|Alexandre Éric Stéphane Coste|
(2003-08-24) 24 August 2003 (age 8)
Charlene, Princess of Monaco (stepmother)
Andrea Casiraghi (cousin
Pierre Casiraghi (cousin)
Princess Alexandra of Hanover (cousin)
Pauline Ducruet (cousin)
Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb (cousin)
Louis Ducruet (cousin)
Alexandre Éric Stéphane Coste (born 24 August 2003 in Paris) is the son of Albert II, Prince of Monaco and Nicole Coste, a native of Togo in west Africa. His paternal grandparents were the late Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and Princess Grace. One of Albert's other out of wedlock issue is Jazmin Grace Grimaldi.
Born out of wedlock, he was initially named Alexandre Éric Stéphane Tossoukpé. His mother Nicole changed her surname and his to Coste on 10 November 2004. Albert made no public comment on the lawsuit at that time, being in official mourning following the death of his father.
Out-of-wedlock children are not in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne according to Article 10 of the Constitution of Monaco, as amended 2 April 2002 by law n°1.249, which specifies that only "direct and legitimate" descendants of Monaco's monarch (or of the monarch's siblings) may inherit the throne. A child born out of wedlock may be legitimated in Monaco : article 226-9 of the Monegasque Civil Code specifies that "the legitimization can benefit to all children born out of wedlock provided that, by voluntary acknowledgement or by court judgement, their parentage has been lawfully established with regard to their two parents". Alexandre who was born in France, was acknowledged by his parents under the French law as a legitimate child as was his older sister Jazmin Grace Grmaldi. ipso facto: article 310 of the French Civil Code This specifies that "all children whose parentage is lawfully established have the same rights and the same duties in their relations with their father and mother. They enter into the family of each of them". Article 227 of the Mongegasque Civil Code provides that when the parents of a (non-adulterine) child marry, the child is legitimized ipso facto (as happened in 1995 when Princess Stéphanie of Monaco married the father of two of her children. Even though the couple later divorced, the children are deemed to have succession rights). With Prince Albert's marriage to Charlene Wittstock, this last scenario is now remote and at the present time neither child can legally inherit the throne. If Albert does not have a legitimate heir with Princess Charlene, the current heir apparent (or Crown Princess), The Princess of Hanover, Princess Caroline will inherit the throne after her brother. She has 4 children, Andrea, Pierre, Charlotte and Princess Alexandra of Hanover who can inherit behind her.
On 26 October 2006, Albert II gave an interview to USA television personality Larry King. Albert said his children would not be in line for the Monegasque throne but that they would be taken care of financially. They are also an heir to Prince Albert's personal fortune, estimated at more than one billion dollars. Due to the accession of Monaco to the Council of Europe on 5 October 2004, the European Convention on Human Rights regulates inheritance rights, in addition to the laws of Monaco, which also guarantees familial inheritance for children born out of wedlock.
Alexandre lives in France with his mother. They share an estate provided and secured by his father near Monaco (Villefranche-sur-Mer).
Illegitimate children are nothing new in the Royal family of Monaco — in every generation for the last 100 years a Grimaldi has had an acknowledged illegitimate child. Some of these have obtained succession rights through legitimation or adoption, including Princess Charlotte, an illegitimate child who was adopted by her own father, and who then ceded her succession rights to her son Rainier, May 30, 1944. Prince Rainier III made obtaining succession rights in this manner impossible for the illegitimate children of his son Albert by adopting a new constitution in 2002, which limited the succession to direct, legitimate issue.