So why won't Prince Albert's love-child be heir to Monaco throne?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4656797.stm

Prince Albert II of Monaco has admitted he has a child by a flight attendant from Togo.

According to the report I read…

But later on it says…

What’s the deal - is it only children in wedlock that are allowed to inherit the throne?

That’s what “legitimate” and “illegitimate” mean. Children born in the absence of a legal marriage are considered as not legitimate heirs to titles, property, etc.

Yes, it’s exactly that.

In this particular case, it’s not quite that simple. Monaco is unusual in that it recognises that illegitimate children born to the Grimaldis can be retrospectively legitimised, particularly if the parents subsequently marry, thus entitling them to inherit the throne.

There is a reason for this. At the time of her birth Prince Rainer’s mother, Charlotte Louvet, was illegitimate. Only later was she adopted by her father, Louis II, and declared legitimate. Had she not stepped aside in Rainer’s favour, she would have succeeded to the throne on her father’s death in 1949. They had to do this because, under the terms of the Franco-Monegasque of 1861, Monaco would have become part of France had Louis II not had any legitimate children. The change to the rules of succession in 2002 removed that particular problem, but their earlier difficulties mean that the Grimaldis are rather more flexible than most royal families about such things.

Not that Prince Albert has given any indication that he intends to legitimise this son.

All sounds a bit complicated to me!

Cheers for the replies - I shall bear them in mind should I ever find myself to be illegitimate heir to a european principality.

Although I don’t know the ethnicity of the love-child’s mother, I personally would find it very amusing and satisfying to see a person of clearly African descent on a European royal throne.

Savannah…interesting you should say that.
Togo is an African country, and Prince Albert’s son is mixed race (and a very cute baby).

Queen Elizabeth is clearly of African descent, so Prince Albert’s son wouldn’t be the only one.

Where in the family line does Elizabeth get her African heritage?

The bit that confused me was this line:

It doesn’t seem to fit with the earlier statement?

Surely if Prince Albert had children in wedlock they would have different (ie. legitimate) rights to inheritance that this child does not?

From Charlotte of Mecklenburg, who was the wife of George III. Queen Charlotte was descended from King Alfonso III of Portugal and his mistress, who was North African.

She’s also a descendant of Alfonso VI of Castille and his North African wife Zaida. (She’s also descended from the prophet Muhammed through Zaida).

Cool–never knew that.

Prince Albert has never been married, so he has no legitimate offspring. So, if he does have any other children, they would be illegitimate, also. And they would all have the same inheritance rights: zilch, unless he formally legitimates them.

It’s a bit more complicated that that. Affonso’s mistress, Mourana Gil, was Moorish, which meant she was of one of the races of North Africa. Zaida was certainly an Arab, but her identification as a descendant of the Prophet is in error. Her father-in-law was the emir of Seville, and was sometimes misidentified as her father, instead of the father of her first husband. The emir was certainly a descendant of the Prophet, but Zaida? There’s no evidence to say that she was.

Drat. I was going to wonder what Al Qaeda would have made of that…

I think that’s a rather racist statement. A person’s race simply doesn’t matter.

I don’t follow. Is there some reason that he can’t marry now? Because if he got married at some point in the future and had children by his wife, they would be perfectly legitimate, wouldn’t they?

He has never been married, so any and all currently-existing children are illegitimate.

If he marries, the children of his wife will be born legitimate.
If he married the mother of his love-child, that child would be retroactively legitimated.
If he formally adopts his love-child, that child would be retroactively legitimated.
If I understand correctly, he could even adopt an unrelated child and that child would enter the line of succession (Monaco’s succession laws were unique in Europe). But Monaco changed its succession laws a few years ago, so I could be wrong.

So who inherits if Albert has no legitimate children? (The throne, I mean…)

His sister, Princess Caroline. She’d go back to using her maiden name of Grimaldi (I think it’s Hanover or Wettin now). Her eldest son, Andrea Casiraghi, would become the next in line and he’d get a title and have to change his name.