Several well-informed sources within Monaco's close-knit community have informed me that Prince Albert of Monaco is so seriously stressed by scandals rocking the principality that he may soon abdicate.
Albert never did have the stomach to rule, and since his investiture in July 20o5 he has shown poor judgement, an inability to be present, and is personally responsible for the scandals blackening Monaco's name.
Here are the facts:
It was Albert who invited the Russian invasion into Monaco, mostly at the behest of his closest associates who stood to gain financially from Russian "investment," which we now know includes a vast amount of influence-peddling and corruption.
It was Albert who established a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, now considered a global pariah due to his invasions, annexations and assassinations.
It was Albert who accepted an expensive gift from Putin (a whole dacha built from scratch by Russian laborers) in contravention of the International Olympic Committee's Code of Ethics. In turn, Albert, an IOC member, voted Sochi (in Russia) for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
It was Albert who appointed the disgraced (and now indicted) Philippe Narmino to Monaco's top job in the courts as Chief of Judicial Services. Albert appointed Narmino even though he knew about Narmino's corrupt character and activities.
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It was Albert who selected the disgraced Paul Masseron to be Interior Minister, now under investigation for bribery and corruption.
It was Albert who invited disgraced (and now indicted) Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolov to purchase Monaco's football team, AS Monaco.
On July 4th of this year, France TV 3 (the French equivalent of the BBC) broadcast an hour-long documentary called Pieces of Conviction on the Narmino scandal, posing this question: "How much did the Prince know?"
As part of this story, producer Pascal Henry interviewed me on camera.
I told France 3 that Prince Albert knew plenty about Narmino's corrupt activities before appointing him Justice Minister in January 2006. That I, as Albert's Intelligence Adviser, working closely with senior Monaco police officers, investigated Narmino and concluded he was corrupt. We recommended to Albert that not only should he not give Narmino the top job at justice, but he should remove Narmino as a senior judge and also from his role as Director-General of the Monaco Red Cross.
A few days after France 3's documentary was broadcast, Albert cancelled his engagements for the duration of July.
What is less known is that Albert (according to two reliable sources) spent five days in a hospital for stress-related health issues.
Even Albert's personal life is a shambles. Sources report that he and his wife, Charlene, have been living separately since at least July and are together only for official engagements.
As Monaco's National Day looms later this month, Albert's days as ruling monarch may now be numbered.