In a new interview for In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Prince Albert II of Monaco speaks candidly about Donald Trump and his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, his mother, Princess Grace’s tragic death, weaknesses, Olympics and being in the spotlight.
The interview, which took place over two days at the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, gave rare access to His Serene Highness for the debut of Graham Bensinger’s eighth season. The episode will air this weekend nationwide (US) and give viewers a look at the Palace and the Monaco Grand Prix race route.
Upon Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States, Prince Albert, who was born with American citizenship through his mother but later renounced it as an adult, sent a letter to the then President-elect requesting that he preserve the United States’ commitment to end climate change. Bensinger asked him about the letter and if he ever received a response from Trump. Albert, who speaks with a clear American English accent, said that he has yet to get a response.
Speaking about the decision of President Trump to pull out of the Paris Agreement, His Serene Highness said, “Well, of course, it’s a terrible shame. What was very encouraging is the reaction by governors of certain states, by the mayors of certain large cities in the U.S. and by different business leaders – that they would stick to what they had committed to and that they were determined to cut their carbon emissions by a significant amount… The U.S. has shown over the years that it has rebounded from different situations in a very positive way and I hope that this will also be the case.”
The Prince went on to discuss the sudden and tragic death of his former American Hollywood actress mother, the former Grace Kelly, in a car crash. Princess Stéphanie, Albert’s younger sister, was in the car with their mother when the accident occurred and injured. On her recovery, His Serene Highness said, “Well it took a very long time for her to recover from this and it was a very painful recollection for her…You know, just the pain of being in that car with our mother and not being able to pull her out or to have a different outcome. She was injured, of course, also.” He added that his father, Prince Rainier was not quite the same man after the crash.
Bensinger discussed Albert’s transition into power and brought up with the Prince that his father once said that his biggest issue was being too nice. His Serene Highness admitted that some have said that his being nice is a weakness, and he further explained, “Well you know if you’re too nice, then you’re perceived as saying yes to everything and you…You constantly have to think that you have to prove yourself and I knew that that was gonna happen.”
The interview also provides interesting insights where Prince Albert said that, if not the Prince of Monaco, he would have loved to have worked for an international organisation like the United Nations or even a teacher due to his love of working with children. About his destiny being laid out for him and having to accept that, the Prince said, in part, “Well I don’t really have a choice. I could just walk away and have my own life, but that would be first of all not respecting what my father and mother did for this country.”
His Serene Highness, who represented Monaco in bobsledding in multiple Olympic Games, admitted he began competing in the sport after seeing it in person at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. He finally got the chance to try it out on a skiing holiday in St. Moritz in Switzerland. The Prince stated, “I didn’t think of pursuing it much in a competitive way until the following year where I went back to St. Moritz and did another guest ride and then I met a Swiss coach who said, ‘Well if you’d like to try your hand at driving one of these things, we have a bobsled driving school in a few months, and we’d love to have you.’ … And then before I knew it, two years later I was qualified for the Olympics. But I never thought that I’d be able to take up a new sport and be able to go that far with it.”
For Albert, staying in Olympic Village with his fellow Olympians was important to get the authentic Olympic experience, “I wanted to be a part of that experience and there was no way I wasn’t gonna be right there in the middle, firstly to stay with the team but also to get that experience of meeting athletes and officials from all over the world and to engage with them and to get the full effect of an Olympic experience… I’m sorry for those athletes who – for practical reasons – did not stay in Olympic village and did not have that experience.”
Be sure to catch Graham Bensinger’s insightful interview with the Prince of Monaco this weekend! In Depth with Graham Bensinger airs weekly across the United States on NBC, FOX, CBS, and ABC. Those in Europe can catch it on FOX Sports Europe. You can find the television schedule here to see when it will air in your area.