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Monaco has always been the most glittering, scandal-prone jewel of the Mediterranean.

But claims that its ‘playboy’ monarch, Prince Albert, kept a separate bank account to pay his former mistress and the children he’s had out of wedlock – and of riotous spending by his wife Princess Charlene, with her family also on the payroll – are proving some of the most potentially damaging disclosures yet.

Devastating, detailed financial information has been provided by a former accountant, who spent more than two decades at the heart of the Monaco royal family, before being unceremoniously let go last year.

Claude Palmero kept notes in a series of five fat notebooks, and excerpts from these have now made their way into two French newspapers.

According to Palmero’s notes, Princess Charlene, who at 45 is 20 years the Prince’s junior and spent four months in a hospital in 2021/2 for ‘deep fatigue’, was routinely given an allowance of around £1.2 million a year – but still managed to overspend.

Revealed: The ‘secret payments’ Prince Albert of Monaco ‘pays to his former mistresses and the children he’s had out of wedlock’ unveiled by his sacked accountant, writes ALISON BOSHOFF

Claims that ‘playboy’ monarch, Prince Albert, kept a separate bank account to pay his former mistress and the children he’s had out of wedlock – and of riotous spending by his wife Princess Charlene – are proving some of the most potentially damaging disclosures yet

Princess Charlene of Monaco hired illegal immigrants on less than £90-a-day while her personal spending allowance rocketed above £1million-a-year, Prince Albert's former accountant has claimed. The couple are pictured in November

Princess Charlene of Monaco hired illegal immigrants on less than £90-a-day while her personal spending allowance rocketed above £1million-a-year, Prince Albert’s former accountant has claimed. The couple are pictured in November

In 2017, she reportedly needed more than £500,000 to pay off a substantial overdraft.

Two years later, the speed at which Princess Charlene apparently burned through money so worried the Prince’s accountant that he wrote in his notes: ‘It’s crazy! I have no control over the Princess’ spending.’

Charlene, a former swimming champion who was raised outside Johannesburg by her photocopier salesman father and swimming coach mother, poured nearly £2 million into renovating a holiday house in Corsica and redecorating her office, Palmero said.

He also claimed she rented another house on the French island where she spent time apart from Albert.

Palmero’s notes also show that on one day in April 2016, she asked for £60,000. On another occasion, in 2020, Palermo recorded a one-off payment to Charlene from Albert of £171,000, plus £4,200 in cash.

Meanwhile, Charlene’s family, in particular her brother Sean with whom she runs a charity, were also benefiting from the spectacular largesse of husband Albert, with Sean receiving £786,000 to buy a house in 2022. He now runs a coffee shop in Monaco.

The entries in Palermo’s notebooks seem to suggest that Prince Albert’s chaotic personal life has drained his riches.

Head of Monaco’s ruling Grimaldi dynasty since 2005, Albert is the only son of Prince Rainier III and former Hollywood star Grace Kelly. He has two acknowledged love children: Alexandre, by former air hostess Nicole Coste, born in 2003; and Jazmin, by U.S. estate agent Tamara Rotolo, born in 1993.

In September 2020 another putative love child sent a letter. The teenager – aged 15 at the time – is being raised in Brazil and claimed in the handwritten note to have been conceived during a round-the-world love affair in 2004. 

According to Le Monde, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi (pictured), 31, Albert's love child with Rotolo, receives £73,000 every three months - despite not being part of the royal family. Palmero noted she was given £4,200 for her 18th and a flat in New York worth £2.6 million seven years later

According to Le Monde, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi (pictured), 31, Albert’s love child with Rotolo, receives £73,000 every three months – despite not being part of the royal family. Palmero noted she was given £4,200 for her 18th and a flat in New York worth £2.6 million seven years later

He also noted that the palace was paying for kidnap and ransom insurance for Alexandre (centre), 20, Albert's son with Coste (left). The Prince acknowledged paternity of Alexandre in 2005

He also noted that the palace was paying for kidnap and ransom insurance for Alexandre (centre), 20, Albert’s son with Coste (left). The Prince acknowledged paternity of Alexandre in 2005

The matter was to come to court in Milan, but was dropped. A spokesman for the Prince said it was a ‘hoax’.

According to Le Monde, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, 31, Albert’s love child with Rotolo, receives £73,000 every three months – despite not being part of the royal family. Palmero noted she was given £4,200 for her 18th and a flat in New York worth £2.6 million seven years later.

He also noted that the palace was paying for kidnap and ransom insurance for Alexandre, 20, Albert’s son with Coste. The Prince acknowledged paternity of Alexandre in 2005.

In 2015, Alexandre’s mother persuaded Albert to back her fashion business, which was fronted by a shop in London’s Knightsbridge, Le Monde said this week.

Palmero noted in 2015 that it was ‘on course [to cost] one million [euros] a year’.

Libération, another of the French newspapers to whom Palmero spoke, said the Prince had an account at French bank BNP under the name AG for ‘Albert Grimaldi’.

The newspaper said the account was used to pay Albert’s former mistresses and their children without his wife knowing.

Prince Albert married Charlene in 2011. But Palermo notes that Coste ‘fears’ what Princess Charlene might do to her cosy financial arrangements upon the death of Prince Albert, which is why she had an apartment in London put in the name of their son Alexandre.

The books also allege that Albert spends millions every year from a secret French bank account to pay his former mistresses and love children - with Jazmin Grimaldi, 31, and Alexandre Coste-Grimaldi, 20, receiving allowances of $344,000 a year each. Albert, Jazmin and Alexandre are pictured in New York

The books also allege that Albert spends millions every year from a secret French bank account to pay his former mistresses and love children – with Jazmin Grimaldi, 31, and Alexandre Coste-Grimaldi, 20, receiving allowances of $344,000 a year each. Albert, Jazmin and Alexandre are pictured in New York

Princess Caroline (left) and Princess Stephanie get £770,000 and £685,000 from the royal purse

Princess Caroline (left) and Princess Stephanie get £770,000 and £685,000 from the royal purse

Prince Albert and Jazmin watch the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament on April 19, 2018 in Monaco

Prince Albert and Jazmin watch the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament on April 19, 2018 in Monaco

However, some of the most potentially damaging comments in Palmero’s notebooks refer to Charlene’s staff. He notes she employed nannies and other domestic staff who were illegal immigrants, or living in Monaco illegally. 

‘Her Serene Highness the Princess makes people work for her who are not compliant,’ Mr Palmero warned Albert. He also referred to ‘a moonlighting Filipino woman who ties up dogs in the shower’.

In a letter written in January 2017, he said another employee from the Philippines had been ‘illegal for five years’, despite being on a one-month tourist visa. ‘He gets paid 100 euros a day [£85] which is off the scale,’ Mr Palmero wrote.

In December 2014, Charlene gave birth to twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, and immediately placed them in the care of nannies who Palmero claims were also illegal immigrants.

‘Update on the hiring of nannies . . . We are completely illegal (even their tourist visa expired on January 7),’ Palmero wrote on January 15 of that year.

‘They are not only in an illegal situation, but one entered with a false passport,’ he added.

In 2021, he vetoed new staff hires requested by Charlene, who already had ‘8.5 people in her service, there have never been so many’.

In a statement to Le Monde, the Prince’s lawyers said that if money was paid to illegal migrants, then it was Palmero who had authorised the expenditure.

Last year, Palmero was sacked as one of Albert’s most trusted lieutenants and is now accused of having embezzled cash – a claim he denies. ‘I never took a cent,’ he said. 

‘This is a 100 per cent denial. I am neither corrupt nor a thief, all improbable things of which the princely family, for whom I devoted myself for two decades, unjustly accuses me today.’

In a statement Prince Albert said: ‘The attacks that Mr Palmero makes against me and against the state of Monaco and its institutions show his true nature and the little respect . . . he has for the family and the principality.’

Prince Albert II of Monaco kisses his bride Charlene after their civil wedding marriage ceremony in 2011

Prince Albert II of Monaco kisses his bride Charlene after their civil wedding marriage ceremony in 2011

Palmero’s departure follow two years of corruption claims distributed by a WikiLeaks-style website, Les Dossiers du Rocher (The Rock Files). 

The website said that the Prince’s confidants manipulated the sky-high property market on The Rock – as the tiny tax haven Principality of Monaco is nicknamed – for personal gain.

Those named on the website included Albert’s former chief of staff Laurent Anselmi, Claude Palmero and his one-time lawyer Thierry Lacoste. 

All were once close personal friends of Albert, while others accused of fraud include Monaco Supreme Court judge Didier Linotte.

All those named vehemently deny the claims made against them.

Prince Albert told Le Figaro last year: ‘The Rock Files brought to light, via the internet, certain activities of people who were working with me.

‘As I’ve said: if trust is broken, then it’s impossible to continue working together.’



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