Post by smt on Jul 28, 2015 16:57:50 GMT -5
Are Monaco’s Royals Keeping Up With Kate and Will—or the Kardashians?
Is the ruling family of the world’s most famous postage-stamp-size principality making a deliberate comeback? Could the Kardashians be the inspiration? Probably the truth lies closer to home. One need look no further than Britain’s mega-popular royals as the reason why. “Blame Kate Middleton,” says a Brazilian-American socialite who has lived in Monaco for more than two decades. “They saw how beloved she and William and their kids are and they wanted some of the action. They were under pressure from people in Monaco as well. The two couples got married at the same time but nothing was happening with Albert and Charlene while Kate was taking over the world.”
The oddest twist in what appears to be Monaco's heavy new PR push involves one of Prince Albert’s two illegitimate children, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, 23, who grew up near Palm Springs and Orange County, California. Jazmin was featured in a glowing spread in Harper’s Bazaar this month in photos designed to be reminiscent of her grandmother, Grace Kelly. She spoke to an interviewer over the phone from the princely palace in Monaco, talking about her “great relationship” with her father.
Albert told People this month that he himself had “underestimated” his wife. “She feels a little more comfortable with the media now, and to be quite honest she got there on her own,” the prince said. “She’s coming into her own. I think she’s found a good space.”
A Monaco businesswoman who has lived in the famously gossipy principality for years calls all the flattering recent stories about Albert and Charlene window dressing. “It’s not real and everyone knows it,” she says.
But Claudia Albuquerque, an American photographer who’s been based in Monaco and knows the couple, disagrees. “They get along wonderfully and they’re great parents,” Albuquerque told The Daily Beast. “Monaco’s a magical place and Albert has made it even more so. It’s so dynamic, it’s like a little New York City on the Riviera.”
“Monaco is trying to re-brand itself and that’s why you’re seeing a lot of this new media coverage,” says Nice-based Elizabeth Chandler, who covered the south of France and Monaco for British media in the 1990s. “They want to seem hip and cool and young and appeal to American tourists and American celebrities, especially the younger ones. It’s gotten too stuffy and off the radar. They want to change that.”
Chandler, who has met the prince and knows some of the people around Charlene, says she believes a lot of the negative press surrounding the couple is partly because they are not as naturally media-savvy and charismatic as Prince William and Kate Middleton. Albert famously stuttered well into adulthood and Charlene often comes across fairly wooden and remote in interviews.
“Prince Albert is actually a great ruler of Monaco,” Chandler said. “He does loads of work for charities that a lot of people don’t even know about. He doesn’t brag about it like Brad and Angelina. He’s cleaned up Monaco by kicking out a lot of the criminals. My friends who know them say he and Charlene are a genuine couple who really care about each other.”
Claudia is dillusional