Europe

Monaco profile - Leaders

  • 17 March 2015
  • From the section Europe

Monarch: Prince Albert II

Image caption Prince Albert with Princess Charlene

Prince Albert took over as head of state following the death of his father, Prince Rainier, in April 2005. His swearing-in, in July, followed a three-month period of mourning.

Prince Rainier was Europe's longest-reigning monarch. He worked to reduce Monaco's reliance on tourism and gambling by attracting business. He staunchly defended Monaco's banking and taxation systems in the face of criticism from France.

It will be for Prince Albert - who says he wants to attract high-tech industry to Monaco - to carry this work forward. The prince says he will seek to cement the idea that money-laundering in the country is a thing of the past.

Sportsman

Prince Albert, who was 47 at the time of his father's death, is an accomplished sportsman.

His bachelorhood prompted a change to the constitution to allow the Grimaldi dynasty, which has ruled Monaco for seven centuries, to continue through the female line. Prince Albert is the 32nd ruler.

He married South African-born former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock in July 2011.

In 2014, Prince Charlene gave birth to twins - Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, who will be next in line to the throne under the Monegasque succession law's principle of male primogeniture.

Prince Albert has acknowledged that he is also the father of two children born out of wedlock to different mothers.

Born in 1958, Prince Albert was educated in Monaco and the US. He served in the French navy for a time.