Monaco′s Prince Albert Assumes Duties | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 31.03.2005
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Monaco's Prince Albert Assumes Duties

Monaco's Prince Albert is assuming the duties of his father, Prince Rainier, who is in intensive care in hospital, the palace announced Thursday.

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Prince Albert, left, giving his father a helping hand

Rainier, 81, remained in a stable but frail condition Thursday, more than a week after being placed in intensive care with heart and breathing problems, his entourage said.

A palace communique said that in line with the royal statutes, the royal council, "after being informed by Prince Albert, noted that Prince Rainier was not in a position to exercise his duties."

"In the interim, Prince Albert is assuming the (royal) duties," it added.

The statement gave no new details about Rainier's health. The latest official bulletin, released Wednesday, said Rainier's condition had stabilized after kidney dialysis.

The ailing Rainier, who has ruled the tiny Mediterranean principality since 1949, has been hospitalized several times since 2002 for recurrent respiratory problems.

Line of succession

His three children by his late wife, Oscar-winning US film star Grace Kelly, have taken turns by his bedside. Prince Albert, his unwed 47-year-old son, is set to succeed his father as ruler of Monaco.

Concern over his son's bachelor status led Rainier to change Monaco's constitution in 2002 to allow the offspring of his daughters, Caroline, 48, and Stephanie, 40, to enter the line of succession.

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