Inside Charlene’s ‘dangerous’ spending: Monaco Princess hired ‘illegal immigrants’ on £90 a day including nannies she handed her newborn twins to and a woman who ‘ties up dogs in the shower’, former palace accountant claims

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Nicole Coste, an Air France air hostess turned fashion designer, and her former lover Prince Albert at an event in April 2002

A month after succeeding to the throne aged 47 in 2005, Albert was in for a shock as one of his closely kept secrets was about to be revealed to the world.

For few knew, the prince had enjoyed a secret six-year relationship with a glamorous ex-Air France attendant who had also given birth to his son around 18 months earlier, in 2003.

The relationship between Nicole Coste and the Prince began following a chance encounter on a flight from Nice to Paris in 1997.

Albert was said to have been ‘enchanted’ by the flight attendant who served him champagne.

Nicole Coste, an Air France air hostess turned fashion designer, and her former lover Prince Albert at an event in April 2002

‘The strange thing is that I wasn’t even supposed to be on the flight,’ Nicole told the Mail on Sunday in 2014. ‘I was on standby that day and was filling in for a colleague.

‘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.

‘I found him attractive with a twinkle in his eye. He asked for my number. I didn’t write it on a napkin but on proper paper from the First Class cabin. I think he knew I wasn’t intimidated by him, that I felt comfortable in his presence.’

Albert would later call and ask her to come to Monaco for the weekend. Although flattered by the attention Nicole was determined not to be ‘a plaything’.

‘I was determined that we wouldn’t make love until we got to know each other better. Albert respected that. I was no gold-digger. If anything, I bought him gifts,’ she said.

Their liaison became the best-kept secret among Monaco society. Although they both attended red carpet events and mixed with socialites and celebrities, the majority of Albert’s subjects knew nothing of the relationship.

‘It is not my fault I fell in love with a prince,’ Nicole said.

But the relationship petered out and in its final days, Nicole discovered she was pregnant. ‘When I broke the news to Albert he was fine about it,’ she said.

When their son – who would be named Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste – was born, Albert provided financial allowance and moved mother and son into an exquisite villa on the French Riviera.

But ‘fed up of being a secret’, a month after the death of Prince Albert’s father Prince Rainier, Nicole gave an explosive tell-all interview to French magazine Paris Match, revealing her then two-year-old son was Albert’s sparking a royal scandal. 

Prince Albert with his ex, Nicole Coste and their son Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste; the former lovers have remained close, with the Monegasque royal appearing with Coste at a charity event in recent years

Prince Albert with his ex, Nicole Coste and their son Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste; the former lovers have remained close, with the Monegasque royal appearing with Coste at a charity event in recent years

Prince Albert was, at the time, said to be outraged by his former lover’s public declaration. Nonetheless, he went on to give his own televised interview in which he formally acknowledged that Alexandre was his son having taken a DNA test.

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He decreed that his illegitimate son would not inherit the throne but vowed that Alexandre would be cared for financially.

The Prince told the New York Times in 2005 that the ordeal ‘was a very difficult moment for me.’

Nicole went on to be a fashion designer and open her own a boutique in Knightsbridge, London.

Despite the furore, Prince Albert and Nicole, now 51, have remained friends, with the pair appearing at the same charity event in recent years.

But if this revelation had been testing for the Prince, he was about to be hit with another public baby bombshell.

Tamara Rotolo – the Californian waitress and the actress daughter

A year after revealing he had fathered Alexandre, Prince Albert was forced to confess he also had a daughter named Jazmin Grace Grimaldi.

She was the result of an affair with Tamara Rotolo, a waitress turned American estate agent.

According to Tamara, she met Prince Albert while holidaying on the Cote D’Azur in 1991. They enjoyed a two-week fling which resulted in the birth of Jazmin Grace in 1992, but the baby was kept secret from the public.

Jazmin's mother Tamara, then a waitress, had a fling with the monarch back in 1991, while on holiday (pictured together in the same year).

Jazmin’s mother Tamara, then a waitress, had a fling with the monarch back in 1991, while on holiday (pictured together in the same year).

Now a real estate agent based in California, Tamara Rotolo, (pictured in 2010) has encouraged her daughter's relationship with his European royal father

Now a real estate agent based in California, Tamara Rotolo, (pictured in 2010) has encouraged her daughter’s relationship with his European royal father

A friend of Tamara’s said in 2005: ‘Tamara was from a very ordinary, working-class background and had decided to go on one big holiday to Monaco. Albert was quite infatuated with her.

‘They were together pretty much every day and night and, after her two weeks were up, he asked her to stay on. ‘She told him, “I have to get back to my job”. This was reality-check time.

‘To her surprise, Albert did not forget her. He kept in touch by phone and she could contact him in a heart- beat, wherever he was in the world. The wall came down after Prince Rainier found out.

‘All contact was cut off. First she was hurt, then she got mad and decided to go to court.’

In 1993, a judge ordered Albert to provide a blood sample to settle the paternity case. But Albert’s high-powered attorneys went back to court to argue that California law had no power to order the sample. A judge agreed and ruled that the case could not go to trial. 

Albert neither confirmed nor denied that he was Jazmin’s father. He acknowledged in court papers: ‘I was briefly acquainted with the plaintiff when she was on vacation in Monaco in July 1991.’

But the death of Prince Rainier more than ten years later, coupled with Nicole’s revelation, proved to be the catalyst for fresh negotiations for lawyers and, in the summer of 2006, a year after the first love child bombshell, Prince Albert formally recognised Jazmin as his daughter.

The actress and singer didn't meet her father until she was 11 but has a close relationship with the Monaco royal now

The actress and singer didn’t meet her father until she was 11 but has a close relationship with the Monaco royal now

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Prince Albert and Jazmin watch the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament on April 19, 2018 in Monaco

Prince Albert and Jazmin watch the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament on April 19, 2018 in Monaco

A royal spokesman said at the time: ‘We can assure everyone that there are no more hidden children. This is the last one.’

Both children now carry the Grimaldi name, and while they can never accede to the throne they will be able to make a financial claim when he dies.

Talking about meeting her father for the first time when she was 11, Jazmin said in 2015: ‘I wanted that moment to connect with my father, to get to know him, and to have him get to know me.

‘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.’

Jazmin, now 31 and an actress, revealed her close relationship with her half-brother Alexandre as she marked his 18th birthday in a sweet Instagram post.

She shared a series of Instagram posts from his birthday party in 2021, writing: ‘It’s a celebration. Happy birthday my little brother Alexandre!’

And last year, Prince Albert posed with his two children by former lovers for the first time.

Alexandre's existence was only made public in May 2005 when Nicole gave an explosive tell-all interview to French magazine Paris Match, claiming her then two-year-old son was Albert's. Pictured, the 19-year-old with his half-sister, Jazmin Grimaldi, who was born in 1992

Alexandre’s existence was only made public in May 2005 when Nicole gave an explosive tell-all interview to French magazine Paris Match, claiming her then two-year-old son was Albert’s. Pictured, the 19-year-old with his half-sister, Jazmin Grimaldi, who was born in 1992

Blended family! In November, a photo showed Prince Albert of Monaco II pictured in New York together for the first time with two children by two of his former lovers, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, 31 - whose mother is American waitress Tamara Rotolo - and her half-brother Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, 19, the son Albert shares with Nicole Coste.

Blended family! In November, a photo showed Prince Albert of Monaco II pictured in New York together for the first time with two children by two of his former lovers, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, 31 – whose mother is American waitress Tamara Rotolo – and her half-brother Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, 19, the son Albert shares with Nicole Coste.

The extraordinary picture, taken in New York, was shared online by his ex, Nicole. Wearing an open-necked shirt, the Prince has his arm around Jazmin who had her arm around Alexandre.

Charlene – the Olympic champion who tamed the playboy prince

It would be in 2000 that Albert first met swimmer Charlene Wittstock in Monaco where she was representing South Africa and would go on to win gold.

But no one was expecting a romance to blossom.

Their lives were very different. Sports-mad Charlene was 20 years his junior. Her father Michael was a photocopier salesman, and her mother Lynette a competitive diver.

But the pair allowed their relationship to develop slowly outside the public eye, and they did not make a public appearance until February 2006.

The occasion was the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. French journalist Philippe Delorme said at the time: ‘She was on his arm for the entire ceremony and they made no attempt to hide their affection for each other, sharing kisses and other tender gestures.’

Their first public appearance as a couple: Prince Albert with Charlene in Turin for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games

Their first public appearance as a couple: Prince Albert with Charlene in Turin for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin

Then, in June 2010, their engagement was announced. Albert proposed with a pear-cut diamond ring.

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‘People could hardly believe it,’ Delorme added. ‘For four years, since they had first been seen together, the Monegasques had been holding their breath.’

Charlene was required to convert to Catholicism — she was raised a Protestant — and had to learn both French and the Monegasque dialect.

Delorme told the Daily Mail in 2011 that Albert finally meeting someone was a tale of Hollywood proportions: ‘If the Princess Grace story was a movie, then Princess Charlene is the remake.

‘The reality is that Albert is 52, a bit overweight, and much less fabulous and glamorous than his father was.

‘It feels a bit like a love story of an old man and a young woman rather than a story of two young lovers.’

Albert proposed with a handcrafted pear-cut diamond flanked by smaller diamonds designed by Paris-based Italian jeweller Repossi, pictured on Charlene's finger in 2012

Albert proposed with a handcrafted pear-cut diamond flanked by smaller diamonds designed by Paris-based Italian jeweller Repossi, pictured on Charlene’s finger in 2012 

In her first interview after the royal wedding was announced, Charlene spoke of the challenges she faced making the transition from the life of an athlete to that of a future royal bride.

And she admitted to experiencing ‘jealousy’ among some members of Monaco’s social elite.

‘The people I mixed with in Monaco didn’t relate to my South African mentality or humour,’ she told Tatler.

‘Of course I’ve been subject to jealousy, but that comes with the territory. Although I have met some wonderful people since I’ve been living in Monaco, I regard them all as acquaintances. I only have two people I consider friends here.’

Meanwhile, comparisons between Princess Grace and Charlene were widespread, with the well-heeled citizens of Monaco hoping the next Princess will bring back some of the vitality and glamour of her predecessor.

The runaway bride?

It was set to be the wedding of the year that threatened to put Kate and Prince William’s nuptials a few months earlier in the shade.

But days before the big day, rumours began to circulate that Charlene had tried to flee the country on three occasions with a one-way ticket to Johannesburg.

A Parisian news magazine reported that Charlene had been stopped at Nice airport after allegedly learning a ‘distressing’ revelation about her future husband’s private life.

A senior Monaco detective claimed at the time: ‘Charlene had her passport confiscated so that the Prince’s entourage could persuade her to stay’.

An awkward smooch: Prince Albert II of Monaco kisses his bride Charlene after their civil wedding marriage ceremony in 2011

An awkward smooch: Prince Albert II of Monaco kisses his bride Charlene after their civil wedding marriage ceremony in 2011

The rumour mill in France went into overdrive. Charlene had, it was suggested, heard talk of another illegitimate child, conceived when she was dating Prince Albert in 2005, and who would bring his tally of children born out of wedlock to three.

But the Princess would go on to dismiss the ‘hilarious’ rumours.

She said: ‘Why would he go through all this effort to have our dearest friends come join us, for us to be reluctant?’Prince Albert added: ‘My family have long been the subject of rumours born out of jealousy.’

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Source: tit.edu.vn

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