Albert I, Prince of Monaco

Albert I of Monaco ( Albert Honoré Charles Grimaldi actually; born November 13, 1848June 26, 1922 in Paris) was from 1889 until his death reigning prince of Monaco.

Albert was the son of Charles III. Monaco and Antoinette de Merode - Westerloo.


Only 17 years old was Albert I in the Spanish Navy, however, changed during the Franco-German War of 1870/1871 for the French Navy, where he was awarded the Legion of Honor. However, his real preference was not the military, but the exploration of the oceans. In this field, he was able to achieve great success during his life, for example, the then perceived as sensational discovery of a deep-sea squid shingled, which was named after his family as grimaldii Lepidoteuthis. Among other things, to its presentation, he founded the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, whose director later the French oceanographer Jacques -Yves Cousteau was.

On September 21, 1869, he married Mary Victoria Hamilton, daughter of William Hamilton, 11th Duke of Hamilton ( 1811-1863 ), and Marie Amalie of Baden ( 1817-1888 ), which in turn a subsidiary of Stéphanie de Beauharnais, the adopted daughter Napoleon Bonaparte was. The marriage failed, Mary Victoria left her husband in February 1870. At this time she was already pregnant with her son Louis. She moved with her mother to Baden -Baden at the court of the local Grand Duke, where their son and later Prince Louis II of Monaco grew up. 1880, the marriage by the Holy See on the grounds was canceled, that they of Napoleon III. had been threaded for political and dynastic reasons, and Albert, his wife was only 18 years old at marriage only 20, so that the two apparently had no opportunity to defend themselves against one of them unwanted marriage.

On September 27, 1889 Albert I. succeeded his father to the throne and married a little later the rich American Alice Heine, a widowed Duchess of Richelieu. Even after his second marriage Albert spent most of his time at sea. Alice Heine now made ​​outstanding contributions to the cultural life in Monaco. The couple separated on 30 May 1902 but remained married. Albert then tried to destroy all traces of his ex-wife.

Albert was known that he represented his beliefs with vigor; also to his faith belonged to justice and truth. So he sat down one example, during the Dreyfus affair for the unjustly convicted of espionage French officer Alfred Dreyfus.

As Albert still spent much of his time as an explorer at sea, he ruled the Principality primarily via radio. He was obviously still successful: He invested the immense profits from the casino in the infrastructure, let the Prince's Palace in Monaco renovate, add the Exotic Garden of Monaco and founded an anthropological museum.

Albert died on 26 June 1922 in Paris and was buried on July 8 at the Cathedral of Monaco.

Statue in Monaco Ville: Albert I. seafaring