Factbox: Monaco's Prince Albert to marry

Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:28am EDT
 
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MONACO (Reuters) - Here are some details about Prince Albert II of Monaco who will marry Charlene Wittstock, a former South African Olympic swimming champion.

* EARLY LIFE:

-- Albert was born on March 14, 1958, the son of Prince Rainier III, Louis Henri-Maxence-Bertrand and American actress Grace Kelly.

-- Educated in Monaco and the United States, he studied political science, and then worked in Paris and New York and served in the French Navy.

-- He dreamt of a career in soccer, took part in the Paris-Dakar rally in 1985 and became a judo black belt. He represented Monaco at the Olympic Games in the bobsleigh five times, from Calgary in 1988 to Salt Lake City in 2002, as a member of the national bobsleigh team. A member of the International Olympic Committee since 1985, he is President of the Monegasque Olympic Committee.

-- Albert has been a roving commercial ambassador for his country's booming business interests for years and also served as head of Monaco's delegation to the United Nations.

* SUCCESSION:

-- Albert ascended the throne in July 2005 in ceremonies that delighted the principality after months of mourning and revelations about his love life. His father, Prince Rainier III died in April 2005.

-- The prince promised he would continue efforts made over the past few years to clean up Monaco's financial image. Critics said laissez-faire regulations made it attractive to money-launderers and tax evaders. "I intend to have ethics as the basis of the behavior of Monaco authorities," he said after being blessed at a Roman Catholic mass. "Money and virtue should always go hand in hand."   Continued...

 
<p>Monaco's Prince Albert II and his fiancee Charlene Wittstock attend the Jumping International of Monte Carlo in Monaco June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>