Princess Charlene of Monaco may have debuted a new dramatic hairstyle over the weekend – but it’s far from the first time the Olympic swimmer has transformed her locks over the last few years.
In fact, while some royals like the Princess of Wales and Queen Letizia of Spain are known for their trademark hair styles, the 44-year-old has often stepped out with new looks.
When she first married Prince Albert, 64, in 2011, the Princess was known for her soft dirty blonde locks, which she swept into a low, elegant bun for the big day.
However since the wedding, Charlene has dramatically changed her hair on a number of occasions – while her marriage has also been rocked by rumours of infidelity, unhappiness and love children.
The Monaco palace has consistently denied media reports of a rift between Charlene and the principality’s ruler Prince Albert.
Princess Charlene of Monaco may have debuted a new dramatic hairstyle over the weekend – but it’s far from the first time the Olympic swimmer has transformed her locks over the last few years (pictured May 2023)
Princess Charlene married Prince Albert in 2011 (pictured left), but their wedding was plagued by rumours of a rift between the couple. Then, at the end of 2021, it emerged Prince Albert was facing a third paternity law suit. Charlene cut her honey blonde locks into a dramatic fringe and bob (right)
December 2020: Charlene’s most dramatic hair transformation came at the end of 2020, when she shaved part of her head, before leaving Monaco for South Africa
However rumours the pair were incompatible were sparked from the outset, with Charlene attracting a barrage of attention over an apparent bad dose of pre-wedding jitters which, reportedly, saw her seeking refuge in her country’s embassy and gaining the moniker ‘the Runaway Bride’.
When she joined the royal family, she was more often known for her elegant dress sense and usually chooses a neutral palette of cream, taupe and beige.
Meanwhile her hair was a soft blonde, which she often wore in loose waves around her face.
The changes first began in September 2020, when she arrived at the 107th Tour de France in Nice alongside her husband Prince Albert.
She debuted a new mini fringe at the event, which appeared to have been cut bluntly into the front of her dirty blonde bob.
By the end of the year, her marriage to Prince Albert was plagued by rumours, with a third paternity suit emerging.
The allegations 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.
Soon after the allegations came to light in December 2020, Charlene famously shaved half her head in the style of a punk rocker.
April 2022: When she returned to royal life after months of absence, Charlene wore her hair in a very short cropped platinum blonde style
She shocked by the public by shaving her head, opting for a dramatic punk rocker style hairstyle for a Christmas fair appearance.
Known for her signature blonde locks, the royal was almost unrecognisable as she debuted a dramatic half-shaved haircut on the outing.
The mother-of-two’s style featured a close shave down the left side of her head, with the remaining hair dyed blonde-brown and cut in a choppy, punk-inspired style.
Experts described the bold look as an act of rebellion for a royal, who repeatedly described her life as part of the royal family as ‘very lonely’.
Professionals suggested at the time her new bold hairstyle might be a way for Charlene to silently communicate her emotions to the public, signalling that she feels ‘liberated’ and has literally ‘sheared off’ the restrictions of the Monaco Royal Family.
Speaking to FEMAIL at the time, Dr Becky Spelman, psychologist, Private Therapy Clinic said Princess Charlene’s new dramatic ‘liberating’ cut could indicate she is ‘not waiting for permission’ in her life anymore, saying: ‘It really shows actually that Princess Charlene doesn’t mind what people think. Actually, she might want a little more attention right now.’
Meanwhile royal expert Nigel Crawthorne, author of Prince Andrew, said the move was an ‘indication of a major development in Charlene’s life that has shorn away Monegasque etiquette’, adding: ‘When a royal changes their appearance as dramatically as Princess Charlene of Monaco did, it is a very conscious decision and a sign that they want to tell the world something has changed dramatically in their life.’
2011: Charlene, who was accused of trying to run away three times before she married, was seen in floods of tears on her wedding day to Prince Albert
2018: The mother-of-two, who has spoken of her ‘loneliness’ in Monaco on several occasions, became known for her honey blonde locks, which she often wore in soft waves around her face
And by the spring, Charlene had left for South Africa.
She had a 10-month absence in her native country, where she contracted and was hospitalised for a serious sinus infection that delayed her return to Monaco.
While there, her dramatic haircut was softened, and she appeared to wear her locks in a more natural, mousey brown, colour.
She kept the same hairstyle when she arrived back in Monaco in November 2021, but was quickly taken to a treatment centre outside the principality.
When she returned to public duty in May 2022, she had once again transformed her locks.
Instead of the dirty blonde look she had become known for, the Princess cropped her hair into a short cut and dyed it a platinum blonde.
2021: Charlene spent the majority of the year in South Africa, wearing her hair in a short cropped style in what appeared to be her natural mousey brown colour
Autumn 2021: The mother-of-two returned to Monaco briefly before leaving for a treatment facility
May 2022: On Charlene’s return to public duty, the Princess began wearing her hair in a cropped, platinum blonde style
It was a look she continued to wear for months as she gradually returned to the public eye, taking part in solo engagements and joint tours with Prince Albert.
As she began attending more and more events, she began wearing her hair in a softer cropped style – and returned to her honey blonde look.
In March, French magazine ROYAUTÉ claimed that the prince and princess are in the process of separation – a rumour which gained momentum when the article was repeated by gossip sites, which sparked speculation on social media.
However the Palace’s press office said they ‘formally deny the malicious rumours peddled by the magazine.
A spokesperson said: ‘I would like to formally deny the malicious rumors peddled by the French magazine Royauté. Please disregard this article which is totally unfounded.’
Then, over the weekend, Princess Charlene debuted a new look as she stepped out for the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix alongside other members of the Royal Family.
The former Olympic swimmer showed off a new hair do as she attended the annual motoring event, which is held on the Circuit de Monaco, with her husband Prince Albert.
In a bold move away from the platinum crop she has worn in recent months, Charlene sported rich, shining dark auburn hair, still in her signature elfin short style.
May 2023: As she began attending more high profile events in public, Charlene opted for a darker hairstyle
Then, over the weekend, Princess Charlene debuted a new look as she stepped out for the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix alongside other members of the Royal Family
The royal, who appeared deep in thought as she was photographed standing next to her husband, paired the dramatic new ‘do with a chic maxi dress in a full-length classic shift-style cut, featuring rainbow coloured stripes down the front.
Her locks were simply styled into a side parting, to show off her simple diamond studs, and her elegant make-up look comprising a fresh base and light brown smokey eyes.
Meanwhile, Prince Albert was also smart, donning slacks with a classic blazer, crisp shirt and tie.
Also at the Grand Prix was Grace Kelly’s granddaughter Charlotte Casiraghi, 36, accompanied by her husband, Dimitri Rassam, and her son Raphaël, eight.
Meanwhile, Grace Kelly’s grandson, Louis Ducruet, 30, was also in attendance with his wife, Marie Chevallier, also 30.
Pierre Casiraghi, 35, and his wife, Beatrice Borromeo, 37, also attended, alongside Andrea Casiraghi, 38, and his Tatiana Santo Domingo, 39. The pair were picture with their son, Maximilian and daughter India.
A tumultous two years for Princess Charlene that saw her spend 10 months in South Africa away from her children, admitted to a treatment facility in Switzerland and strike a rumoured £10million a year deal with Albert
2021: HEALTH ISSUES, 10 MONTHS IN SOUTH AFRICA AND ADMISSION TO A SWISS TREATMENT FACILITY
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 from an unknown location
May 8 – Albert, Jacques and Gabriella attend a Grand Prix event in Monaco without Charlene
May 18 – Charlene shares her first picture from her conservation trip in South Africa
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, Albert and the twins in South Africa
June 24 – Charlene’s foundation releases a statement saying she 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,’ she said in a statement
August 13 – Charlene undergoes a four-hour operation. The reason is not announced
August 25 – Charlene shares photos of 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 – Charlene 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 30 – Charlene releases a stylish video promoting her anti-poaching campaign from her South African bolthole
October 3 – 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 6 – Albert tells RMC radio Charlene is ‘ready to come home’
October 8 – Princess undergoes more surgery in South Africa
November 8 – Charlene arrives back in Monaco. Prince Albert said within hours it became clear she was ‘unwell’
November 13 – Albert attends Expo 2020 in Dubai without Charlene. Following his return from the trip, 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 Charlene will not attend National Day celebrations on November 19
November 17 – Albert reveals Charlene has left Monaco and is recovering in a secret location
November 19 – Albert reveals Charlene is in a treatment facility ‘elsewhere in Europe’ after a family intervention
November 25 – Sources tell Page Six Charlene ‘almost died’ after sinus surgery and ‘lost nearly half her body weight’ due to being ‘unable to swallow’. They also said it was ‘unfair’ to portray her as struggling with mental health issues
December 11 – Royal breaks her silence on Instagram to wish her twins Jacques and Gabriella a happy seventh birthday
December 24 – Charlene is still ‘months from recovery’ but will reunite with Albert and their twins Jacques and Gabriella for Christmas at treatment centre
2022: ROAD TO RECOVERY
January 25 – Charlene celebrates her 44th birthday alone. Royal shares slideshow of snaps from happier times featuring Albert, their children and her swimming career as she continues to receive treatment outside of Monaco
March 14 – Palace announces that Charlene is back in Monaco but will take time to ‘further strengthen her health before gradually resuming her official duties’
April 17 – Charlene is pictured for the first time in a family portrait to celebrate Easter
April 30 – Charlene makes her first public appearance since leaving a treatment facility as she attends Monaco E-Prix with Prince Albert
May 7 – The royal makes her second public appearance at the Sainte Dévote Rugby Tournament
May 10 – French media claims Albert has agreed to pay his wife £10million a year to make sure she fulfils her consort role
May 25 – Charlene continues her return to public life at Monte Carlo Fashion Awards with daughter Gabriella
May 28 – Charlene continues her return to public life as she joins Prince Albert at the F1 in Monaco for the first time since 2019
June 6 – Albert says he was hurt by the ‘vicious’ rumours about his wife’s absence from Monaco and his family ‘missed the princess a lot’
June 16 – Charlene appears sombre in all-black ensemble for Catholic festival
June 18 – Charlene of Monaco looks glamorous in all-green ensemble as she steps out with Prince Albert for the Monte Carlo TV Festival opening ceremony
June 23 – Albert and Charlene attend a science exhibition opening with their children in Oslo – her first overseas visit since returning to public duties
July 4 – Albert and Charlene hold hands in new portrait to mark 11 years of marriage
July 5 – Charlene visits the Princess Grace Hospital Centre in her first solo engagement since her return to Monaco
July 9 – Albert attends Monaco’s Rose Ball without his wife, despite it being the highlight of the social calendar
July 18 – Charlene joins Albert at the 73rd Red Cross Gala in Monte Carlo
July 20 – Couple visit The Vatican for a private audience with Pope Francis
September 4 – Charlene joins Albert and their children Gabriella and Jacques for a rare family appearance at traditional picnic in Monaco
September 6 – Charlene and Albert take their twins Jacques and Gabriella, 7, to class for their first day back after the summer holiday
September 12 – Couple attend a memorial service for the late Queen Elizabeth II
September 19 – Charlene attends the Queen’s funeral in London alongside Albert
October 4-5 – Charlene wows on a solo surprise visit to Paris Fashion Week
October 21 – Charlene makes emotional solo visit to an animal shelter as she sends ‘all her love’ to fans following her return to royal duties
November 8 – Couple attend the annual Princess Grace Awards in New York
November 16 – Charlene attends Monaco’s Red Cross Christmas gift distribution with Albert
November 19-20 – Charlene attends Monaco National Day celebrations with Albert and presents awards at 2022 World Rugby Awards ceremony
December 2 – Charlene takes her seven-year-old twins to Monaco Christmas village along with her model niece Charlotte Casiraghi
December 13 – Couple attends Monaco’s Red Cross Christmas gift distribution with her husband Prince Albert
December 14 – Family attend Christmas tree ceremony in Monaco
December 15 – Charlene reveals she feels ‘much better’ and has ‘much more energy’ after lengthy health crisis in an interview with Monaco Matin – the first since returning to royal duties
December 21 – Family releases a stylish family Christmas card
December 23 – ‘Proud’ Albert praises Charlene for ‘turning it around in an incredible way’ after lengthy health crisis, saying she had a ‘very tough year’