Princess Charlene of Monaco cut a glamorous figure as she joined her husband Prince Albert at the 73rd Red Cross Gala in Monte Carlo today – as she continues her return to royal life following her 10-month absence.
The former Olympic swimmer, 44, who shares seven-year-old twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques with her 64-year-old royal partner, dazzled in a floral blue gown when attending the lavish charity ball.
Her appearance comes just days after she was notably absent from the Monaco Rose Ball, one of the highlights of the principality’s social calendar. It was attended by Prince Albert, his sister Princess Caroline of Hanover, and other members of the royal family.
This evening’s social and charity event was launched in 1948, when Prince Rainier III of Monaco presided at the first gala held by the newly founded Monaco Red Cross.
Princess Charlene of Monaco cut a glamorous figure as she joined her husband Prince Albert at the 73rd Red Cross Gala in Monte Carlo today
The former Olympic swimmer, 44, who shares seven-year-old twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques with her 64-year-old royal partner, dazzled in a floral blue gown when attending the lavish charity ball
Looking effortlessly elegant, Charlene teamed her floral sleeveless number with a black clutch bag and a silver necklace featuring a butterfly pendant.
She opted for dainty silver earrings and completed her appearance with a glamorous makeup look.
Albert, meanwhile, looked dapper in a navy blazer and white trouser combo, finished off with a bright red tie. The couple were joined by Princess Stephanie of Monaco’s daughter Camille Gottlieb.
Last weekend, Charlene joined her husband to celebrate their children Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella passing a summer sailing camp.
The royal posed for photos, shared online by the official Prince’s Palace Instagram account, with the twins, who could be seen holding up gold medals from their course.
The couple were joined by Princess Stephanie of Monaco’s daughter Camille Gottlieb (left)
This evening’s social and charity event was launched in 1948, when Prince Rainier III of Monaco presided at the first gala held by the newly founded Monaco Red Cross. Pictured, the royal couple
Looking effortlessly elegant, Charlene teamed her floral sleeveless number with a black clutch bag and a silver necklace featuring a butterfly pendant
The caption read: ‘Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella received their “Seadventures Summer Camp” diploma this afternoon at the end of their week of training to discover sailing and raise awareness of the marine world organized by the Yacht Club of Monaco.
‘The previous week, the princely children had taken part in an introductory course in diving and water rescue at the Monegasque sea academy, the blue school.’
Charlene has only recently re-entered royal life after largely remaining out of the public eye over the last 18 months – but rumours have swirled that she is receiving £10million a year to appear at her husband’s side at official engagements.
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’.
Turning heads: Charlene commanded attention in her sleeveless gown when attending this evening’s glamorous event
Camille opted for a gold and black outfit when arriving at the gala with Albert and Charlene
Charlene opted for dainty silver earrings and completed her appearance with a glamorous makeup look
Albert, meanwhile, looked dapper in a navy blazer and white trouser combo, finished off with a bright red tie
Since returning once again, the mother-of-two has made a handful of appearances including a recent solo engagement to a maternity ward.
Charlene and Albert’s relationship has come under enormous scrutiny in recent months.
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.
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 wrote: ‘Prince Albert would himself pay a tidy sum to the princess so that she appears at his side at public events.’
Princess Charlene of Monaco joined her husband Prince Albert to celebrate their children Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella passing a summer sailing camp last weekend
In one photograph, the royal mother-of-two could be seen standing alone watching on as her children were presented with their medals
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.
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 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.
Another snap showed Prince Jacques, seven, holding his medal after taking part in the sailing summer camp
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.’
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.
Missing: It comes days after Charlene was notably absent from the Monaco Rose Ball, one of the highlights of the principality’s social calendar. It was attended by Prince Albert, his sister Princess Caroline of Hanover, and other members of the royal family. Pictured, Albert and Caroline with designer Christian Louboutin
Speaking to French Sunday paper Journal de Dimanche last month, Albert said the last year was ‘a test for Charlene especially, who suffered greatly and lived through difficult times’
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.
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