An Exclusive Look At Prince Albert II’s Quest To Preserve The Ocean

Previous PostDior: From Paris To The World Exhibit To Open In Denver
Next Post17 Of The Most Anticipated Hotel Openings Of 2019
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco at Principal Palace

Photo Credit: Palais Princier De Monaco

Growing up at the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, there is one thing that remained constant in His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II’s life: the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea. Every morning when he would wake up, the azure waters would be there. Every night when he would go to bed, the sea’s waves could be heard. The Mediterranean has served as a backdrop to his entire life, so it’s no wonder that the Prince would be a passionate advocate for its conservation. Preserving the environment is also something that runs in his blood.     

The Prince on expedition
The Prince on an expedition

Photo Credit: Palais Princier De Monaco

Born on March 14, 1958, Prince Albert II is the only son of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and Grace Kelly. He comes from a long line of outdoorsmen known for championing the planet. His namesake and great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, was nicknamed the ‘Prince of Seas’ for his deep love of the ocean. A pioneer of oceanography, Prince Albert I founded Monaco’s Museum of Oceanography and Paris’ Maison des Oceans—an institute that studies the biological and physical properties of the sea—in 1910 and 1911, respectively. In 1902, Prince Albert I wrote about his love affair with the sea. “This was when I started the culture of oceanography; a new science that penetrated the secrets of the abyss.” He dedicated his life to understanding the ocean saying that “this work gratified years of my life by absorbing the best of myself.”

The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

Photo Credit: Oceanographic Institute

Prince Rainier III was also a crusader for the environment. For his son’s seventh birthday, he presented Prince Albert II with a National Geographic poster that illustrated the cycles of pollution on earth. Prince Albert II hung the poster on his wall and remembers it to this day. Later, at the United Nations’ Earth Summit Conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Prince Rainier III delivered a powerful speech that called for the conservation of the Mediterranean Sea and focused on sustainable development. “We must find the moral and political strength to apply the prescribed remedies to save what is essential,” Prince Rainier III said. “We must sustainably revitalize the health of our blue planet.” Prince Albert II’s ancestors set the stage for him to become a powerful and prominent supporter of the environment.

Prince Albert II of Monaco
Prince Albert II of Monaco during a diving expedition

Photo Credit: Palais Princier De Monaco

An avid sportsman and five-time Olympian, Prince Albert II partook in a life-changing journey 12 years ago. On April 16, 2006, accompanied by seven teammates, he arrived at the North Pole. The expedition served two functions for the Prince. First, it was to honor the legacy of his great-great-grandfather—the modern inventor of oceanography visited the Northern tip of Norway four times during his life. Second, it was to raise international awareness for the consequences of global warming and polar melting. Facing limited visibility and ice blocks, the trip to the North Pole was grueling.

Prince Albert II
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco

Photo Credit: Palais Princier De Monaco

However, upon reaching his target, the Prince proclaimed, “Today, I am happy to have attained the goal I set myself and to have reached the North Pole with all my team, safe and sound. That is why I would like to express my warmest thanks to all of those who have made this expedition possible. The extraordinary adventure we have just experienced must not detract us from the fact that our planet is in great danger and that we must–more than ever before–rally together to preserve it.”

Prince Albert and a child in a still of the movie “Coral, Heart of the Ocean” which plays at the Oceanographic Institute in Monaco
Prince Albert and children in the documentary “Coral, Heart of the Ocean”

Photo Credit: M.Dagnino

To further the cause, two months later in June 2006, Prince Albert created a foundation. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is dedicated to protecting the environment and furthering sustainable development. He believes the organization is incredibly significant “because to save our planet, to change a system that destroys it step by step, we will need all the ideas, all the willings, all the mobilizable means. We will need to multiply the initiatives, from the most confidential to the most global ones, from the most classical to the most innovative ones. And we will need to do everything to convince the world to change with us. This is our destiny today, the destiny of our generations: taking these problems head-on, to save this planet before it is too late. It is our responsibility, and that is why we are here.”

The Prince
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Over the past 12 years, the foundation has funded more than 430 projects and awarded $58-million in grants. It focuses on eight priority initiatives: making a commitment against deforestation, increasing knowledge of biodiversity, conservation of endangered species, development of marine protected areas, improving energy efficiency and renewable energies, confronting ocean acidification, sustainably managing water resources, and studying climate change and its effects. Performing all of these crucial tasks is a tremendous undertaking—one that Prince Albert is fearlessly leading.

Prince Albert II on expedition
Prince Albert II on an expedition

He has given countless speeches promoting the organization and written articles to further the cause. A 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed encouraged the U.S government to step forward and stop the exploitation of the seas and overfishing. That same year, Prince Albert II went on another expedition, this time to the South Pole where he visited 26 scientific outposts and met with climate change experts along the way. He is the only head of state in the world who has been to both poles.

The Prince speaking at the 2018 Monte Carlo gala
Prince Albert hosted the 2018 Monte Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean

Photo Credit: Valery Hache/Afp/Getty Images

Today, he continues tirelessly exploring and advocating for the globe and its natural resources. To support the foundation’s worldwide initiatives, he’s started hosting an annual benefit gala. The second Monte Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean recently took place on September 26, 2018. The Prince invited many celebrities, including Madonna, to serve as chairs of the luxurious event. Of her role, the queen of pop said, “Taking care of the planet is incredibly important to me, so I am delighted to be supporting H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco and his foundation. The serenity and life of the oceans are under threat–we can make a difference now and should do everything possible to preserve it. The Monte Carlo Gala couldn’t be more needed to raise the money to help save our oceans.”

Gloria Gaynor, Robert Davi, Albert II of Monaco, Charlene of Monaco, Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Lior Suchard, Chris Tucker and Robin Thicke
Gloria Gaynor, Robert Davi, Albert II of Monaco, Charlene of Monaco, Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Lior Suchard, Chris Tucker and Robin Thicke

Photo Credit: Valery Hache/Afp/Getty Images

Madonna’s co-chairs included Li Bingbing, Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Adrien Brody, Pierce Brosnan, Gerard Butler, Andy Garcia, Hugh Grant, Goldie Hawn, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cheryl Hines, Olga Kurylenko, Diane Lane, Eva Longoria, Jacques Perrin, Robin Thicke, Chris Tucker, Toni Garrn, Alina Baikova, Isabeli Fontana, Constance Jablonski, Hailey Clauson, Karlie Kloss, Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima, Natasha Poly, Sara Sampaio, Shanina Shaik, and Josephine Skriver.

Prince Albert and 2018 award recipient Orlando Bloom
Prince Albert and 2018 award recipient Orlando Bloom

Photo Credit: Valery Hache/Afp/Getty Images

For his public awareness campaign for environmental protection, actor Orlando Bloom was honored at the event with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation’s Special Award. Accepting the award from the Sovereign Prince, the actor said: “The urgency of climate change has never rung louder than it is now. The science is clear. And what will they say of us, a hundred years from now, since we knew but sat and did nothing? The world is changing, and we need to change our habits along with it. So I would challenge you to think what impact you can make and what legacy you will leave for your children and grandchildren because I truly believe that each and every individual is capable of creating real and monumental change.”

The glass tent showed ocean videos projected on the Opera Garnier
The glass tent showed ocean videos projected on the Opera Garnier

Photo Credit: Olivia Hsu Decker

The major fundraising event took place in the heart of Monte Carlo and was attended by a star-studded group of international artists and noted philanthropists. The gala addressed the crucial issues facing our earth and called for immediate and collective action. The live auction, which was conducted by Simon de Pury, raised $25 million to support the foundation. This is $11 million more than the amount that was raised at the inaugural event last year. That $14 million helped fund 37 new marine conservation projects and two schemes to help fight plastic pollution, so attendees can rest assured that the funds will go to good causes.

The shark lagoon at the Oceanographic Institute
The shark lagoon at the Oceanographic Institute

Photo Credit: Oceanographic Institute

With branches in nine foreign countries, including the United States, France, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, the Prince has positioned his foundation as the leading organization for environmental awareness and action—with conserving the global ocean among its top priorities. Currently, the foundation’s activities include efforts to better understand the environmental dangers to which our ocean is exposed, fighting against plastic pollution, and promoting innovative solutions for a sustainable sea.

Princess Charlene of Monaco and the Prince at the gala
Princess Charlene of Monaco and the Prince Albert II of Monaco at the gala

Photo Credit: Valery Hache/Afp/Getty Images

At the gala, Prince Albert II emphasized the importance of preserving the global ocean, saying that the sea is a constant not only in his life but for everyone on the planet. “Today the oceans, which represent over one billion cubic kilometers, are vulnerable. Today these expanses, which cover over two-thirds of the planet, are threatened more than they have ever been in the history of humankind. Today the oceans need us. They need us to protect them. They need us to establish a new relationship with them: more attentive, more responsible, more sustainable. That is what my foundation has been striving to do for 12 years now.”

connect with haute living Los Angeles
Loader