The love story behind the tears: Why is Princess Charlene "the saddest princess in the world"?

Prince Albert Princess Charlene
Photo: EPA-EFE / SEBASTIEN NOGIER

She is an amazing former Olympic swimmer, and that son of Hollywood icon Grace Kelly, born into a royal family - on paper, the marriage of Charlene Whitstock and Prince Albert of Monaco was the potential for a fairytale love story. But since their милиони 53m wedding 10 years ago - described at the time as "the biggest party in 55 years" - the couple has been riddled with scandals.

Charlene, 43, spent six months in South Africa battling a severe ear, nose and throat infection after traveling there for her philanthropic and conservation work and missing out on their 10th wedding anniversary and their children's first day of school.

It was rumored that her departure coincided with a disagreement with her 63-year-old husband over allegations that he had cheated on her, but Albert insisted there were no problems in their marriage.

 

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Last week, the princess missed the National Monaco Day celebrations and was admitted to a treatment facility for undiagnosed medical problems and significant weight loss.

Prince Albert was photographed alone on the balcony of their palace with their six-year-old twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriela, holding placards reading "We miss you mom."

From the moment they were together, it was not an easy relationship - Albert admitted that he had children from an extramarital affair and rumors spread that Charlene tried to run away before their wedding day.

After all the turbulence, we take a closer look - why is Charlene "the saddest princess in the world"?

Playboy Prince

Before marrying Charlene in 2011, Albert had a reputation as a "playboy prince". He reportedly dated a number of beauties, from supermodel Claudia Schiffer and singer Kylie Minogue to Bond actor Roger Moore's daughter Deborah.

The pair will meet for the first time shortly after the 2000 Olympics, where Charlene, then 22, was fifth in the 4x100m medley relay before winning the 200m backstroke at another Monaco event.

The couple is said to have bonded because of their love of sports, and Albert himself competed as part of the bobsled team at the Winter Olympics in Monaco.

They formalize their romance in 2006, she gives up swimming in 2007 and on June 23, 2010 they announce their engagement - Charlene wears an almond-shaped diamond engagement ring.

 

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Children of illicit love

But the "playboy" of Prince Albert's past is slowly beginning to catch up.

In the early days of dating, Albert - whose mother Grace Kelly, wife of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, died in a tragic car accident in 1982 - was forced to admit not one but two illegitimate children.

In 2005, he admitted that he had become the father of a son - Alexander Grimaldi-Cost, now 18 - with Air France flight attendant Nicole Cost.

 

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A year later, it was revealed that he also had an illegitimate daughter, Jasmine Grace Grimaldi, now 29, with US real estate agent Tamara Rotolo, who first filed for paternity in 1992.

Last year, the prince faced a third saga of an illegitimate child when a Brazilian woman claimed that Albert was the father of her 15-year-old daughter - allegations he still denies.

The prince applied for "sovereign immunity" in a court battle to combat the allegations, which his lawyers described as "fraud".

Tears on the wedding day

After announcing their engagement, their wedding day a year later was a lavish three-day event with a star-studded guest list, including Prince Edward and Naomi Campbell - with 59-year-old Russian property tycoon Vladislav Doronin in her arms.

Charlene shone in an Armani Prive dress with lowered shoulders embroidered with 40.000 Swarovski crystals - but she could not stop crying.

 

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As photos of the beautiful bride patting her cheek with a handkerchief quickly spread around the world, attentive royal fans speculated that these were not tears of joy.

The French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche claims that she tried to flee to South Africa, where she grew up, three times before the big day, before the police convinced her to return.

 

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Palace officials have denied the speculation, with a spokesman saying at the time that none of this was true and that royal circles believed it was an attempt driven by complete jealousy.

Charlene later told the Times that everything was simply so overwhelming, and all the mixed-up emotions over the rumors apparently raised tensions, making the new princess cry instead of rejoicing.

 

Divorce is a "tradition"

Adding fuel to the fire, historian and author Philippe Delorme told the French magazine Madame Figaro that it was true that many people had the impression that it was a arranged marriage.

"Albert chose a wife who looked like his mother, and Charlene obviously felt very bad in this role of Grace Kelly that everyone wanted her to play."

Prince Albert later admitted that he had spent his honeymoon in special hotels, citing "practical reasons", while Princess Charlene admitted that she felt "very lonely" in Monaco.

"Charlene will have to create a legitimate successor. That is the main reason for this strange marriage. Once the succession of the dynasty is secured, each of them can be free again. "Divorce is a tradition in the Grimaldi family," the Parisian magazine VSD once wrote.

 

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Although the couple has an heir in the form of their six-year-old twins, they are still fueling rumors of their divorce, which has not yet happened.

Yes, they live relatively separate lives - with Charlene saying she would rather live in an apartment above a chocolate shop than in the royal palace, and Prince Albert is regularly shown performing royal engagements on his own.

 

The dramatic hairstyle

In December, Charlene debuted a new dramatic shaved hairstyle: "French culture" - a form that has met with mixed reactions, even from her husband.

"Of course, of all the members of the royal family, I am probably the one who tried different hairstyles, and I will continue. "It's my choice," Charlene said in defense of her gesture.

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And after Charlene bravely paraphrased her unusual hairstyle, gradually and at the same time came the more pronounced need for the prince to take the role of fatherhood more seriously.

"Once the initial surprise was over, the prince understood and liked him now," Charlene continued.

Photo: ERIC GAILLARD / EPA;

 

In May, Charlene traveled to South Africa to raise awareness of rhino poaching at the Tanda Safari in KwaZulu-Natal, but did not return for six months.

"This was a difficult time for me. I missed my husband and children very much. "What was extremely difficult for me was when I was told by my medical team that I could not return home for my 10th wedding anniversary," Charlene said shortly after her return.

epa-efe
Photo: EPA-EFE / Phill Magakoe / POOL

Charlene and the new love interest

Although there are concerns about their relationship, the biggest concern is Charlene herself, who was admitted to hospital in September after collapsing and was filmed looking worryingly frail.

"Albert is my rock and my strength and without his love and support I would not have been able to get through this painful time."

Charlene is now resting in an unknown treatment facility outside Monaco, and she last posted on Instagram sharing a video of waving flags.

 

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Responding to rumors that she was related to billionaire Doronin, Albert was adamant that things were fine between him and his wife.

"I will probably say this several times, but this has nothing to do with our relationship. These are not problems in our relationship; not with the relationship between man and woman. "It's of a different nature," Albert said in response to discussions about the speculation.

 

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The Curse of Grimaldi

There have been rumors that these latest troubles are proof of the curse which claims that "Grimaldi will never find true happiness in marriage."

Legend has it that Prince Rainier I kidnapped a 13th-century Flemish woman who cursed him and all his descendants.

It remains to be seen whether Prince Albert and Princess Charlene will break his chains.

 

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