Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Royal Profile: Jazmin Grace Grimaldi

Jazmin Grace Grimaldi was born 4 March 1992 in Palm Desert, California, the daughter of Prince Albert and Tamara Rotolo.

Prince Albert and Rotolo had a brief summer love affair in 1991, while Tamara was vacationing in the Cote d’Azur area with girlfriends after a recent divorce. After Tamara’s summer rendezvous with Prince Albert of Monaco (then heir apparent to the throne), she returned to California, only to discover she was pregnant by Prince Albert of Monaco (she believed at the time and in 2006 it was proven her claims as true after a DNA test was performed). Due to the inferiority of Prince Rainier of Monaco of the situation that his son had placed him and the principality in, Prince Rainier prohibited his son from having any contact with Tamara or their daughter and to deny any wrong doing. Unknown to his father, Prince Albert allegedly kept in contact with Tamara throughout the pregnancy-and even suggested calling her Grace in honor of his late mother.

On March 4, 1992, approximately six weeks early in a Palm Desert area hospital, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi was born to Tamara J. Rotolo and Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi. Prince Albert, unsure how to address the issue spoke with Tamara after realizing that the situation was not at all this new baby girl’s fault and that it was up to him to fix it.

In the book, The Royal House of Monaco: Dynasty of Glamour, Tragedy and Scandal by John Glatt, Glatt claims that Tamara once said:

“Albert said that he would not allow her to grow up as his grandmother had. He promised he would sort things out before she was old enough to understand.”

At Jazmin’s birth, Prince Albert had been away from Monaco on business, and upon his return to Monaco, he sheepishly told his father of the news of his latest grandchild. Well, apparently, it did not go over so well with Grand-père Rainier. Prince Rainier was furious with his son, ordering him to deny all responsibility and sever ties with the American tourist from the summer before. In fear of what his father could or would do, Prince Albert did as ordered-he stopped returning Rotolo’s phone calls, and letters.

After failing to get any acknowledgement of the birth from Monaco, Tamara obtained a lawyer in California to attempt to get Prince Albert in Monaco to submit to a DNA test. Prince Albert’s lawyers agreed to the request-and Tamara provided a sample, and provided a sample from Jazmin. When it came to Albert’s turn, he backed out.

This paternity suit was a big thing for the Grimaldi family lawyers-after all, if this were to be Prince Albert’s child, she would automatically become second in line after her father and take predence over her aunts and cousins. After a six month court battle to get Prince Albert to submit to a DNA test (this would be around late 1992, early 1993), he still never submitted.

In 1994, Tamara learned that Albert would be visiting Wyoming, and decided to take their daughter there to meet her father for the first time. She spent $50 in order to join the society that Prince Albert was set to visit. The day of the “visit” reportedly, Tamara approached Albert with Jazmin, telling him straight out that the child she was holding was his daughter. Tamara later attended reception, where the Prince ignored her. However, she did manage to make a friend that evening- with newspaper publisher Bruce McCormack. Bruce, having seen the fiasco from earlier in the day, prevented Tamara from making another scene at the reception, keeping her in the background. Later, McCarmack would two-time Rotolo and publish a story of her afternoon outburst in his paper the next day. When Tamara called his office to complain, he agreed to listen to her side of the story. She told him:

“This is not about the money. This is not about the publicity. This is about the acknowledgement of a child. I want Jazmin to see her father. My whole goal coming to Cody was for him to see this beautiful child. I want him to think about this when he closes his eyes at night.”

McCarmack was convinced, even without a DNA test that Jazmin was Albert’s daughter (Ed. Note: Given some of the pics from her childhood, and how much she and Alexandre looked like Albert as babies...I don't see how Albert EVER had any doubt!). He kept in contact with Tamara, and each year, Tamara sent him a photograph of Jazmin dressed as a princess. Tamara would also send these photos to Albert.

In 1998, Jazmin was a fiercely independent 6-year old, who looked very much like her Kelly Genes. She would proclaim that Prince Albert was ‘Albert, my biological father and lives far away’.

Then of course, in 2002, Prince Rainier changed the laws so Albert’s non-illegitimate (nor anyone else)’s child could not inherit the throne.

It appears that Tamara did a wonderful job raising Jazmin by herself in southern California. In 2010, Jazmin graduated with honors from JSerra Catholic High School where she also received the Faculty, Musical Excellence and Fine Arts awards. During her time at JSerra, she started her own foundation, The Jazmin Fund in 2006 after an inspiring trip to Fiji.

After her acknowledgement from her father in 2006, he has claimed that she is welcome to study and live in Monaco, however to this day, it is not known that she has taken her dad up on his offer. Today, she is a senior at Fordham University and is working for the UN World Food Programme as a Liaison Assistant. Now a legal adult, she makes very brief, low-key public appearances on occasion, many of which have been at movie and television premieres. In September 2012, she attended the premiere party of HBO's Homeland {Source}. In October 2012, she attended The Princess Grace Awards in New York with her father and stepmother, arriving low-key with her father's cousin, Christopher LeVine and his family {Photo}{Photo}. In October 2013, she made it back in the spotlight with a public appearance at the  Nespresso Pop-Up Boutique in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal {Photos}. On her paternal grandmother's would-be 84th birthday, she attended a premiere of Oscar-nominated Philophmena (of which was produced by the same company that is producing a film about Jazmin's late paternal grandmother titled Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman){Photos}.

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