The mysterious wedding of Princess Charlene of Monaco – from wedding tears to children in love – world news
They are said to be in the grip of a curse that declares that “a Grimaldi will never find true happiness in marriage”.
And over the decades, the royal family of Monaco has suffered a series of scandals and tragedies that defy belief.
Catapulted to fame in the 1950s when Prince Rainier III married Oscar-winning actress Grace Kelly, the House of Grimaldi was stunned when the Hollywood star tragically died in a car crash in 1982.
Almost four decades later, it is now the marriage of his son, Prince Albert II, to the former South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock that is making the headlines.
Known for his hedonistic years as a playboy prince in the 90s, Albert, 63, was forced to admit he was the father of two illegitimate children and rumors of discontent circulated around the leader’s marriage. in power.
With Princess Charlene, 43, now away from Monaco for more than five months due to mysterious health issues, here’s how their romance unfolded.
“A lot of people think it’s an arranged marriage”
Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock, as she was called then, first met in 2000, shortly after the Sydney Olympics.
The talented swimmer finished fifth in her event at the Games, and went on to win the 200m backstroke in an event in Monaco.
AFP / Getty Images)
Albert himself is passionate about sports and has even participated in the Winter Olympics with the principality’s bobsleigh team.
It was during this competition in 2006 that the couple made their first official appearance, with Charlene becoming a permanent resident of Monaco the same year.
Even early in their relationship, rumors circulated about Albert’s previous relationships and he was forced to admit the existence of two illegitimate children.
After asking Charlene’s father, Michael, her hand in marriage, Albert proposed in June 2010 a pear-cut engagement ring.
Before the wedding, however, it was speculated that the Olympian had gotten cold feet.
“A lot of people felt like it was an arranged marriage, it’s true,” historian and author Philippe Delorme told French magazine Madame Figaro this month.
“Albert chose a woman who looked like his mother, and Charlene clearly felt very uncomfortable in this role of Grace Kelly that they wanted her to play.
“As Karl Marx said: history repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second as a farce.”
In a lavish three-day event that kicked off on June 30, 2011 with an Eagles concert, the couple tied the knot.
Onlookers were concerned about the photos of the tearful bride as her future husband watched from afar, although Charlene later insisted she was just emotional.
Days after the wedding, French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche claimed she tried to run away three times before the big day – including once by trying on her dress and a second time at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The explosive report cites sources who confirmed that a possible “arrangement has been made between the bride and groom” – it was later said that Charlene would provide Albert with a legitimate heir before she was free to leave.
Palace officials have denied the cold feet allegations, a spokesperson telling People magazine: “None of this is true, and we believe it stems from total jealousy.”
Grace Kelly’s son shaken by declarations of child in love
The couple now have two children – twins Jacques and Gabriella, six – but their time together has been plagued by sensational claims about Albert’s other children.
In 2005, Albert confirmed he was the biological father of Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, now 18, whose mother was Nicole Coste – a former flight attendant from Togo.
ABACA / PA images)
The following year, a DNA test confirmed that he was also the father of Jazmin Grace, now 29, the daughter of Tamara Rotolo, an American real estate agent he met in the south of France. .
Neither of the two children is in the line of succession to the throne of Monaco because their parents never married.
Last year, Albert also faced a paternity lawsuit for a third child in alleged love with a Brazilian woman, who gave birth to a daughter in 2005.
A source said Online Mail : “This was before Charlene and Albert were an object, but the latest case covers a time when she was already in love with him.
“Charlene has had a terrible year, with one family crisis after another, including Albert who contracted the coronavirus, and now she is preparing for this hell.”
Earlier this month, Nicole Coste opened up about her son’s relationship with Albert.
Alexandre was welcomed into the royal fold, appearing at the Monaco Rose Ball with the family and enjoying a lavish 18th birthday party hosted by his father.
“Albert made a commitment from the start to be present, and to gradually integrate his son into his family,” she told French magazine Paris Match.
“Very quickly, I was reassured when Princess Stephanie (Albert’s sister) became Alexander’s godmother. Albert kept his promise: things are going well and are going their course, which I am delighted with.”
However, while insisting that her son has a good relationship with his step-siblings, the mother-of-three also hinted at tensions with Charlene.
“As for Charlene, it is a subject that I cannot avoid because we are often put in parallel. I do not like to be compared. I have never presented myself as an enemy. I am a gentle woman”, a she declared.
“Given our respective ties to the prince, we should have made sure to support each other cordially. In our situation, diplomacy had to prevail. But during the engagement period, I experienced things that alerted and shocked me.
“For example, she changed my son’s room, taking advantage of his father’s absence to move him to the employee wing. As a mother, I cannot find words to describe these actions.
Concern for the princess after months away from her family
Last year, Charlene debuted a dramatic half-shaved haircut, which has grown shorter and shorter since then.
Despite the division of royal fans at home, she insisted her family were all backing her ‘half-hawk’ buzz cut – including her husband once the ‘surprise wears off’.
ABACA / PA images)
“Certainly, of all the royals, I am probably the one who has tried the most different hairstyles, and I will continue,” she told French magazine Point de Vue.
“The remarks of ‘What the hell is she doing?’ and ‘But that’s not royal!’ – I know them too well.
“And I have nothing to tell them, except that it is 2021 and in these troubling, difficult times, there are other much more important topics that deserve our attention.”
Since March, the princess has been in her native South Africa, sparking much speculation over her long absence from her husband and children.
The royal said she was being treated for an ear and throat infection she contracted in May, which prevented her from traveling.
The stay meant she missed key events, including her 10th wedding anniversary and her children’s return to school.
Last month Albert and the children flew to South Africa to reunite with Charlene, but images of the couple together “failed to convince the Monegasques [Monaco residents]”, insisted Madame Figaro.
Charlene said she hoped to return to Monaco in October and earlier this month Albert insisted she was ready to go home.
“She didn’t leave Monaco angry!” he said People.
“She didn’t leave because she was angry with me or someone else… She didn’t go into exile. It was absolutely just a medical issue that needed to be treated.”
Explaining that his wife had planned to travel to South Africa to reassess his foundation’s work, he admitted that he “probably should have responded” to rumors about their marriage sooner.
“Of course it affects him, of course it affects me,” he added. “A misreading of events is always detrimental… We are an easy target, easily hit, because we are a lot in the public eye.”