The House of Thurn und Taxis is a German family whose fortune derives from the appointment of an ancestor, Leonhard von Taxis, as hereditary postmaster general of the Holy Roman Empire in 1595. Albert's Father preceded him as the head of this family, which has several branches. The family of Thurn und Taxis remains well known as owners of breweries and former builders of castles.
Since former hereditary titles are only recognised in German law as part of the surname, in accordance with the Weimar Constitution of 1919, family members include the title as an integral part of their name in the form, Prinz von Thurn und Taxis. According to family tradition Albert Prinz von Thurn und Taxis followed his Father, in accordance with the rules of the legal affairs committee of the Association of German Nobility (Deutscher Adelsrechtsausschuß), in the nominal succession as "head" of the former German princely House of Thurn and Taxis. As such, he is sometimes styled by the traditional title, Fürst von Thurn und Taxis (Prince of Thurn and Taxis).
His Father, Johannes, 11th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, an internationally renowned boulevardier, died in 1990 when he was seven years old, leaving Albert to inherit a US$3 billion fortune and US$500 million in debts. His mother, Gloria (née Countess von Schönburg-Glauchau), a popular media figure since marriage to his 53-year-old Father as a 20-year-old, was instrumental in preserving the family fortune until Albert became of legal age to take over its management. He has two older sisters: Princess Maria Theresia and Princess Elisabeth.
Thurn und Taxis completed his high school education in Rome and then, after his military Service, he studied economics and theology at the University of Edinburgh. He is an enthusiastic racing driver, vice-champion (2007/2008) and champion (2010) of the German GT Championship ADAC GT Masters with the German Team Reiter Engineering.
In 2008 Albert was included as 11th on the list of the Forbes Magazine's List of The 20 Hottest Young Royals as compiled by Forbes magazine.