Princess Charlene of Monaco is a different kind of princess. Unlike her other royal counterparts – namely Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle – Princess Charlene isn’t the kind of person who wants to chase the spotlight. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite. She tries to stay under the radar as much as she can. The press can’t help but point out this odd behavior, as you don’t find many royals who act this same way. The other European royals love being in the spotlight, while Charlene tries to stay away from it as far as she can.
Now, there have been a lot of rumors swirling around Princess Charlene, the state of her marriage to her husband Prince Albert, and of course, her supposed difficulties. She’s made it no secret that she misses her native South Africa and wishes she was still there rather than behind closed palace doors in Monaco.
With that being said, whenever Princess Charlene does step out on the red carpet, all eyes are always on her. After all, there’s no denying that she’s a stunning woman, and if not one of the most beautiful royals. Here are 20 photos of Princess Charlene that we’ve all forgotten about, but need to see once again.
20 Her Marriage To Prince Albert
Now, before we get into this, we will admit that no one really knows what is going on behind closed doors between Princess Charlene and her husband, Prince Albert. All we know is what they choose to show us in public. And from what we can tell so far, their marriage is anything but conventional. Sure, they are royals and they have certain standards they have to keep up with, but at the same time Charlene has never tried to mask her disdain for her husband at times, and especially in joint television interviews. For example, their 2012 interview with CBS was nothing less than awkward. It was difficult to watch that you almost felt sorry for Prince Albert, knowing just how embarrassed he was by Charlene.
"Well, I think it's, wonderful," Prince Albert said about married life to CBS News in 2014. "I can't speak for Charlene, but she will be able to answer you. But we're having a wonderful time."
"Great. I recommend it," Princess Charlene replied. Talk about awkward. Now, we know that no marriage is perfect, but these two could have done a better job of masking their bitterness for one another at the time.
19 She Doesn’t Fit In
According to Princess Charlene, she’s still having a hard time fitting in with the locals, the other royals, and even people who she is supposed to trust in Monaco. Even though she’s already lived in the tiny principality for several years now, it hasn’t been easy for her. She feels as though she is too different and that people simply don’t understand her, her mentality and most of all, her sense of humor. And because of this, she often feels homesick. Princess Charlene has hinted several times that she would rather be anywhere else but in Monaco. But because she has her husband and her husband there, she really doesn’t have a choice but to make the most of it. At least, for the time being.
To make matters worse, Charlene has admitted that she feels pretty lonely, too. She doesn’t have many friends that she can count on, which makes living in Monaco feel even worse. According to Brainy Quotes, Princess Charlene put it this way: “The people I mixed with in Monaco didn't relate to my South African mentality or humor... Although I have met some wonderful people since I've been living in Monaco, I regard them all as acquaintances. I only have two people I consider friends here.”
18 Her Wedding Day Was Emotional
One of the biggest headlines Princess Charlene has ever made was on her wedding day. And that’s not because the day happened to be the most joyous occasion of her life. Instead, it was quite the opposite. Instead, the entire world witnessed how she cried her way down the aisle on her wedding day. No one could understand why, forcing Princess Charlene to explain her tears in media interviews after it happened. The princess said that it wasn’t because she was sad or worried about her future. Instead, it was just a very overwhelming experience for her. It was a mix of emotions that she simply couldn’t handle. Despite her explanation, the tabloid media still reported that Princess Charlene was unhappy and supposedly had no choice but to marry Prince Albert, even though she had second thoughts. Some even speculated that she tried to run away the night before the wedding.
Princess Charlene told the Daily Mail in 2013, “Everything was just so overwhelming and there were all the mixed emotions because of the rumors, and obviously the tension built up and I burst into tears [immediately after the ceremony]. And then I burst into tears some more because I was thinking 'Oh no, now the whole world has seen me cry.'”
17 Her Royal Lineage
It’s not enough that Princess Charlene doesn’t have any friends in Monaco, but apparently she doesn’t get along with Princess Albert’s family, either. Now, no one has ever confirmed this tension between the royals, but reports have indicated that Albert’s sister Caroline can’t stand the sight of Charlene. As a matter of fact, the two women refuse to be in the same room as one another. Call it royal envy, but there are some insiders who believe that Caroline might be jealous of Charlene’s beauty, her composure, and her ability to make a room light up whenever she walks in.
Apparently, Albert’s sister Caroline hasn’t gotten along with Charlene, nor has she even tried to from day one. It’s a touchy and sour topic that Prince Albert doesn’t even want to talk about. The Daily Beast reported in 2014, “Part of the problem, some say, has been Albert’s older sister, Caroline Casiraghi, who it is widely thought would like to see her eldest son, Andrea, as the next occupant of the Monaco throne. She has done little to help Charlene settle in, but there were some encouraging signs this year that Albert was beginning to fight back against his domineering older sibling.”
16 Comparisons To Princess Grace
When Prince Albert married Princess Charlene, a lot of people couldn’t help but compare the former Olympic swimmer to that of late mother, Princess Grace. After all, Princess Grace was one of the biggest names of the royal world back when she was still alive. A lot of royal fans figured that Princess Charlene would try to walk in Princess Grace’s footsteps, the same way they hoped Kate Middleton would too with Princess Diana. Unfortunately, that never happened and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon, either. Princess Charlene has made no effort to try and be like her late mother-in-law, nor does she have any desire to do so in the future, either.
This of course, puts her husband Prince Albert in another awkward position. When asked about the comparisons between his mother and his wife, Prince Albert told CBS News, "Now I think you know every human being is unique. And that's the beauty of the human race. I knew that whoever I choose to marry, that she would be compared to my mother. And I was ready for that. But I think Charlene has her own very wonderful personal qualities to be able to shine."
15 Her Poor French Skills
When you live somewhere like Monaco, it’s all about fitting in to the local’s high standards and lifestyle. After all, Monaco might be small, but it’s also one of the wealthiest corners of the world. It’s all about status, titles, and of course the number of zeros you have in your bank account along with the size of your yacht. Apparently, one of the reasons why Princess Charlene has had such a hard time fitting in with the locals is not because of the lifestyle. Instead, it’s because she refuses to learn the native tongue, French. Even though Princess Charlene is often as a very intelligent woman, she just has no interest in learning French.
If that weren’t enough, sources say that Princess Charlene hasn’t done much to make any allies, both within and outside palace walls. You’d think that she would make at least a little bit of an effort, but that hasn’t been the case. One insider told The Daily Beast, “She has also refused to learn French, which has gone down badly (although it should be noted that Albert’s first language is English, which he spoke with his mother, Princess Grace, and when he speaks in French, he stammers, a legacy of his domineering father to whom Albert was obliged to speak in French at all times).”
14 Prince Albert’s Past
It’s without a doubt that Princess Charlene knew marrying Prince Albert wouldn’t be easy. After all, he is often regarded as one of the most scandalous and controversial royal figures in the world. That’s because he was once a huge player in the celebrity and party scene and even has a child as testament to those days. And now, his former partner Nicole Costa has been speaking out and even accused Princess Charlene of keeping Prince Albert away from their son Alexandre. Talk about a royal mess. Surely, Princess Charlene doesn’t want to deal with this kind of drama, but she can’t say that she wasn’t warned. Nicole was bound to say something sooner or later.
“The truth is that, I’m sorry to say, Albert hasn’t seen Alexandre since a brief visit last September. It has become impossible since he married that girl,” Nicole Costa told Hola Magazine. “I suppose as a new wife, how would one feel? But she should think about my innocent child. I don’t want to attack her but I think it is just jealousy and I don’t know why. I have been through [a lot] in my fight for my son’s name and future.”
13 Pressure to Produce A Child
When you are a member of the royal family, there is immense pressure to produce an heir and a spare. As a matter of fact, a lot of people couldn’t help but wonder why it took Kate Middleton and Prince William so long to get pregnant with their first child back in 2013. Of course, the media and the locals applied this same pressure to Princess Charlene soon after she married Prince Albert in 2011. A lot of people speculated that there must have been marital tension between Albert and Charlene and that was the reason why she refused to get pregnant. Charlene has insisted that those rumors were and still are completely false. Instead, she was in no hurry to get pregnant back then and wanted to take her time.
Speaking about the pressure to get pregnant, Charlene told the Daily Mail in 2013, “Look, I’m not going to put myself under any pressure. I just got married. I’m just settling into this enormous place and getting used to having huge responsibilities. You know, we travel a lot, so it’s going to take time. But as I said, I’m not going to put myself under any pressure. It will happen; it will happen.”
12 Warning to Meghan Markle
Being a royal in the public spotlight is never easy, especially if you didn’t grow up or have any prior experience in the monarchy. And if there is someone who knows this immense pressure and stress, it’s Princess Charlene. Every day she has to face new expectations from the public. Her husband Prince Albert knows this and that’s perhaps why he chose to give Prince Harry and his new wife Meghan Markle a piece of royal advice for the future. While Harry and Meghan are enjoying their new lives as a royal married couple, Albert warned them that there will be plenty of bumps ahead.
Prince Albert had this to say (via People Magazine): “Sooner or later, she’s going to have to face the full onslaught. I can’t imagine how that will be on them, on her. Being an actress, in a way, gets you a little prepared but nothing really can prepare you for the constant pace of it. Particularly now that the pace has changed so much. It’s hard for anyone to handle. It was difficult for Charlene to handle. I can’t imagine the difference now with the increased pace of news and social media. They seem to be doing okay for now. The only kind of advice I can offer is the British expression: ‘Keep calm and carry on.’”
11 Her Loneliness
While Princess Charlene has said very little about the topic herself, a lot of media outlets have suggested that one of the reasons why Princess Charlene looks so down during her royal engagements and her public appearances is because she might be depressed. With no trusted friends around, a supposed rocky marriage and feeling homesick for South Africa, it’s no wonder that Princess Charlene can barely crack a smile in public. Unlike other royals, she doesn’t have it in her to mask her true feelings. While she doesn’t say much, her body language does tell a story that the royals would rather not tell. And it’s definitely a sad one, to say the least.
Unfortunately, things aren’t getting better for her, either. Speaking about her supposed depression, The Daily Beast reported in 2014, “She does not expect to be suddenly warmly welcomed into Monaco society, but she does think that after giving birth – especially if it’s a son–she will be more free to go off and do her own thing,” says one member of the European society circuit. “She has made little secret of the fact she would rather be back in South Africa, or London, or Paris, or anywhere but Monaco.”
10 Her Twins
If there is one glimmer of hope for Princess Charlene in her life, it’s her twin children, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques. It’s no doubt that motherhood has definitely changed her life and given her some hope for the future. Even though she would rather raise her kids in her native South Africa than anywhere near Monaco, she’s at least making the most of it. In fact, even most of her critics would agree that Princess Charlene has looked much happier in public now that she has her tots by her side. If anything, she feels the need to protect them from her public critics, and of course, give them the best life she can provide for them.
Speaking about motherhood and her children, Charlene told Hello Magazine, “I think a very strong protective instinct in me was born in the same time. A strong bond unites us, they are my responsibility in the coming years. And I will do my best to guide them, raise them and send them the values that my husband and I share. This is an exciting mission and we will give the best of ourselves to achieve it. For now, we are enjoying every moment.”
9 Prince Albert As a Dad
Even Prince Albert has had a shift in behavior ever since he and Princess Charlene welcomed their twins to the world. Many royal fans would even go as far as saying that the arrival of their babies helped bring him and Charlene closer together, despite all of the turmoil in their marriage. For the first time in his life, Prince Albert seems to be truly enjoying fatherhood in more ways than one. It might be hard for some people to believe, but he’s also become a hands-on father, something his critics thought would never happen, given his past behavior and scandals.
Here’s what Prince Albert had to say about his kids, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jaques (via People Magazine): “They’re in the pool a solid two hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. I try to make their afternoon session every day. Jacques doesn’t want to wear his armbands. The other day he swam eight feet unassisted and Gabriella isn’t far behind him. The pool we have at Roc Agel isn’t an infinity pool and he’s able to get himself in and out of the pool without anyone’s assistance. They’ve had all sorts of water safety instruction, including the self-survival course when they were 8 months.”
8 Huge Changes
One of the reasons why Princess Charlene has had such a difficult time in Monaco is because she’s had to make huge changes and adjustments prior to her marriage to Prince Albert. As part of the royal customs, Princess Charlene had to convert to Catholicism. Thankfully, it was an enriching and rewarding experience for her and something that she truly cherishes in her life. If there’s one thing that Charlene can hold on to these days, it’s her spirituality. It has helped to lift her up in more ways than one, and it’s something that she has a lot of appreciation for. As a matter of fact, many fans were surprised to how Charlene approached the religion before and after her conversion.
Prior to her wedding, Charlene converted to Catholicism. She told People Magazine, “According to Grimaldi tradition, Catholicism is the state religion [in Monaco]. But for me it represents much more. The values of this religion profoundly touch me and correspond perfectly to my spirit. In January 2013, Prince Albert took me to the Vatican to present me to Pope Benoit XVI, just as Prince Rainier did with Grace Kelly and Pie XII. That experience was extremely intense and moving for me.”
7 Facing Rumors Head On
Dealing with marital problems is one thing, but having to talk about them in public is another. If there is one subject that Prince Albert and Princess Charlene can’t avoid, it’s all of the rumors about their marital strife. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable and most of all, it’s embarrassing, but it’s been a huge topic of discussion for Monaco’s elite social circles. Time and time again, Princess Charlene has been forced to dispel the rumors, insisting that everything has been blown out of proportion. Still, the media likes to make up their own stories, which leads many people to believe that Charlene has one foot out the door and might flee Monaco at any given moment. That’s just how down she supposedly is.
Charlene has had enough though and has taken matters into her own hands by facing the rumors head on. According to her, they are all completely false. Speaking about the couple’s marriage problems, Charlene told People, “It’s totally incredible that we have to justify ourselves all the time. It’s ridiculous. It’s just impossible to believe that these stories have come up again. It’s surreal! It’s impossible to believe responsible media would pick up on these totally false stories.”
6 Living Separately
At one point in their marriage, there were even rumors that Prince Albert and Princess Charlene were living separately. For many fans, it seemed almost impossible for a royal couple like Albert and Charlene to be living under two separate roofs. To make matters worse, the palace didn’t confirm or deny the rumors, either. Instead, they tried to make it look like it was just a temporary and necessary move on Charlene’s part. Either way, a lot of people agreed that this didn’t look good for the royal couple or for Monaco, for that matter.
A lot of critics believe that it will only be a matter of time before a separation announcement is made. Of course, nobody wants to see that happen. When asked if they were living separately, Prince Albert sidestepped the question in an interview with People Magazine. He said, “We’ve been planning to renovate and redecorate for a long time. It’s not totally calm and quiet the way you would like to have when there are very young children around. There’s a lot of work going on, lots of noise, a lot of people running about. We thought it was a lot of work to have done around kids.”
5 Comparisons To Kate Middleton
A lot of people can’t help but compare Princess Charlene of Monaco to Kate Middleton. That’s because both women are two of the most photographed royals in the world. They might come from different worlds, but they certainly do love parallel lives. Each time they step out in public, the media can’t get enough of them.
But then again, Princess Charlene and Kate Middleton certainly do have a lot of things in common. She’s committed to her marriage and to life as a royal and she wants to prove to everyone that she’s got what it takes to get the job done right.
4 Will She Make It As a Royal?
Even though a lot of people like to call Princess Charlene the Melania of the royal celebrity world (meaning that she has no intentions of leaving her husband – at least no immediately), a lot of people can’t help but wonder if Charlene will make it as a royal. Her first few years in Monaco have been rough. With very little friends and people to count on plus all of the media scrutiny she gets on a daily basis, many are surprised that she hasn’t had a breakdown yet. Then again, Charlene might be the kind of person that wants to prove she’s not going to jump ship – yet.
3 Longing For The Past
Is Princess Charlene longing for the past? No one knows for sure. After all, only Prince Albert and Princess Charlene know what is going on behind closed doors at their palace in Monaco. After all, she does have two small twin children with the prince. She’s not going to run away anywhere, anytime soon. And while she might be longing for the past and her friends and family in South Africa, she knows there’s no way that she could split her life between her home country and Monaco, where her children belong. As difficult as life may sometimes be, Princess Charlene has learned to make sacrifices, even if they are the ones she doesn’t want to make.
2 She’s Making The Best Out Of It
According to the Daily Mail, Charlene was spotted sipping a magnum of champagne on the podium of the Monaco Grand Prix this past weekend. That’s something her fans haven’t seen before, as she took a good chug of the bubbly and even planted a kiss on her husband Prince Albert in public. Stop the presses! This isn’t what Princess Charlene of just a few years back would have done!
According to reports out of Monaco, Charlene took part in the Riviera Water Bike Challenge to help benefit the Princess Charlene Foundation. Her husband even looked on with pride, as she looked both fit and strong during the competition.
1 She Is Spending More Time With Prince Albert, Too
At this point, it doesn’t look like Princess Charlene intends on being the “runaway bride” that everyone is making her out to be. Despite all of the gossip headlines, it looks like she’s starting to embrace her royal life in Monaco. What’s more, she’s even spending more time with her husband Prince Albert and is smiling more in public than ever before. In fact, her body language even says that she’s gotten more comfortable with her situation and her life in the spotlight. Is this another side of Charlene we haven’t seen before? Here’s hoping, as Charlene deserves her “happily ever after.” She is a princess after all!