As if Prince Albert of Monaco doesn't have enough to worry about.
As rumors continue to swirl that his marriage to South-African swimmer Princess Charlene is sinking fast — she has been in her homeland for three months — an obscure aristocrat is making progress with a claim he is the rightful heir to the Monaco throne.
Count Louis de Causans says that a French court will hear his lawsuit that his family was denied its rights by a washerwoman's daughter who became a royal at the behest of plotting Parisian politicians.
The 47 year-old’s initial claim was thrown out in 2019 after he failed to prove his ancestry.
But his lawyer Jean-Marc Descoubes says his second case has forced a written response from the French foreign affairs ministry.
“Monaco and France always wanted this subject to remain a taboo,” said de Causans, adding: “That is no longer the case.”
The dispute started early in the 20th century when there were fears Prince Louis II, Monaco’s future ruler would die unmarried and without an heir.
Under succession rules dating back to the 15th century, Monaco would then have passed to German Prince Wilhelm of Urach.
The French couldn't tolerate that, so the rules were changed so that Louis could adopt his daughter from a relationship with a washerwoman.
Charlotte Louvet became a royal but renounced her rights in favor of her daughter Princess Charlotte, mother of Prince Rainier and Albert’s grandmother.
Count de Causans claims that after the descendants of Prince Wilhelm, his branch of the Grimaldi family were in line to succeed, but French Government ministers ignored the claims so that they could influence the family of Louis II.
Now for the good news — De Causans doesn't want the throne, just $400 million in compensation!
Albert is said to be worth $1.5 billion but with a possible divorce looming, I can’t see him settling with the Count at those prices.