Princess Charlene MIA on her birthday amid Albert cheating rumors
It’s not exactly a fairy tale.
Thursday was the 10th anniversary of the wedding of Princess Charlene and Prince Albert, ruler of Monaco. But this royal couple have been separated by thousands of miles, as Charlene is locked in her native South Africa. Palate says she has a severe ear, nose and throat infection and needs several “procedures” that will keep her there “indefinitely.”
But some in Monaco – a chatty, postage-stamp principality smaller than Central Park – wonder if history is repeating itself.
Ten years ago, Princess Charlene reportedly tried to lock down Monaco just ahead of her dazzling two-day $ 75 million wedding, possibly because her prince was fathering another illegitimate child.
Now the runaway bride appears to have become the runaway woman.
She has not been seen in Monaco – which lies just west of the Italian border and east of Nice – since January, leaving her husband and their 6-year-old twins Gabriella and Jacques to continue during public events like the Monaco Grand Prix without it.
Rumors are circulating that it was because of new allegations that Albert fathered an illegitimate child – his third. Last December, it was learned that he had been struck by a new paternity costume, from a Brazilian woman who said he was the father of her 15-year-old daughter as Albert and Charlene dated.
Soon after, Princess Charlene appeared in public with a shocking new punk cut and thick black eyeliner.
“She cut her hair the day she found out,” a longtime resident of Monaco, near the palace, told The Post. “It was a drastic decision designed to show her and all of us how bad she felt and what terrible news it was – at least for her.”
Not that the subjects of Monaco have much sympathy.
Charlene, 43, is seen by some residents as a dull and tasteless version of the vibrant and cultured Princess Grace, Albert’s mother, who won an Oscar as Grace Kelly before marrying Prince Rainier in 1956. Charlene rarely smiles in public and has been dubbed the “sad princess.” People have even criticized her name, saying she should be called “Charlotte” rather than low-end “Charlene”, and accusing her of having had too much plastic surgery.
“Did you try to talk to him? another longtime Monaco resident told The Post. “She can’t move anything at all, can’t smile, can’t show any expression, ice cold all around.” Compared to Kate [Middleton] she’s not even human.
Charlene Wittstock was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1978 to Michael Wittstock, a photocopier salesman, and his wife Lynette, a former competitive diver and coach. The family moved to South Africa in 1989. A longtime competitive swimmer, Charlene was part of a South African women’s medley team that placed fifth at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
That same year, she met Prince Albert, now 63, but the two were not made public as a couple until six years later, during a tumultuous period in the life of Albert.
In 2005, his father, Prince Rainier, passed away and Albert was inducted as the new ruler of Monaco. But less than a week before, Albert had been forced to admit that he had fathered an illegitimate son, Alexandre, with Nicole Coste, a flight attendant from Tongo whom he had met on an Air jet. France.
Meanwhile, Tamara Rotolo – a former Californian waitress who met the prince on vacation on the Riviera – was fighting to prove that Albert was the father of her daughter, Jazmin Grace, born in 1992. Following a DNA test, Albert recognized Jazmin as his daughter in 2006.
Albert’s (known) children
Jazmin, now 29, and Alexander, 17, are both supported by their father and use his surname Grimaldi, but neither are in succession for the throne.
In 2011, reports that Charlene tried to escape the palace before her wedding involved rumors about Prince Albert and how he had had a third child out of wedlock or that he still saw Nicole Coste behind her back by Charlene.
“We think it was both,” an insider from Monaco told The Post. “But that’s mostly because we think Charlene found out that Albert was still dipping his stick in Nicole Coste’s cookie.”
Charlene reportedly tried to free herself on three separate occasions: once by seeking refuge at the South African embassy while in France trying on a dress, then trying to slip away during the Monaco Grand Prix and, finally, by booking a one-way ticket to his country of origin – only to be stopped at the airport.
Although Monaco Palace officials vigorously denied the allegations at the time, respected French magazine L’Express reported several days before the wedding that Wittstock attempted to escape Monaco after learning of something “disturbing. “about Prince Albert but had been” intercepted “at Nice international airport and” persuaded “to return to the principality.
Many noted that Charlene looked sad and sometimes cried during her wedding, but later said it was tears of joy.
Thierry Lacoste, lawyer for Albert and son of Nadia Lacoste, longtime spokesperson for Princess Grace, threatened to sue L’Express at the time and have it withdrawn the report, but never did. .
In Monaco, Charlene’s visibility on her birthday was limited to highly produced romantic videos commemorating her love affair with her husband. The series began rolling out last week on his Instagram account.
“Happy birthday, Albert,” she wrote. “Thank you for the blessing of our children.”
Although the official word is that she has only been in South Africa for a month, many believe she has been there at least since March, when she showed up at the funeral of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, a friend nearby, at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal.
Although often despised in Monaco, Charlene is loved in her homeland where she is a close friend of some of the country’s most powerful black elites, including multimillionaire entrepreneur Bridgette Radebe, who attended her wedding.
Charlene reportedly contracted an infection while on a wildlife conservation mission to help South Africa’s endangered rhinos in May.
Her spokesperson said she has already had at least one procedure and will need to have more. But the people of Monaco, who have never warmed Charlene, do not necessarily believe the official story.
They say that even though she’s really sick, she has other reasons to stay away – and stick with her less than charming prince.
In December 2020, the Daily Mail reported that a 34-year-old woman claimed she had a ‘passionate affair’ with Albert, leading to the birth of a daughter on July 4, 2005.
The girl wrote to Albert in September 2020 saying: “I don’t understand why I grew up without a father and now that I have found you you don’t want to see me.”
But Charlene seemed to be by her man’s side – at least in her choice of words. She told Point of Vue magazine at the end of January: “When my husband has problems, he tells me about it. I often tell him, “Anyway, I’m a thousand percent behind you.” I will be by your side whatever you do, in good times or in bad times.
Italian lawyer for the plaintiff, Erich Grimaldi (no connection to the princely family) told the Post that a hearing is scheduled for a court in Rome in September to determine whether the prince should be granted immunity from duty to undergo a DNA test, although it has for other cases in the past.
“I don’t understand why the prince doesn’t do a test. What’s the problem? “Erich Grimaldi told the Post over the phone from his office in Naples.” He says he’s a ruler so he doesn’t have to take the test. The court in Rome will decide.
“The claim is totally false,” Thierry Lacoste told the Post. “It is based solely on lies and akin to blackmail.”
Lacoste, however, did not explain why the prince has so far refused to take the test.
Meanwhile, a Charlene supporter in Monaco has said that in fact her dramatic haircut and prolonged absence actually shows how much she cares for Albert – and that she isn’t so cold and without emotion as described.
“If she didn’t like him, she wouldn’t have that reaction,” the supporter said. “She would just go to Chopard, buy another necklace and consider it a fair deal. Charlene is more than it looks.
“She is truly a mystery,” the palace insider agreed. “But whatever is really going on with her, I don’t think she will stay away from Monaco forever. I think she loves her children and her prince – and she will be back.