How Struggling Princess Charlene Was Mistreated by Royal Snobs
Stephane Cardinale / Corbis via Getty
The legend of the curse of the Grimaldis was first told to me under the stars in a Mediterranean restaurant on the hill of a drunken Monegasse. The story begins with the first Prince Rainier of Monaco, who was struck by the unattainable beauty of a young Flemish noblewoman.
Unfortunately for him, she was a powerful witch who decided that she would not be dishonored by a prince from the little-known Principality of Monaco, which at the time was a rocky embarkation port of no consequence. The princess would not take no for an answer, however. He took the reluctant object of his affection for a hoped-for romantic stroll along the picturesque cliffs of Monaco. When his attempts to woo her failed, he tried to impose himself on her.
The woman fought off her attacker, but decided to die instead of facing repeated attacks on her chastity. Before throwing herself off the cliff to her death, she uttered a notorious curse and said to Rainier, "A Grimaldi will never find happiness in marriage."
A few hundred years later, and it's easy to see why some people believe the curse is still in place - despite the denials of the House of Grimaldi that still rule Monaco to this day.
Indeed, many family marriages have ended in divorce or tragic ends. Prince Albert's younger sister, Stephanie, was married and divorced twice, with both marriages lasting a little over a year. Albert's older sister Caroline's second husband, Stefano, died in a speedboat accident at the age of 30. His mother Princess Grace (formerly known as Hollywood icon Grace Kelly) died in a car accident in 1982. It was an extremely traumatic moment for the principality.
This Christmas, the family is staring at another marital disaster as the relationship between Prince Albert, 63, and Charlene Wittstock (43), the glamorous South African Olympic swimmer he married in 2011, appears to be in the final stages of a humiliating public disentanglement.
Princess Charlene and Prince Albert II with the children Jacques and Gabriella on the palace balcony during the celebrations for the National Day of Monaco on November 19, 2019.
After spending most of the year apart, a skinny-looking Charlene returned to Monaco from her native South Africa a few weeks ago (the official statement said she stayed there for six months because she was unable to fly on medical advice due to an ear surgery )). She has now checked into a secret facility to recover from her husband's exhaustion. There are rumors in society that she was flown to a clinic in Switzerland, but the Daily Beast has not been able to confirm this.
Her children, the 6-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, accompanied their father to the celebrations for the national holiday in Monaco on the palace balcony last week and held up signs that read “We miss you, Mama”.
In an interview with People magazine, Albert reported in detail about her previous health problems: “I brought her together with her brothers and a sister-in-law. She had already made her decision and we just wanted to confirm it before our eyes. She wanted that. She already knew it was best to rest and get some really medically framed treatment ... Obviously, her various surgeries and the procedures she had been through in the past few months had consequences. That was certainly a factor, but I prefer not to elaborate on this at this point. I can tell she was incredibly tired. She had not slept well in a few days and she did not eat well at all. She lost a lot of weight, which made her susceptible to other potential diseases. A cold or flu or God help us, COVID. "
Family acquaintances told the Daily Beast that your Highness Charlene has been deeply unhappy for many years. A source who visited Albert and Charlene for lunch at the Palais Princier in Monaco a few years ago said Charlene sobbed quietly throughout the meal. "Albert didn't realize his wife was crying," said the person who described the meal as "extremely uncomfortable". “I couldn't understand why she didn't just get up and leave. I could only assume that she wanted her misfortune to be visible. "
In fact, reports of Charlie's dissatisfaction have been circulating since her wedding to Albert in 2011, when her tearful appearance that day and an awkward balcony kiss provided a visual demonstration of the maxim that money - the three-day wedding costing $ 70 million - really isn't possible buy yourself Happiness.
The royal couple.
Dan Kitwood / Getty
Charles's apparent emotional disturbance gave credibility to allegations in French newspapers that she tried to flee Monaco several times in the run-up to the wedding when rumors and paternity claims swarmed around the groom.
The Journal du Dimanche reported that in May 2011 she first sought refuge at the South African embassy in Paris, where she was supposed to have a wedding dress tried on. Her passport was reportedly confiscated and she was persuaded to return to Monaco.
According to reports in the Journal du Dimanche, she took another hiatus later that month during the Formula 1 Grand Prix, and just a week before the wedding, she was reportedly intercepted en route to Nice airport for a flight back to South Africa. The palace denied the allegations, describing them as "completely insane," but the narrative stayed. It was particularly unfortunate for the couple that their uncomfortable wedding took place just ten weeks after William and Kate were married, a clear love affair, and so the affair with guests like Naomi Campbell, Nicolas Sarkozy and Roger Moore was carefully scrutinized.
Charlene herself told The Times, “It was so overwhelming and there was all the mixed feelings about the rumors and obviously the tension built up and I burst into tears [immediately after the ceremony]. And then I burst into tears because I thought, 'Oh no, now the whole world has seen me cry'. "
The following years were overshadowed by lingering rumors of affairs from His Highness, a well-known youth playboy who had already admitted having two illegitimate children before they were married. Although the French gossip magazines, which delve deeply into the life and love of the Grimaldis, are not sold in the principality's kiosks, few Monegasque people are unaware that Albert is facing another paternity trial, this time over claims that he has another illegitimate child conceived in 2005 when he was with Charlene. He denounced the allegations as an attempt at extortion.
The family will take part in the traditional Monaco picnic on September 6, 2019. enthusiastic levels - PLS Pool / Getty Images) "
David Niviere / PLS Pool via Getty
Another factor was the snobbery of the Monegasque elite, whose initial lack of enthusiasm for Charlene due to her middle-class background - her father was a sales manager and her mother a swimming instructor - was compounded by what they perceived as their failure to meet the challenge face their role. Albert's sisters are also said not to have supported, with Caroline often being referred to as a particular cause of discord.
Little had been seen of Charlene that year and she traveled to South Africa in March for her conservation organization. When she didn't return, the palace said she was undergoing surgery for an ear disease, a legacy of her swimming youth.
However, when she missed the two tentpole events of the Monaco season, the Grand Prix and the Red Cross Ball, some observers began to call nonsense publicly.
Madame Figaro, a respected Conservative women's magazine, asked: “How long will the fight against rhino poaching remain the Princess of Monaco's top priority? How long will Albert II of Monaco endure this ridiculous affront? "
Monaco's nightmare of Princess Charlene
The London Times reported on an article in Paris Match by Stephane Bern, a cultural advisor to the French government, entitled: "Are Albert and Charlene on the verge of separation?"
The play alleged that Albert allowed Nicole Coste, the stewardess with whom he fathered an 18-year-old son, to attend the Red Cross Ball in Charlie's absence. His son was also present, the report says.
Charlene finally got home on November 8th and shared a photo of her "happy day" hugging Albert and her little twins. But hopes that their return heralded a new era for the Grimaldis were soon dashed.
Albert later told people that after "the first few hours ... it was pretty obvious that she was sick".
He added, “It has nothing to do with our relationship. I want to make that very clear. These are not problems in our relationship. "
The mind of a certain Flemish witch might disagree.
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In this article:
Charlene, Princess of Monaco
Zimbabwe South African Former Olympic Swimmer; Wife of Albert II, Prince of Monaco
Rainier III, Prince of Monaco
Prince of Monaco (1923-2005)
Albert II, Prince of Monaco
Prince of Monaco
Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco
Son of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene, Princess of Monaco
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