The origins

D
Prince Albert I
in naval officer's uniform
(by 1896)

Albert Honoré Charles Grimaldi was born in Paris on November 13th 1848. In 1856, his father became Charles III, Sovereign Prince of Monaco. At an early age, the young Crown Prince started travelling between his parents' residence in Paris, the Palace of Monaco, and the Castle of Marchais located in the State Department of Aisne. He also visited many European countries such as Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

His high school education, which took place at the Collège Stanislas in Paris and then at La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin near Orléans, was not yet completed that he already asserted the wish to take up a career in the Navy.

He started his training in Lorient in 1865. Six months later, he entered the Spanish Royal Navy, in which he served in Cadiz and in the Caribbean for a period of two years. Back in Europe, he bought a little cutter, Isabelle II, and then a magnificent schooner, Hirondelle.

Cruises followed one another around for fifteen years, through the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the North Sea. They enabled him to expand his experience as a sailor and as a captain. As for his travels around Europe and North Africa, they brought to light a curious spirit, eager to discover the world and its inhabitants.

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