The love story of Princess Charlene and Prince Albert: how they met, their current crisis and more
HELLO! looks back at how it all started for Prince Albert and Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock
Princess Charlene of Monaco has been in South Africa since May after contracting an ENT infection.
It meant months apart from her ten year old husband, Prince Albert, and their six-year-old twins. The family is believed to have visited Charlene twice during this time, most recently in August.
The princess, 43, spent her milestone birthday in July away from her husband, but shared their wedding highlights on Instagram, as well as recent cozy snaps from their reunion.
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WATCH: Princess Charlene and Prince Albert share relationship highlights
Their separation led to rumors of a rift between the royal couple from Monaco, which Prince Albert, 63, has strongly denied in a recent interview with PEOPLE.
HELLO! looks back on the love story of Albert and Charlene, from their meeting to the present day.
Where did Albert and Charlene meet?
The royal met Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monaco in 2000 and made his public debut as a couple at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Prince Albert made his public debut with Charlene in 2006
In an interview with Vogue, Charlene said: “Our first public appearance was at the Olympic Games in Turin in 2006. Albert put me at ease. It was clear that we shared the same passions; we both became very moved by looking at athletes. Sport is the common denominator of our lives. “
When did Albert and Charlene get married?
The couple announced their engagement in 2010 and their marriage in July 2011 made headlines around the world.
The three days of festivities began with a concert on June 30, 2011 by classic rockers the Eagles and ended on July 2 with a lavish reception attended by guests, who ranged from the royal family of Monaco to Prince edward, with wife Sophie, and Naomi Campbell.
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Charlene and Albert on their wedding day in 2011
A day after their civil ceremony, Charlene and Albert tied the knot in a Roman Catholic ceremony on July 2 in the presence of world celebrities and various heads of state.
Charlene epitomized sophistication as she donned an Armani Privé off-the-shoulder silk dress, which took three seamstresses 2,500 hours.
Who are their children?
Princess Charlene gave birth to twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, on December 10, 2014 at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco.
Although he is younger than his twin sister, Prince Jacques is the heir apparent to the Monegasque throne while the crown passes according to the cognatic primogeniture of male preference.
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The couple pictured with their twin children in January 2015
Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques also have two half-siblings.
Albert fathered Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, born in 1992, with real estate agent Tamara Rotolo. She was confirmed as the daughter of Prince Albert in 2006, when she was almost 16 years old. He had already said he wanted to protect her identity until she was an adult.
He also confirmed that he was the biological father of Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, born in 2003, whose mother is Nicole Coste, a former Air France flight attendant from Togo, in May 2005, just before he was inducted as Prince of Monaco.
Neither Jazmin nor Alexandre are in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne because their parents never married.
When will Charlene return to Monaco?
The royal is not expected to return to Monaco until October. However, Albert previously told People that “it depends on what her doctors say,” and if her progress continues, she could be back as soon as this month. “I know she maybe said ‘end of October’,” Albert said.
Rumors of a royal rift
After spending months apart, including on the occasion of their ten years of marriage, rumors have spread of a split between the royal couple.
Setting the record straight, Albert said PEOPLE: “She [Charlene] did not leave Monaco angry! She didn’t leave because she was mad at me or someone else. “
Charlene’s reason for staying abroad is due to “medical complications” following a “severe infection of the ears, nose and throat”. He added: “It was only supposed to be a week’s stay, ten days maximum, and [she is still there now] because she had this infection, all of these medical complications occurred. “
Albert’s family support
As Albert carried out his royal duties, his children were photographed spending time with members of his family.
Charlene shared photos of Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques with Albert’s sister, Princess Caroline, during a dog show in Monaco on Instagram.
Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella with their aunt Princess Caroline
The princess also has two younger brothers, one of whom, Gareth, resides in Monaco.
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