Royals face new claims about 12-year marriage, more news
Monaco’s most senior royals, Prince Albert II and wife Princess Charlene, are facing a new round of speculation about their relationship and 12-year marriage.
In August 2023, reports in European publications were picked up by the British media, sparking new questions about what’s going on between the couple, seen here at the Red Cross Ball in Monte Carlo in late July 2023.
French magazine Voici reported that the royals and their twins, 8-year-old Princes Jacques and Princess Gabriella, vacationed together in mid-August in France’s picturesque Sanguinaires archipelago at the entrance to the Gulf of Ajaccio. According to another European outlet, Germany’s Bild, they enjoyed a family holiday on a yacht and appeared close.
However, Voici alleged, though Albert and Charlene are close, they’re no longer a “classic couple,” the publication wrote, as translated from French, adding that they remain united for the good of their kids. “Today, [they’re] a couple who makes appointments to see each other,” a source told the outlet.
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According to an August 2023 report from Germany’s Bild newspaper, Prince Albert II of Monaco and wife Princess Charlene are now just a “ceremonial couple.” The outlet further reported that instead of being based at Prince’s Palace in Monaco, Charlene is now living in Switzerland.
DailyMail.com reported that French magazine Voici claimed in August that Charlene has promised to return to Monaco for official occasions and is “allowed” to see her children more often.
A source alleged to Germany’s Bild that “Albert and Charlene are now good partners [who] take turns taking care of the children.”
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In March 2023 — after French magazine Royauté claimed that Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene were in the process of separating and the report was circulated by British tabloids — a spokesperson for Monaco’s royal palace told People magazine that the “malicious rumors” about a potential breakup were “totally unfounded.” A second source, meanwhile, maintained that the French tabloid’s report about the separation was “made up of old stories which weren’t true to begin with.”
The couple had been been plagued by questions about the status of their marriage since Charlene suffered a mysterious medical crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic and spent a long period of time in her native Africa instead of in Monaco.
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A wild story concerning Monaco’s senior royals emerged in May 2022 when French outlet Voici reported, per DailyMail.com, that Prince Albert II had signed an “ultra-confidential contract” that required him to pay wife Princess Charlene — who was absent from Monaco and her duties for nearly a year as she faced health issues and recovered in South Africa then Switzerland — about $12 million a year to fulfill her royal duties and be by his side.
Rival publication Paris Match Belgium reported a similar story. “Of course the princess enjoys huge perks [as a royal], but ready cash is not guaranteed. She’s been through a very difficult time, so it would make sense for Charlene to try and secure her own guaranteed income,” a royal insider based in Monte Carlo told DailyMail.com.
But friends of the couple dismissed the reports, telling Page Six that Albert wasn’t paying Charlene millions to remain as his wife. “Of course she has a generous prenup, but Albert doesn’t have to pay her to stay,” a source close to Charlene told Page Six. “After being away for so long during her illness, Charlene is so happy to be back with Albert and the kids. They spend every weekend at their country place. Albert is fully supportive of Charlene and is also helping her with her charities.”
Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene have faced reports of trouble in their marriage from day one. In the wake of their July 2011 royal wedding, it was alleged that Charlene tried to flee multiple times before she eventually married Albert, the son of Princess Grace — the American actress born Grace Kelly — and Monaco’s Prince Rainier.
According to British tabloid the Mirror, French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche reported that multiple sources had claimed that “an arrangement” was eventually reached between the bride and groom after Charlene, a former Olympic swimmer who grew up in Zimbabwe and South Africa, tried to “escape three times.” Monaco’s palace at one point denied the allegations, telling People magazine in a statement, “None of this is true, and we think it comes from utter jealousy.”
Some reports have claimed that Charlene was rocked by allegations Albert could have more illegitimate children. He has publicly admitted paternity of daughter Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, who was born in 1992 to former waitress-turned-real estate agent Tamara Rotolo, and son Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, who was born in 2003 to former flight attendant Nicole Coste.
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