AMHERST, Mass. -- Prince Albert of Monaco kept a low profile through most of his education at Amherst College but at his graduation he couldn't turn to the person next to him without hearing a shutter click.
Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, and his sister Princess Caroline looked on Sunday as Albert, 23, became one of 424 men and women to graduate from the small, private liberal arts school in western Massachusetts.
Albert sat quietly throughout the ceremonies without glancing at the crowded press area, where about 40 photographers had been roped off to the side in a section of the bleachers.
Each time the prince made a gesture or talked to a person next to him, there was a flurry of camera motors and flashes, prompting Albert to shake his head in apparent wonder after several such incidents.
When Albert enrolled four years ago, his parents said they wanted their son to keep a low profile and be treated like a normal student, Amherst Public Affairs Director Doug Wilson said.
A student who asked not to be identified said the 6-foot-plus prince played soccer and was a member of the Chi Psi fraternity. Beyond that, she said, he was 'kind of quiet.'
The royal family sat quietly throughout graduation ceremonies near the back of the gymnasium and left immediately after the prince received his diploma. Albert's younger sister, Stephanie, did not attend the graduation.
When the announcer called his name, Albert Louis Pierre Gimaldi ascended the stairs to the stage, shook hands with College President Julian H. Gibbs, and accepted his Bachelor of Arts degree as the crowd of about 1,200 applauded.
Just before he sat down, the prince smiled at the woman in the seat next to him and kissed his political science diploma.
When the ceremony ended, Albert marched out with the rest of the black-robed graduates and was met at the door by two college policemen, two local police officers and two men in plainclothes, who escorted him to another unmarked car and drove off.