Princess Charlene of Monaco 'taken on' too much says expert
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On Wednesday, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco attended the funeral of the former Archbishop of Monaco, Monsignor Bernard Barsi, who retired in 2020. The royal couple has said that Archbishop Barsi shared the family’s “most significant moments” and they felt a “deep sadness and great emotion” about his death.
Albert and Charlene were seen arriving at the Cathedral of Monaco looking sober and dressed all in black.
Princess Caroline of Hanover, the eldest sister of Prince Albert, also attended the funeral.
Both Princess Charlene and Princess Caroline were spotted wearing a traditional mantilla, a black lace veil worn over the head and shoulders as a sign of reverence in church.
The Monaco Daily News reported that Archbishop Barsi died at age 80 a week ago, after having a heart attack on Christmas Eve.
The Archbishop was ordained in 1960 and became head of the Catholic Church in Monaco in 2000, where he oversaw the royal family’s personal sacraments and religious ceremonies.
Archbishop Bernard was reportedly close to both Princess Charlene and Prince Albert, as he officiated their wedding in July 2011.
He also baptised their twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, in May 2015 and officiated the funeral of Prince Albert’s father, Prince Rainier III in 2005.
Princess Charlene was born and raised Protestant but converted to Catholicism in 2011 when she said it was done “of her own free will and choice”.
She has said that her decision to convert was because she found strength in the religion and has often spoken about how her faith has offered comfort in challenging times.
According to People magazine, she said: “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.”
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Last week, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene put out a statement after learning about the Archbishop’s death.
It said: “Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene learned with deep sadness and great emotion of the sudden death of Monsignor Bernard Barsi, Archbishop Emeritus of Monaco.”
“The principality keeps the memory of a passionate man of faith, attached to the priesthood and to the values of the gospel, who, thanks to his benevolence and his listening, knew how to make himself appreciated by all in the diocese.”
The statement reflected the personal relationship they had with the Archbishop, saying: “In these hours of sorrow the prince and the princess wish to honour the memory of the one who, for more than twenty years, accompanied the sovereign family, on the spiritual and pastoral level, in the most significant moments of the recent history of the principality.
“Also, they address, in their own name and that of the population of Monaco, their prayers and their most sincere condolences to the family of Monsignor Bernard Barsi as well as to all people, clerics and lay people, who were dear to him.”
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