Princess Charlene of Monaco shares 'gratitude' for fundraisers
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Princess Charlene, 43, posted the video to her Instagram account, timed to coincide with the Monte-Carlo Gala for Planetary Health, and offered her support for the event. The video appears to have raised more questions than it answered, however, with the royal now absent from Monaco for more than five months amid mysterious health problems.
The video starts with text, saying: “Wishing Prince Albert II of Monaco foundation [sic] and Princess Charle in Monaco Foundation for the evening’s fundraiser…a successful and magical moment.
“With all our gratitude, HSH Princess Charlene de Monaco.”
The next frame shows Charlene’s head, bejewelled in a tiara, appearing to emerge from water.
The caption then reads: “As I was born of the ocean so the ocean was born of me. I present to you a piece of both.”
The image was taken by photographer Vanessa von Zitzewitz and published for the fundraising project, but is undated and believed to have been shot when Princess Charlene was still in Monaco.
The video was widely interpreted as an attempt by the princess to show she remains attached to Monaco, but it appears to have backfired, drawing even more attention to her absence.
Le Figaro newspaper called the message “enigmatic”, while Elle magazine said it was “mysterious” and The Times said it raised “concerns”.
Charlene left for South Africa – where she grew up – more than five months ago, for what was initially expected to be a brief trip to work with her foundation.
Earlier this month, she was rushed to hospital when she collapsed due to a “severe” sinus infection, an aide said.
The princess was said to be in a “stable” condition after the incident, but the hospital would not confirm the details of her treatment for confidential reasons.
However, the mystery surrounding the situation has led to rampant speculation that her marriage was breaking down and she would not be returning to Monaco.
Charlene was last seen in Monaco in January, with many speculating the Monegasque royals were splitting up.
She told South African radio that she was remaining in her home country for medical reasons, saying in July that she “cannot force healing” – though this did little to quell the rumours.
Prince Albert tried to put a stop to speculation in an interview with People Magazine, insisting his wife left Monaco to work and visit family, not due to a fight.
He said: “She didn’t leave Monaco in a huff! She didn’t leave because she was mad at me or at anybody else.
“She was going down to South Africa to reassess her foundation’s work down there and to take a little time off with her brother and some friends.”
He said the trip was “only supposed to be a weeklong, 10-day maximum stay,” and is not due to Princess Charlene going “into exile”.
He insisted it is “absolutely just a medical problem”.
However, the royal did acknowledge that he should have addressed the rumours about marriage issues sooner, but explained that he had been “concentrating on taking care of the kids” and had assumed the speculation would pass.
Prince Albert added that his wife was “ready” to head back to Europe, though no date was mentioned for her return.
The family then managed a trip to South Africa to visit Charlene – which she posted about on Instagram – but she missed her children’s first day back at school in Monaco.
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