persists in treating their son (his presumed heir ) like a dark (and shameful) secret. And, under these circumstances, no one can deny that anything she can do to honour her son would be entirely warranted. Because where she had no reason to suspect that Prince Albert would ever make an honourable woman of her, she has just cause to demand that he honours their son’s birthright.
Unfortunately, the Prince seems determined to treat his only son as merely a financial obligation. Indeed, in response to last week’s revelation, Prince Albert announced that he shall erase all doubts about the line of succession in his Principality by anointing Prince Andrea, the eldest son of his sister Caroline, as his rightful heir.
Given Prince Albert’s sovereign immunity, there seems little or nothing Ms Coste can do to compel him to recognize Alexandre – beyond providing common law child support which he has apparently consented to on rather generous terms.
But the unpardonable slight of his son can only come back to haunt Prince Albert in years to come. Indeed, some of the foreseeable issues include:
What kind of relationship does Prince Albert intend to have with his son? Clearly mere financial support does not a father make. And, does he really want to be known to the world as a man who would treat his own flesh and blood as nothing more than a financial obligation?
What will he say when Alexandre confronts him with the inevitable and indispensable question of race: Daddy, would you have banished and disinherited me if I were white?
What will this do to Prince Albert’s carefully cultivated image as the now reigning patron of the Princess Grace Humanitarian Award and the Monaco World Music Awards? Indeed, will black superstars like Seal, Whitney Houston and Ziggy Marley still be willing to heed the Prince’s call for music to “unite our humanity”?
Indeed, will he allow Alexandre to call himself a “Prince” of Monaco (like his cousin Prince Andre and the other males of his generation who were born to the Grimaldi family)?
And, should he ever follow Beatty’s lead by marrying and having more children in his later years, will he disinherit Prince Andrea and make one of his own legitimate (and presumably white) children his heir apparent?