Princess Charlene makes first public appearance with husband Prince Albert since November – Daily Mail


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Princess Charlene looked pensive today during the first public appearance she's made with husband Prince Albert since November. 

The couple were also accompanied by their seven-year-old twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, as the family attended the Monaco E-Prix.

They have rarely been seen together since Zimbabwean-born Charlene, 44, spent some 10 months in South Africa last year, after contracting a serious sinus infection during a solo charity trip. The illness left her hospitalised and delayed her return to Monaco. 

After returning to Monaco last November, Charlene almost immediately left and went to Switzerland to receive treatment for 'exhaustion'.

Charlene (pictured, right) has been snapped in public with husband Prince Albert (left) and their seven-year-old twins Prince Jacques (far left) and Princess Gabriella (right) at today's Monaco E-Prix

The royal, 44, who has suffered from a number of unspecified illnesses in the last year, was pictured looking pensive at the event

Today's photos mark the first time the Monaco royals have been seen in public together as a family since Charlene returned to the principality following her treatment.   

Charlene was pictured wearing an all-grey ensemble, pairing her trouser suit with a matching top. Her blonde crop was neatly coiffed, and she wore elegant make-up, including liquid eye liner and natural glossy lips.

She has faced a variety of health problems, including what the palace has previously referred to as a 'state of profound general fatigue' over the last year, which have kept her largely out of the public eye.

The Monaco palace has consistently denied media reports of a rift between Charlene and the principality's ruler Prince Albert, who were wed in 2011.

Rumours the pair were incompatible were sparked from the outset, with Charlene attracting a barrage of attention over an apparent bad dose of pre-wedding jitters which, reportedly, saw her seeking refuge in her country's embassy and gaining the moniker 'the Runaway Bride'. 

Charlene first had a 10-month absence in her native South Africa, where she contracted and was hospitalised for a serious sinus infection that delayed her return to Monaco. 

She underwent surgery in October for an ear, nose and throat infection after checking in under a pseudonym in a Durban hospital, a palace source said at the time. 

After her return to the principality in November, Charlene left almost immediately to receive treatment for 'exhaustion' at a Swiss clinic. 

Friends previously told Page Six that the mother-of-two 'almost died' while she was in her home country, while her husband spoke out to say she is suffering from 'exhaustion, both emotional and physical'. 

'She was clearly exhausted, physically and emotionally. She was overwhelmed and couldn't face official duties, life in general or even family life,' Albert told People magazine in November. 

The family was pictured taking to the stage at the motoring event, in their first public appearance since last November

The royal appeared to look glum as she comforted her seven-year-old twins, who appeared to be struggling with the noise at the event

Charlene, 44, (pictured with her seven-year-old daughter Gabriella at today's Monaco E-Prix) has been suffering from exhaustion, both emotional and physical' in recent times, her husband told People magazine

A palace statement released on December 23 revealed Albert and the couple's children were planning to visit Charlene during the Christmas holidays, as well as asking for the family's privacy to be respected. 

It added that the princess 'is recuperating in a satisfactory and reassuring manner, although it may take a few more months before her health has reached a full recovery.' 

But distinguished royal journalist Stephane Bern has long speculated that Charlene's litany of supposed health problems could simply be a cover-up to excuse her from participating in royal activities alongside her husband.

Bern said in January of last year, Charlene was expected to make a trip to visit French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, but suddenly came down with an illness. 

'The princess had contracted a sudden gastroenteritis,' he said. 

'The Palace has had to invoke a suffering princess so often that the Monegasques today find it hard to believe. By crying wolf, the mother of Jacques and Gabriella has discredited and isolated herself.'

Earlier this month, the family shared an official portrait to mark Easter. According to a body language expert, Prince Albert appeared 'tense' as he tried to signal his position as 'family protector'

Body language expert Judi James said the images showed the close bond Charlene shares with her children Gabriella and Jacques

The couple released an official family portrait earlier this month to mark Easter. A body language expert noted that Albert looked 'tense' in the image, while highlighting the close bond shared by Charlene and her children.

Body language expert Judi James told FEMAIL that Albert, 64, likely wanted to signal 'resilience and strength' with his 'family protector' pose in the image - but instead stood 'awkwardly' in the background.   

Judi added that while Albert was not fully touching his wife, he placed his hand on son Jacques's shoulder as a 'gesture of parental reassurance'. 

Meanwhile Charlene, 44, demonstrated her 'loving bond' with daughter Gabriella, signalling how her relationship with her children has remained strong despite her spending months apart from her family.

The royal couple, pictured on their wedding day 2011 in Monaco. The couple has been plagued with rumours of marital discord since their wedding over 10 years ago

 Since Charlene (pictured here with her husband in 2015, attending the 55th Monte Carlo TV festival) has been ill, Albert has continued to undertake royal duties alone

Charlene and Albert's marriage has made numerous headlines over the years, with a third paternity suit emerging in December 2020. 

Soon afterwards Charlene famously shaved half her head in the style of a punk rocker. Months later she left for South Africa.

The allegations in December 2020 claimed that Albert had fathered a love-child (which would be his third, if proven) with an unnamed Brazilian woman during the time when he and Charlene were already in a relationship.

The woman said she met the prince in a nightclub in Rio de Janeiro in 2004 — when Charlene and Albert were supposedly dating. 

Her daughter, a 15-year-old Brazilian schoolgirl, sent a handwritten note in Portuguese to Prince Albert at the Royal Palace last September.

Albert's legal team call the allegations 'a hoax' and the legal team of the woman concerned declined to comment. 

It was due to come to court in Milan in February but never commenced. Some believe the matter has been settled.

But the Prince has also fathered two other children outside of wedlock. Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, who is now 29 and the result of Albert's affair with an American estate agent, and Alexandre Coste, 18, whose mother is a former Togolese air hostess.

Both children were struck off Monaco's line of succession in return for vast financial settlements. 

Charlene has directly attempted to address the talk about a third possible love child.

She told Point de Vue magazine last January: 'When my husband has problems, he tells me about it. I often tell him, 'No matter what, I'm a thousand percent behind you. I'll stand by you whatever you do, in good times or in bad.' 

Charlene drew gasps when she had her elegant bob cut into an extraordinary punkish ‘half-hawk’ just before Christmas, something that came as a complete surprise to her husband, apparently

Illegitimate love children aside, it's fair to say royal life in Monaco must have come as a complete culture shock to the former Charlene Wittstock.

The daughter of a swimming instructor and photocopier salesman, she grew up in crime-ridden Benoni, near Johannesburg.

As a child, she developed a passion for swimming and, in 1996, won her first South African Championship at the age of 18. 

Four years later, she qualified for the 2000 Olympic Games as a member of the South Africa 4 x 100m medley relay team - which was placed fifth.

Charlene met Prince Albert at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monte Carlo in 2000 when she was 22.

The pair took their relationship public in 2006 at the Winter Olympic Games and announced their engagement in 2010. 

Yet in the run up to the wedding, rumours began to circulate about Charlene's unhappiness and homesickness.

There were claims that Charlene had tried to flee back to Africa three times before the marriage, and at one stage 'took refuge' in her country's embassy, leading to the 'Runaway Bride' headlines.

Charlene denied all of the stories as 'utter fabrications' but wept throughout their wedding.

She explained later: 'Everything was just so overwhelming and there were all the mixed emotions because of the rumours, and obviously all this tension built up and I burst into tears. 

'And then I burst into tears some more because I was thinking, ''Oh no, now the whole world has seen me cry.''

The question remains whether she will be content to shrink her horizons to the 0.8 square miles of Monaco, particularly as the twins get older and are expected to be sent to boarding school.

Timeline: Prince Albert and Princess Charlene's year apart

January 27 - Charlene is pictured with Albert for the Sainte Devote Ceremony in Monaco.

March 18 - Charlene is pictured at the memorial for the late Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, South Africa

April 2 - Charlene posts an Instagram picture of herself, Albert and their twins Jacques and Gabriella for Easter.

It is unknown where the image was taken.

May 8 - Albert, Jacques and Gabriella attend a Grand Prix event in Monaco without Charlene

May 10 - Albert attends Monaco Gala Awards in Monaco without Charlene

May 18 - Charlene shares her first picture from her conservation trip in South Africa

June 1 - Prince Albert II, Jacques and Gabriella attend event at Oceanic Museum in Monaco

June 3 - New photos emerge of Charlene on her conservation trip

June 5- Charlene puts on a united front as she shares a photo with her family to mark her niece's fifth birthday with her brother's family and Albert and the twins in South Africa

June 7 - Albert and the twins attend the World Rugby Sevens without Charlene

June 17 - Prince Albert attends Red Cross Summer concert in Monte Carlo with his sister Princess Caroline of Hanover

June 18 - Prince Albert appears alone Monte Carlo TV Festival

June 24 - Charlene's foundation releases a statement saying the royal is unable to travel and is undergoing procedures for an ear, nose and throat infection

July 2 - Charlene and Albert mark their 10th anniversary separately. 'This year will be the first time that I'm not with my husband on our anniversary in July, which is difficult, and it saddens me,' Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene said in a statement.

July 3 - Albert appears with glamorous niece Charlotte Casiraghi at the 15th international Monte-Carlo Jumping event, which is part of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco,

July 27 - Prince Albert attends Olympics alone in Tokyo

August 13 - Charlene undergoes a four-hour operation. The reason is not announced

August 25 - Charlene shares photos of Prince Albert, Gabriella and Jacques visiting her in South Africa

September 1 - Charlene is admitted under an alias to the Netcare Alberlito Hospital after suddenly 'collapsing'

September 2 - She is discharged, with a statement from the Palais Princier reading: 'Her Highness is closely monitored by Her medical team who said that Her condition was not worrying'

September 23 - Prince Albert attends the 2021 Monte Carlo Gala for Planetary Health

September 29 - Prince Albert is joined on the red carpet by actress Sharon Stone for a first look at the eagerly anticipated James Bond release

September 30 - Charlene releases a stylish video promoting her anti-poaching campaign from her South African bolthole

October 3 - Princess Charlene shares a photograph of herself smiling in front of a bible in her first snap since being discharged from hospital following her health scare

October 5 - Prince Albert attends Sportel Awards Ceremony in Monte Carlo with nephew Louis Ducruet

October 6 - Albert tells RMC radio Charlene is 'ready to come home'

October 8 - Princess undergoes surgery in South Africa

November 8 - Charlene arrives back in Monaco. Prince Albert said within hours it became clear she was 'unwell'

November 13 - Prince Albert attends Expo 2020 in Dubai without Princess Charlene

Following his return from the trip, Prince Albert holds an intervention with Charlene's brothers and a sister-in-law in which Charlene 'confirmed' she would seek 'real medically framed treatment' outside of Monaco

November 16 - Royal household confirms Princess Charlene will not attend National Day celebrations on 

November 19 - Prince Albert attends a Monaco Red Cross event without Princess Charlene

November 17 - Prince Albert reveals Princess Charlene has left Monaco and is recovering in a secret location

November 19 - Prince Albert reveals Charlene is in a treatment facility 'elsewhere in Europe' after a family intervention

January 25 - Charlene celebrates her birthday alone outside of Monaco

January 26 - Prince Albert is joined by his children and sister without Charlene at St Devote's Day

February 27 - Prince Albert and his two children attend AS Monaco football match without Princess Charlene

March 14 - The royal palace announced Charlene had returned to Monaco. 

April 17 - Palace released Easter Sunday family portrait of couple with their seven-year-old twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques

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