Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Royal heartbreak: Devastating way Prince Albert has kept mother’s memory alive exposed

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On Tuesday 14 September, 1982, Princess Grace, or Grace Kelly, was driving back to Monaco with her daughter, Stéphanie, from their country home in the mountainous Roc Agel. Following the winding roads so characteristic of Monaco, the scene was picturesque.

Yet, disaster struck: Grace had a stroke, losing control of the car.

Stéphanie’s attempts at regaining control of the Rover failed.

The car tumbled 100ft down a ravine, turning over several times before halting in a garden.

It was initially reported that, despite broken ribs, a leg, and collarbone, Grace was in a stable condition.

Her condition was worse than first considered, however, and the next day Grace sadly passed away.

It was a shocking moment for the film industry, for royal watchers, and more acutely, for the Monaco royal family.

The three children, Caroline, Albert and Stéphanie were forced to enter the next stage of their lives without their mother.

Albert was 24 years old at the time, and was still expected to take up the future throne.

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The death impacted him tremendously.

This was made clear during the BBC’s new series, Inside Monaco: Playground of the Rich.

The documentary follows not only Monaco’s stylish and grandiose lifestyle and history, but also gains never before seen access into the life of the royals.

During one scene, the BBC crew are given a tour of the Prince’s Palace.

They are taken into a room by Christine Sprile, Albert’s private secretary, and told how the room was once Grace’s office.

Ms Sprile said: “This is the office of the Prince.

“And this office was the office of his mother, Princess Grace.

“And he doesn’t want to change it.”


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Earlier this year, Albert tested positive for COVID-19.

The prince, dedicated to his work and upkeep over the principality of Monaco, assured he would continue his work from his office – the same office aforementioned.

It appeared, however, that he escaped the worst of the virus.

At the time, a palace statement said: “Prince Albert II of Monaco, who was tested earlier this week, has been positive for COVID-19.

“His health condition is not worrying. He is taken care of by his doctor and the specialists of the Princess Grace Hospital Centre.

“Prince Albert continues to work in his private residence. He is in constant communication with the members of his cabinet, of his government and his closest collaborators.

“Prince Albert asks the population of Monaco to respect the measures of confinement and to limit contact with others.

“Following these rules will stop the propagation of the coronavirus.

“The Palace will continue to give information on the health state of Prince Albert II.”

It came just days after the prince had declared a total nationwide lockdown.

Monaco has since begun to lift its lockdown.

Although, as The Daily Telegraph reported, the lockdown didn’t appear to be all bad.

In the renowned Hôtel de Paris, resident guests isolated in five-star chambers, enjoying all the quirks of the hotel.

And, now, the principality is attempting to manoeuvre into the age of coronavirus, offering floating breakfast trays, retractable restaurant roofs, smartphone menus and UV robots.

Inside Monaco: Playground of the Rich airs on BBC Two on Monday’s at 9pm.

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