A French court was wrong to convict Paris-Match magazine for revealing that Prince Albert II of Monaco had a love child in 2005, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled.
The public interest outweighed privacy arguments in the case, the ECHR ruled.
After the Paris-Match article appeared, in May 2005, Prince Albert sued the magazine, but later acknowledged that the child was his.
The boy was born to Nicole Coste, a French-Togolese flight attendant.
When Prince Albert, the reigning monarch in Monaco, learnt that Paris-Match was going to publish the article he told its owner, publisher Hachette Filipacchi Associes, not to do so. But the magazine went ahead, including photos of the prince with the child. The revelation also appeared in Bunte magazine in Germany.
Prince Albert of Monaco’s son was born to Nicole Coste, a French-Togolese flight attendant
In France, Prince Albert was awarded 50,000 euros ($68,000) in damages, but in Germany his court action against Bunte was dismissed.
In its ruling, the ECHR found that the French court in Nanterre was wrong to convict Paris-Match over the article. It breached the magazine’s freedom of expression, the ECHR said.
The ruling said the French court had erred in failing to distinguish between “information which formed part of a debate of general interest and that which merely reported details of the private life of the Prince of Monaco”.
The child could not succeed to the throne, under Monaco’s constitution, but the court found that “the public had a legitimate interest in knowing of the child’s existence and being able to conduct a debate on the possible implications for political life in the Principality of Monaco”.
“The court concluded that, in disclosing the information, [Nicole Coste] had sought to secure public recognition of her son’s status and of the fact that the prince was his father, which were crucial factors in ending the secrecy surrounding him.”
Back in 2005, Nicole Coste was quoted as saying she met Prince Albert on a flight in 1997, leading to a relationship and the birth of the boy, Alexandre, in August 2003.
Prince Albert has two children from previous relationships – 22-year-old daughter Jazmin and 10-year-old son Alexandre.
Last month Prince Albert and Princess Charlene announced they were expecting their first child.
Monaco royal Andrea Casiraghi married Colombian heiress Tatiana Santo Domingo on August 31.
Tatiana Santo Domingo, 29, wore a custom-made Missoni gown as she posed with her new husband and their pet Boston terrier, Daphne, after the ceremony at the Prince’s Palace in Monte Carlo.
Her Missoni V-neck gown, which had three-quarter length sleeves, had “a bodice embroidered with raffia and silk thread”, according to Hello.
“The dress also featured a full-length circle skirt with a macramé effect supported by two layers of silk organza which charmingly matched her five-month-old son Sasha’s bloomers,” the magazine’s website reported.
Tatiana Santo Domingo teamed her gown with flat silver sandals and wore her hair loose with a garland of flowers on her head.
Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo, who have been together for seven years and have five-month-old son Sasha together, were greeted by cheers as they left the Prince’s Palace after the late morning ceremony.
Among the 400 guests present at a lunch afterwards was the cream of Monaco society. The principality’s reigning monarch Prince Albert, his wife Princess Charlene and his sister and mother-of-the-groom Princess Caroline were all in attendance.
Charlotte Casiraghi, the bride’s sister who is believed to be around six moths’ pregnant with fiancé Gad Elmaleh, and apparently introduced the happy couple, looked elegant in pale blue.
Also in attendance was Karl Lagerfeld, the Missoni family (minus Margherita who is due to welcome her first child any day now), Greek shipping heiress Eugenie Niarchos and the bride’s aunt, Lauren Santo Domingo.
Later, for the evening celebration, Tatiana Santo Domingo appeared to have changed into a different creation by the Italian family-owned fashion house, with longer sleeves and a different style of lace embellishment. She removed her floral headdress and instead accessorized with a pearl-embellished clutch.
The build-up to the royal wedding was documented last week by Lauren Santo Domingo, who shared a snap of Tatiana’s bachelorette aboard a luxury yacht.
The photo on Instagram showed the ladies all dressed in white lace ensembles and floral headbands, with picturesque mountains in the background.
In contrast to her guests, the bride-to-be stood out in a red dip-dye dress and matching red lipstick, and her photogenic pooch sitting on her lap.
Tatiana Santo Domingo, a regular on the New York social scene, dated Andrea Casiraghi for seven years before they announced their engagement in July 2012.
In March 2013, Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sacha, who is third in line to the Monegasque throne.
Princess Charlene of Monaco put the spotlight back on South Africa, hosting a lavish gala dinner in celebration of all things South African at the glitzy Monte Carlo Opera House on Saturday night.
Princess Charlene, 34, attended South Africa Night with her husband, Prince Albert, and other family members, including her father, Mike and brother, Gareth.
Resplendent in a black and gold lace dress and with a beaming Prince Albert on her arm, Charlene looked fresh-faced and happy as she mingled with guests at the glamorous event.
Proceeds from South Africa Night will go to Princess Charlene’s personal charity, the Princess Charlene Foundation, which aims to help women and children on five of the world’s seven continents.
The gala evening also kicked off a week of festivities called A Touch of Africa, which will focus on Princess Charlene’s home nation and run in and around Monte Carlo until the 6th October.
Guests at the event included former James Bond actor, Sir Roger Moore, while Swedish model Victoria Silvstedt was also in town for the event.
In true South African style, the gala included music from African favorite Johnny Clegg, whose rendition of popular hit, Asimbonanga, had the well-heeled crowd up on their feet and dancing the night away.
Performing alongside a troupe of Zulu dancers, Johnny Clegg carried a ritual staff and sang a medley of tracks from his latest album, Human.
“There is a crisis for music in South Africa,” Johnny Clegg told reporters ahead of the gala.
“These concerts are a wonderful way of promoting our country’s musicians.”
After entertainment in the opulent marble-floored, Salle Garnier, guests moved to the nearby Café de Paris for a private dinner on the terrace.
Billed as a “voyage of discovery into African gastronomy”, chefs Dobby Doolooa and Jean-Claude Brugel created a special menu for the event, focusing on South African classics – albeit with a Monégasque twist.
The Africa Night Gala capped what has so far been a highly successful year for Monaco’s Prince Albert and Princess Charlene.
After a rocky start to their marriage, the couple has adapted to wedded bliss and look more in love than ever.
Princess Charlene of Monaco looked as stunning as every as she attended the annual picnic at Le Parc Princesse Antoinette yesterday.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene looked in high-spirits as they met their subjects during the principality’s popular celebratory event.
Prince Albert, who is one of the world’s wealthiest royals with a fortune of more than $1billion, was as cheerful as could be as he showed off his consort to the adoring crowds.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene looked in high-spirits as they met their subjects during the principality's popular celebratory event, the annual picnic at Le Parc Princess Antoinette
And the South African former swimmer has clearly taken to her royal duties like a duck to water, as she was composed and friendly throughout, and was photographed graciously accepting some flowers from an excited local girl taking back in the ceremonies.
The 54-year-old head of the House of Grimaldi donned a traditional outfit for the engagement, while Princess Charlene wore a classy long grey skirt, white tank top and pink scarf.