Checking my e-mail, I noticed the news that 53-year-old Albert, Prince of Monaco, father of two (or is it three?) illegitimate children by various bimbos, had exchanged vowswith South African Olympian Charleen Wittstock, 20 years his junior. Yawn. . . .
I can't help thinking, regarding Wittstock's decision to marry him, "Why bother?" Partly because Albert, after some 35 years of living a self-indulgent, playboy lifestyle, looks so old, bald, and dissipated. (See the handsome young man he once was here.) And partly because being princess over a tiny, two-kilometer mini-state doesn't seem to have the cachet it once did.
Or maybe it's just cynical old me. The royals of Monaco seem to symbolize much of what is wrong with Europe today: Rich, spoiled, beautiful, trashy. Not for nothing did Somerset Maugham refer to Monaco as "a sunny place for shady people." But it's nice that Albert has been trying to clean up the principality's act. Perhaps he is finally going to clean up his own.