Prince Albert has always had a pretty cozy relationship with the American media. His mother, Princess Grace (formerly Grace Kelly) taught her children about public relations and media management, and Albert has never felt like he’s “above” doing an interview with CNN or People Magazine. He often gives exclusives to People Mag, Hello Mag and Paris Match, actually. So it wasn’t surprising when I saw that he gave an interview to People Magazine… and he ended up talking about another prince-actress relationship, that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. He also chatted about how his wife Princess Charlene (a former Olympic swimmer) is getting their kids involved with swimming very early on. Some highlights:
On Prince Harry‘s romance with actress Meghan Markle: Albert thinks the couple “are doing a pretty good job so far.” Bringing anyone into royal circles, navigating the press and mastering protocol, “is a pretty tough act. Especially in the British royal family, which is scrutinized by the press as no one’s been.”
The full onslaught: The couple “seem to be having a good deal of success so far,” he says, but “sooner or later, she’s going to have to face the full onslaught. I can’t imagine how that will be on them, on her. Being an actress, in a way, gets you a little prepared but nothing really can prepare you for the constant pace of it. Particularly now that the pace has changed so much. It’s hard for anyone to handle. It was difficult for Charlene to handle. I can’t imagine the difference now with the increased pace of news and social media. They seem to be doing okay for now. The only kind of advice I can offer is the British expression: ‘Keep calm and carry on.’ “
Albert says having Grace Kelly as a mother helped them: “Mom said being an actress did prepare you a little. It familiarized you a little with the press. But the press was a little more respectful in those days. The press, mostly the photographers, seems to have changed. Mom taught us that you have to do all you can to protect your private life. But you also have to face the press at some points. When we went on family holidays together, we would take an hour on the first morning and give that to the photographers. We let them have that hour and in return they would let us go on with our lives during the vacation…Giving them a little time seemed to work then. Maybe it still will.”
Albert on his children Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques: “They’re in the pool a solid two hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. I try to make their afternoon session every day. Jacques doesn’t want to wear his armbands. The other day he swam eight feet unassisted and Gabriella isn’t far behind him. The pool we have at Roc Agel isn’t an infinity pool and he’s able to get himself in and out of the pool without anyone’s assistance. They’ve had all sorts of water safety instruction, including the self-survival course when they were 8 months.”
I realize Jacques and Gabby’s mom was an Olympic swimmer and she’s probably there the whole time, but four hours a day in the pool does sound excessive, right? Especially for such small kids. But it sounds like they love it, so whatever, what do I know? As for Albert’s advice to Harry and Meghan… I don’t think Meg needs much help when it comes to media management, she’s handling herself very well. It’s Harry who needs an adjustment. Albert is right about the give-and-take of royal-media relations, and I like that Albert is basically like “the British royals should do things a bit differently and actually engage with the press.” The Windsors won’t do that, of course, but it’s good advice. Prince Harry will continue to whine to the press about how he’s the saddest prince ever and how he never wanted any of this.
Photos courtesy of WENN.