Prince Albert of Monaco's eldest son Alexandre Grimaldi speaks out in a rare interview ahead of his 20th birthday


“I'm a happy man,” Prince Albert and Nicole Coste's son said in a new interview

Prince Albert of Monaco's first-born son, Alexandre Grimaldi, speaks out in a rare interview.

Alexandre – the son of Prince Albert, 65, and Nicole Coste, 51 – spoke to the French magazine Point de Vue before his 20th birthday on August 24th about his “kind” parents and how he considers himself “lucky.”

Alexandre, who is studying business administration at an English university, told the outlet that despite being the son of a monarch, he is focused on his academic achievements. “The commitment that takes priority in my life today is completing my university studies,” he said.

He added that he felt like he had “reached the age where you make decisions. These can be good or bad depending on your background and the people around you. I think I’m definitely a sensible person.”

Alexandre was born before Albert's wedding to Princess Charlene to Prince Albert and the Togolese flight attendant Nicole and grew up in privacy, largely shielded from the public. Prince Albert was taken in by his father as a toddler in July 2005 and has always been involved in the care and upbringing of his son.

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Related: Prince Albert of Monaco's four children appear in their first public photo together

Although Alexandre and his half-sister Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, 31, are constitutionally excluded from the succession to the Monegasque throne, they are committed to family members and are encouraged to spend time in Monaco. Both have become increasingly visible at public events.

Upon request from Point de Vue As to what role he would like to play in Monaco's future, Alexandre answered with a laugh: “I'm only 20. Let me get my diploma and then we'll talk about it.”

The student still lives at home with his mother and two older half-brothers from her previous marriage – a situation that he says he enjoys.

“It's an opportunity when you study and don't have to worry about anything,” he said.

Although he attended events during Paris Fashion Week and said he was invited to model, he said his interests were affected by the pandemic.

“I thought about it as a teenager,” he said of modeling. “I enjoyed the idea of ​​being photographed in beautiful clothes and looking elegant. But COVID happened and I ended up losing interest.”

“I was also a minor,” he added. “My father is a prince and head of state – I personally can’t imagine marching on a podium.”

He has a grandmother who worked as a model – Oscar winner Grace Kelly, the American actress who became Princess Grace when she married Albert's father Prince Rainier – and cousins ​​who currently represent fashion houses such as Chanel and Dior, noting: “On the other hand , if a “A renowned brand asks me to be their ambassador and their image suits me, why not?”

Alexandre's mother Nicole told us Point de Vue that she has her opinion about his current style.

“I pray every day that he cuts off his braids,” Nicole said with a laugh. “He likes this hairstyle, but I would rather see his hair natural. He promised me that he would take them off soon. I'm waiting.”

Alexandre told the magazine that he is still undecided about his future, but notes: “My education has taught me to love my neighbor and to help him when needed.”

“Climate and environmental issues concern me like everyone else and every young person in the 21st century. We have to preserve nature,” he continued. “My older brothers' friends whose parents are entrepreneurs work with their fathers or with their families and are very happy about it. So I have no concerns about that.”

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Nicole Coste and Alexandre Grimaldi in 2021

Alexandre explains that being the “recognized” son of a prince was not the burden that some might imagine. “To tell the truth, I have had some pretty happy times and I have never felt that the way others, especially my friends, change their views of me and myself. But maybe I still am too.” I’m young to realize that. I value my friends very much and hope that they will never disappoint me.

With his increasing public visibility, Alexandre is determined to change his public perception. Since 2022, with his father's encouragement, he has publicly gone by the surname Grimaldi, rejecting the hyphenated version of his surname that has been forced on him by the press since childhood. He maintains his decision was momentous, and he pushes back against those – especially online – who continue to call him Grimaldi-Coste or question his legitimacy.

“My father’s name is Grimaldi. It makes sense that I bear his name. I would have called Dochomel if my father had been Mr. Dochomel!” says Alexandre. “Besides, I never called myself Coste or Coste-Grimaldi. No ID, neither at school nor on my diplomas. Anyone who calls me that has a malicious attitude.”

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“My mother is naturally tender and allows many things because she was always advised to 'let go of the story,'” adds Alexandre. “I will be more procedural because I was born in France but grew up in an Anglo-Saxon country. If necessary, I will attack.”

“I am also not 'illegitimate' since I was born, neither of my parents were in another marriage and they did not commit adultery. Using this word is insulting! I hope no one believes the lies being spread on the internet. One bears one's father's name if someone was recognized from birth. I had the voluntary approval of my father, not a judge or the press who forced him to do this. “My mother, who I adore, is my rock and she is not at all jealous of my choice. If she never said anything about my last name, it was only to protect our privacy. I was 2 years old when I was exposed in the press.”

Alexandre says: “One thing is for sure: today I am a happy man who is open and honest with you.”

<p>Pascal Le Segretain/SC Pool – Corbis/Corbis via Getty</p>
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<p>Pascal Le Segretain/SC Pool – Corbis/Corbis via Getty</p>
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Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques of Monaco in April 2023

Related: Prince Albert of Monaco Shares His Unexpected Plans for His 65th Birthday (Hint: His Children Kidnap Him!)

Sources previously told PEOPLE that Prince Albert's wife, Princess Charlene, encouraged the prince to develop closer relationships with his approved children. Although there were rumors that Charlene did not support Albert's relationships with his older children, sources close to the royal couple said on the contrary: “Charlene was really the one who tried to bring the whole family together.”

Encouraged by the palace, Alexandre and Jazmin Grace's bond – as well as their relationship with royal twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella – remains essentially private. The established relationships between the four themselves have largely been revealed through Instagram posts, including portraits of Jazmin and Alexandre at cousin Louis Ducruet's wedding in 2019. (Ducruet's mother, Princess Stephanie, is Alexandre's godmother.)

Without hesitation, Alexandre says that Jazmin Grace “is my big sister and I love her like I love my two big brothers on my mother's side. We all get along very well, and Jazmin is also very close to one of my two brothers.” She shares the same birthday. We have a good relationship even though we live in distant countries.

As for Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, Alexandre admits he approaches his role with caution. When asked what he shares with the 8-year-old royals, he suggests “tenderness.” He adds with a smile, “Not their toys. That’s definitely due to our age difference.”

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