Princess Charlene ‘is no Princess Di’ – friend speaks of Monegasque royal amid recovery

Princess Charlene language barrier strains popularity says expert

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As Princess Charlene is spending time in a treatment facility outside of Monaco to recover from “exhaustion”, a friend from her days as a swimmer defended the royal. The insider described the Monegasque royal as cunning and “no Princess Di”.

Speaking anonymously, the friend told Tatler magazine: “Charlene is no Princess Di.

“She may come across as being extremely naive, but nothing could be further from the truth.

“She is very good at keeping her smarts under wraps.

“I don’t for one second think she did not know what she was doing when she married him.”

Other friends who trained with Charlene in the Noughties remembered the now-royal as ambitious, laser-focused and dedicated to the sport. 

They gave a glimpse of her commitment to swimming saying Charlene could be “hard on herself” when she was not performing well.

But they also depicted her as “goofy” and a good friend to have around.

People who knew Princess Charlene in her swimming day also said she restricted her social circle with the passing of the years but they still hold her in high esteem.

Princess Charlene began her swimming career in 1996 and represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

On the same year, she met Prince Albert, as they were both attending the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monte Carlo, Monaco. 

Charlene retired from professional swimming in 2007 – four years before tying the knot with the prince.

Her wedding day was marred with speculation concerning Charlene’s potential unhappiness with Prince Albert and even claims she had attempted to escape Monaco in the run-up of her nuptials.

Charlene herself ended these rumours by speaking out about her nuptials, during which she was seen shedding tears, two years later.

She told Times Weekend Magazine: “Everything was just so overwhelming and there were all the mixed emotions because of the rumours, 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’.”

Describing her lavish wedding, she said: “It was such a wonderful three days.

“Even months afterwards I would get flashbacks and think, ‘Oh my goodness, did I really have the Eagles playing at my wedding?’

“I think back and wonder how we managed to pull it off. There was a lot going on.

“It was beautiful; it was sentimental, showing my most intimate moment to the world.”  

More rumours concerning Prince Albert and Charlene’s marriage started to swirl earlier this year, when the princess remained grounded in South Africa for six months due to a severe ENT infection.

Between May and November, the royal underwent treatments and two operations, which eventually allowed her to recover and be able to board on a plane reuniting her with Albert and their twin children Jacques and Gabriella.

But, a few days after her return to Monaco, Charlene went to a treatment facility, where she may remain for several weeks.

Speaking about his wife’s health state, Albert told People magazine Charlene’s current state is the result of “several factors which are private matters.” 

He added: “She was clearly exhausted, physically and emotionally.

“She was overwhelmed and couldn’t face official duties, life in general or even family life.”

Albert also strictly denied rumours of a crisis in his marriage, saying: “I’m probably going to say this several times, but this has nothing to do with our relationship.

“I want to make that very clear. These are not problems within our relationship; not with the relationship between a husband and wife. It’s of a different nature.”    

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