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Prince Albert I of Monaco
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Monarch
    (November 13, 1848-June 26, 1922)
    Born in Paris, France
    Prince of Monaco (1889-1922)
    Founded the Oceanographic Institute Foundation Albert I (1906)
    His grandmother tried to get him married to a member of the British royal family, until Napoleon III convinced her that Queen Victoria would never allow her relations to marry into a family who made their living off of gambling. (And, even worse, were Roman Catholics.)
    He divorced his first wife and separated from his second wife.
    He was a patron of courtesan La Belle Otero.
    There were mass protests against his autocratic rule (1910).
    He was unsuccessful in his attempt to dissuade Kaiser Wilhelm II from attacking France in WWI.
    He served in the Spanish and French navies and was awarded the French Legion of Honor during the Franco-Prussian War (1871).
    In her memoirs, Otero cattily noted, 'He was not a virile man and I don't think he got his money's worth.'
    He established the Monte Carlo Rally to draw tourists to the principality (1911).
    In response to protests, he granted Monaco its first constitution (1911).
    He was a dedicated oceanographer and made four trips exploring the Arctic islands of Svalbard (1898-1907).
    He was elected to the British Academy of Science (1907) and received the Agassiz Medal from the US National Academy of Science (1918).

Credit: C. Fishel


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