Any time it seems that a member of the mainstream media scores and interview with Prince Albert, as much as he would like to concentrate on global warming and the polar ice caps the conversation always has to include some talk about marriage and the "pressure" of Albert to marry his girlfriend of 3-years now Charlene Wittstock. Well, I will chime in with my two cents on this most popular of subjects. I am an admittedly old-fashioned sort and there is nothing I would like better than to see Prince Albert properly married and having a family of his own, ideally with a son to succeed him on the Princely throne. However, I am also not going to criticize the Prince because this has not happened. Because, to be blunt about it, my opinion does not matter and what I would prefer makes no difference.
The question has been asked whether I (with my traditional values) approve of the Prince's behavior. My response to this is always the same; does he want or require my approval? Obviously, most definitely not, nor that of any other person. Further, as much as I would like to see the Prince married and having a family of his own, I would be much more distressed to see yet another failed Grimaldi marriage, another divorce and another divided family. It seems to me that it would be better for the Prince to remain unmarried if that is a state in life he is not prepared for or not fully committed to. The Prince is also much younger than most of the other sovereigns of Europe and has grown up in an atmosphere very different than that of the previous generation which emphasized duty first and foremost. Today the prevailing attitude is to emphasize personal happiness above all else. Now, one can agree or disagree with this change in attitudes, but that change is not the fault of Prince Albert nor can he be blamed for the prevailing climate his generation was born to.
In short, I can have my preferences for what I would like to see for Albert II, for Monaco and the Grimaldi monarchy but at the end of the day it is not for me, or anyone else, to judge. He and Charlene are unmarried, no one is cheating on anyone else, no families are being broken up, no one is being hurt by them keeping their relationship a little on the casual side and I see no reason why anyone should get too worked up about it. I say it would be better for him to be married but it would also be better for him to be unmarried than to be married and divorced or married without being truly committed to it. I have also been asked whether or not the Prince, as an officially Catholic monarch, is setting a good example (invariably by people who already know the answer). That is a little sticky because, we do not know what goes on behind closed doors, nor should we (it is nobody's business but his own) but I would add that, while we are all supposed to do our best to set a good example we are also told in the Good Book not to put our faith in princes. If you're looking for an example to follow, follow Jesus -He was perfect and will never disappoint. Any mere mortal, royal or common, is invariably bound to.
I wish nothing but the best for the Sovereign Prince and while I am in favor of marriage I am also glad that he is not one of those who rush into it unprepared. It is not a decision to take lightly and again, at the end of the day, despite what preferences I may have, it is the Prince's decision, it is his life, his business and the personal lives of others are not for us to judge.