Princess Charlene makes first solo engagement

Princess Charlene is back in business: Royal is chic in a black and white dress as she visits the Princess Grace Hospital Centre in her first solo engagement since her return to Monaco

  • Princess Charlene of Monaco, 44, visited the Princess Grace Hospital Centre
  • Outing marks her first solo engagement since her return from a treatment centre
  • She has been largely out of the public eye for the last 18 months
  • Slowly returning to duties and has stepped out with her family in recent weeks 

Princess Charlene stepped out for her first solo engagement since returning to Monaco after a stint in a treatment centre for ‘exhaustion’. 

The princess, 44, who shares seven-year-old twins Gabriella and Jacques with husband Prince Albert, 64, paid a visit to patients, staff and families at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre, the only public hospital in Monaco. 

Charlene is slowly readjusting to royal duties after remaining largely out of the public eye over the last 18 months. She spent 10 months in her native South Africa last year after contracting a sinus infection that later required surgery. 

She returned to Monaco in November but was there for a matter of days before leaving for a Swiss treatment facility. The exact nature of her condition was not made public but Albert said she was ‘exhausted’.

Back in business: Princess Charlene stepped out for her first solo engagement since returning to Monaco after a stint in a treatment centre for ‘exhaustion’

In her element: The mother-of-two looked relaxed as she spent time speaking to parents and cuddling the tiny patients

Personal touch: The princess spoke to one couple with their baby during yesterday’s visit

The Royal Palace announced in March that Charlene had returned and would make a gradual reintroduction to public life.

In recent weeks she has made full a handful of public appearances with her husband and children, including a visit to Norway and an outing to the F1, but the hospital marks her first outing alone.

The mother-of-two looked relaxed as she spent time speaking to parents and cuddling the tiny patients. 

Typically chic, Charlene opted for a sleek black and white midi dress which she paired with black strappy sandals. The princess wore her short blonde locks in her signature pixie cut, adding an edgy touch to the classic ensemble. 

It comes just days after Charlene and Albert celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary. 

The couple’s relationship has come under enormous scrutiny in recent months. 

Loving hand: The devoted mother-of-two held the hand of one tiny patient at the Monaco hospital

Showing she cares: Charlene was accompanied by senior hospital officials as she met with parents and patients

Monochrome magic: Typically chic, Charlene opted for a sleek black and white midi dress which she paired with black strappy sandals

Prince Albert said he was ‘hurt by the vicious rumours’ peddled about his marriage following his wife’s absence and said that it’s the ‘most beautiful thing’ to have her back with him. 

French media has claimed she is receiving £10million a year to appear by her husband’s side at public outings. 

Leading French media reported the ruler of the tax haven Mediterranean principality was doing everything possible to keep Charlene ‘at his side at public events’. 

Major French outlets that specialise in celebrity news said Charlene’s sudden re-appearance was welcomed by all Royal watchers.

‘But the Princess did not return at any price,’ magazine Voici reported. ‘She would have had her husband sign an ultra-confidential contract.’

The revelations were followed up by rival publication Paris Match Belgium, which writes: ‘Prince Albert would himself pay a tidy sum to the princess so that she appears at his side at public events.’ 

The Royal Palace in Monte Carlo refuses to discuss specific financial arrangements, but the principality pays out some £40m a year to cover the institution’s running costs.

First appearance since her return: Princess Charlene joined Prince Albert and their children at the Monaco Formula E World Championships on April 30

Family outing: Prince Albert, Princess Charlene and their children at the Sainte Devote Rugby Tournament on May 7

Mummy-daughter date: Charlene took her daughter Gabriella, seven, to Monte Carlo Fasion Week on May 24

Getting back into the swing of things: Princess Charlene of Monaco attended the 61st Monte Carlo TV Festival with her husband Prince Albert (pictured) on June 17

In the public eye: Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco at the Monaco F1 on May 29

Crown Prince Haakon, Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Prince Jacques, Princess Gabriella, Opening of the ‘Sailing the Sea of Science’ exhibition at the Frammuseum in Oslo on June 22

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

April 30 – Princess Charlene makes first public appearance at Monaco E-Prix 

May 7 – Charlene joins Albert at Sainte Dévote Rugby Tournament

May 18 – Prince Albert takes twins to Disneyland without Charlene

May 24 – Princess Charlene takes daughter Gabriella to Monte Carlo Fashion Week 

May 29 – Charlene and Albert appear together at Monaco F1 

June 22 – Charlene and Albert take their children to Oslo, Norway 

July 2 – Couple celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary 

July 5 – Charlene makes first solo appearance since her return 

Royals are not salaried officials, however, meaning that Charlene would be reliant on Albert – a billionaire in his own right – for her own spending money.

A Royal insider based in Monte Carlo told Mail Online: ‘Of course the Princess enjoys huge perks, but ready cash is not guaranteed.

‘She’s been through a very difficult time, so it would make sense for Charlene to try and secure her own guaranteed income.’

Prince Albert, 62, said the time apart was ‘a test for his wife’ but they ‘spoke often, despite the distance.

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. 

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco shared a new portrait over the weekend to mark their 11th wedding anniversary. Pictured, Charlene’s Instagram post

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

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, following the princess’ long absence.  

Speaking to French Sunday paper Journal de Dimanche last month, Albert said the last year was ‘a test for my wife especially, who suffered greatly and lived through difficult times, far from her family. A test also for our children and for myself.

‘We missed the princess a lot. And we were obviously hurt by the malicious rumours that were peddled. But we were able to stay united despite the distance, we spoke to each other often.’

He added:  ‘Today, Charlene is back with us and this is the most beautiful thing which could have happened. She’s better, we can finally spend time together. It is a relief and a joy for all of us.’ 

Far from a royal fairytale: Prince Charles and Princess Charlene’s tumultuous marriage

Princess Charlene met Prince Albert in 2000 during a swimming competition in Monaco and the pair married in 2011, before welcoming twins Gabriella and Jacques in 2014.

Born in Rhodesia- a previously unrecognised state in Southern Africa colonised by the British, she relocated to South Africa aged 11.

She had a successful swimming career and went on to win three gold medals and a silver medal at the 1999 All Africa Games in Johannesburg, as well as representing South Africa at the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games and winning a silver medal in the 4 × 100 m medley relay in the latter competition.

However the pair’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.

He 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.

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