Princess Charlene was ‘desperate’ to ‘show her love for Prince Albert is stronger than ever’ in photographs showing the couple and their two children reunited in Monaco, according to a body language expert.
Charlene, 43, arrived back in Monaco yesterday morning after flying by private jet from the South African city of Durban to Nice, France, and posed for snaps with Albert, 63, and their two children Jacques and Gabriella.
The mother-of-two, who underwent several surgeries while in South Africa and was taken to hospital after collapsing in September, still looked frail on her return to Monaco yesterday
And body language Judi James told FEMAIL Charlene was using overexaggerated gestures of closeness with Albert and appeared ‘needy’ in the images – while Prince Albert did ‘not reflect’ his wife’s body language.
Among a series of snaps shared to Instagram, the mother-of-two can be seen posing for a family photograph as she places her hand around her husband Prince Albert’s neck, while wrapping an arm around their six-year-old twins Jacques and Gabriella.
Princess Charlene was ‘desperate’ to ‘show her love for Prince Albert is stronger than ever’ in photographs showing the couple and their two children reunited in Monaco, according to a body language expert
In a second photograph, Charlene, who was presumably on the school run with her husband, waved to the cameras as Prince Albert holds onto the hands of their twins.
Meanwhile, a third snap shows her exiting a car as she places a protective hand on her son, Jacques.
The absence of Charlene from the principality, which has involved missing a string of high-profile events, has led to speculation around the state of her marriage, after news emerged that Albert is facing a paternity suit over a love child born in the early years of their relationship.
Here, expert Judi explains the body language of Charlene and Albert in their latest reunion snaps…
Clinging to Albert
In the first image released by Princess Charlene, the royal was captured hugging Albert closely.
Body language expert Judi said she was ‘clinging’ to her husband, saying: ‘Charlene’s announcement rituals here suggest she wants to send out a very emphatic message that she is now back with her family and that her love for her husband is stronger than ever.
‘Just as in South Africa when Prince Albert came to visit, Charlene performs what look rather like over-kill signals to make her message clear to the rest of the world, putting in much more effort than her husband to look excitedly re-united and joyous.’
Princess Charlene was ‘desperate’ to ‘show her love for Prince Albert is stronger than ever’ in photographs showing the couple and their two children reunited in Monaco, according to a body language expert
Keen to suggest level of trust
Judi suggested Charlene’s torso and the position of her heard indicated she wanted to suggest a level of trust with her husband.
She said: ‘With her right arm clutching her twins in a protective gesture, Charlene leans her torso right across them in order to encircle her husband with her left arm and to press her body against his.
‘She uses an exaggerated head-pressing gestures of closeness here, just as she did in South Africa, and with head touch being a sign of trust it looks as though she is keen to suggest mutual levels of trust and affection between them.
‘Her effort here makes her look emotionally needy though and perhaps a little insecure as well as suggesting she is celebrating an exciting reunion.’
Imbalance of emotion…and Prince Albert registers no response to Charlene
While Judi said Charlene appeared to be ‘clinging’ to her husband, she said there was an ‘imbalance’ of emotion with Albert.
Calling Charlene ‘frail’, she said: ‘There is a clear imbalance in the body language mood of the posing with her husband.
‘While she throws herself over her husband to cling to him he looks keen to adopt a rather less uninhibited pose, standing straight on to the cameras with his head upright and with a partly-formed smile on his face.
‘His pose appears to register no response to his wife’s efforts here, with a lack of mirroring or head tilting to make the look more congruent and the emotions more shared.
‘Albert does have one arm around Charlene’s waist but even that gesture is less reciprocal than her tight clasp of him, which involves her fingers clutching him at the neck and shoulder in a gesture associated with possession and pride.’
In a second photograph, Charlene, who was presumably on the school run with her husband, waves to the cameras as Prince Albert holds onto the hands of their twins
Over-kill signals to appear excited
In a second image of Charlene with Prince Albert, Jacques and Gabriela, she said Charlene was using ‘over-kill’ signals.
She said: ‘It’s clear from both this family pose and the one in SA that Charlene is desperately keen to stress the enduring love between herself and Albert and her affection for her family group as a whole.’
2. More active role
The body language expert explained: ‘Charlene’s clutching and grasping rituals of him place her in the more active role in both and her clinging behaviour suggests she is desperate to avoid letting her family go from her clasp again.’
Princess Charlene of Monaco opted for a beige jumper dress and knee high boots as she put on a united display with her family following 10 months living alone in South Africa. Pictured, with son, Jacques
1. Appears solitary and tense
Earlier in the day, Charlene was snapped as she arrived at Nice airport ahead of her reunion with her family in Monaco.
The body language expert said the royal portrayed a significantly different character in the images.
She said: ‘Walking through the airport with her dog, Charlene cut a much more solitary and less happy-looking figure.
‘Her eye expression suggests some tension and the rest of her face covered by her mask. ‘
The Princess arrived back on European soil after spending much of the year away from Prince Albert and their two children, six-year-old twins Jacques and Gabriella
While the couple appeared to put on a united front yesterday, Charlene’s stay in South Africa sparked rumours of a rift between the royal couple, which they both vehemently denied.
She has been in her native South Africa for much of this year after contracting a ‘serious sinus infection’ which made her unable to travel and forced her to miss key events including her 10-year wedding anniversary and her children’s first day of school.
But Albert, 63, insisted in October that his wife would return home ‘way before [Monaco’s National Day] on November 19’, adding ‘she’s in good form and much better spirits’.
A royal spokeswoman said: ‘The princess is in a good mood and is looking forward to returning home, while Charlene’s father, Mike Wittstock, was overjoyed that his daughter is returning to Monaco.
‘Thank God she is back home,’ he said.
Princess Charlene of Monaco is finally back in the principality after spending 10 months living alone in South Africa (pictured: Charlene exiting the private jet that flew her from Durban, South Africa, to Nice, France, this morning)
The royal could be seen holding the leash of a dog while walking across the tarmac after landing in Europe following months of speculation about her marriage
Charlene is pictured exiting the jet on the tarmac of Nice airport and taking a dog for a short walk, before being whisked away to Monaco via a royal helicopter
There seemed to be a new addition to the family in the form of a light brown Vizsla, who Priness Charlene could be seen holding on a lead
On October 8, Zimbabwean-born Charlene underwent a final operation to deal with an ear, nose and throat infection she contracted in May – with a palace source telling AFP that the procedure ‘went very well’.
Albert told the publication at the time that all the family miss her and ‘obviously she misses the children’, noting that Charlene was simply awaiting the final sign-off from her medical team before she could make the flight back to Monaco.
Charlene’s doctor gave the green light for her long-awaited journey home following the completion of her final medical examination last Monday.
It comes after the ex Olympian underwent a ‘four-hour operation under general anaesthesia’ in August – although it was not made clear whether this was linked to the sinus infection.
Charlene, whose love of animals is well documented, was pictured walking a dog at Nice airport immediately after having landed around 8:45am local time this morning
The dog was seen leaping around in excitement, though it is unclear whether the dog belongs to the royal family
Charlene’s return to the principality comes just weeks after she posted a photo in which many of her fans thought she looked particularly frail.
The post attracted an outpouring of well-wishes from social media users, with one writing: ‘Get well soon, you look so frail, take care, hope you get back to Monaco to your lovely family.’
But in her latest interview with press in South Africa, the Princess made no reference to her health and simply said she ‘can’t wait to get home to her children’.
Charlene, who wed Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2011, has been living in her home country of South Africa for much of this year, and the extended stay has stoked speculation that the royal couple may be headed for divorce.
In a video shared by her foundation, Princess Charlene made no reference to her husband Prince Albert and instead said she was looking forward to reuniting with her children
In the clip, the mother-of-two said it had been ‘a very challenging time’ but also revealed it had been ‘wonderful being back in South Africa
Charlene (L), who wed Prince Albert II of Monaco (R) in 2011, has been living in her home country of South Africa for much of this year, and the extended stay has stoked speculation that the royal couple may be headed for divorce
In an interview which took place in early October which was shared on Charlene’s Instagram page, the royal said she ‘misses her children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, terribly’, adding: ‘Any mother out there who has been separated from her children for months would feel the same way I feel.’
In the clip, she said: ‘I came to South Africa to oversee some foundation projects. I was unwell at the time, unknowingly, with an infection. It was addressed immediately. Unfortunately, it grounded me for some months in South Africa.
‘I had my one procedure – it was very successful. I’m well, I’m feeling much stronger. I have one more procedure. Then I cannot wait to get home to my children, who I miss terribly.
Elsewhere in the interview she touched on community in South Africa, saying she would like to impart ‘unity and strength.’
She said: ‘Obviously I would never like to touch on anything politically. But what can be done, is people need to set their differences aside and think of the generations to come and less of themselves.
How Charlene and Albert made solo outings in South Africa and Monaco during nine months 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
August 31 – Speculation mounts in the media about couple’s relationship
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
‘Too much emphasis is put on ourselves and less on the future generations to come. What do they have to look back on? Who is their guide? That needs to be installed.’
Speaking about the anti-poaching work she has been undertaking while in South Africa this year, she said: ‘I am determined to come back and continue the work I set out to do as I have done in many countries over Africa and in South Africa.
‘Conservation, preservation, restoration and education. That is what my foundation stands for. We save lives.’
The release of the interview came days after a palace source said her final operation to deal with an ear, nose and throat infection she contracted in May ‘went very well’.
The operation in South Africa was performed under general anaesthetic, and ‘is the last she had to undergo following her ENT infection. She will be under observation for 48 hours,’ the source told French news agency AFP.
It comes amid reports that Albert ‘applied for sovereign immunity’ in his court battle to fight claims he fathered a third love child before marrying Charlene.
The 63-year-old prince, who already supports two illegitimate children, is alleged to have had a relationship with a Brazilian woman which resulted in a daughter in 2005.
The claim, which his lawyers dismissed as a ‘hoax’, is particularly painful as he was dating Charlene at the time, having met the former Olympic swimmer in 2000.
It was reported last year that the case would go to court in Milan in February, however according to Town&Country, the prince’s lawyers pleaded sovereign immunity and the case has been delayed.
Lawyer Erich Grimaldi, who is acting on behalf of the woman, said he hopes the judge will reject Albert’s plea and he is waiting for the case to come back to court, which he believes will happen ‘imminently’.
The 34-year-old claimant – who cannot be named for legal reasons – says she had a passionate affair with Albert, leading to the birth of their daughter – whose name is also classified – on July 4, 2005.
Albert received a handwritten letter from the child, who is now 16, in September last year reading: ‘I don’t understand why I grew up without a father, and now that I have found you, you don’t want to see me.’
Last December, legal papers were also filed, as lawyers for the claimant called on Albert to undergo a DNA test – just as he did before finally being identified as the father of two illegitimate children born in the 1990s and early 2000s.
‘This was before Charlene and Albert were an item, but the latest case covers a time when she was already in love with him,’ a source who works closely with the Monaco Royal household revealed at the time.
‘Charlene has had a terrible year, with one family crisis after another including Albert going down with coronavirus, and now she’s gearing herself up for this hell.’
The princess, whose maiden name was Charlene Wittstock, was an Olympic swimmer for South Africa when she first met Albert at a Monaco aquatic competition in 2000.
They began dating soon afterwards, before Charlene married into the House of Grimaldi at a star-studded wedding in July 2011.
Their twins – daughter Gabriella and son Jacques – were born three years later and are seen as the family’s official heirs.
By this time, Charlene had come to terms with Albert’s hard fought legal battles with women who eventually won financial settlements over children they had with Albert – even though he originally denied their claims.
In May 2005, just before he was enthroned as Prince of Monaco, Albert confirmed he was the biological father of Alexandre, whose mother was Nicole Coste, a former Air France flight attendant from Togo.
A DNA test in May 2006 also confirmed Albert was the father of Jazmine Grace, the result of an affair with Tamara Rotolo, an American estate agent he met while she was on holiday in the South of France.
Jazmine was born in the 1990s and Alexandre in 2003. The Brazilian woman says she travelled around the world with the Prince in the 2000s.
Lawyer Grimaldi said he had filed papers with specific details of his client’s love affair with Albert, including trips to Brazil, the USA, France and Russia.
While in Moscow, the lovers are even said to have had a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who gave the Brazilian ‘a warm hug’, according to court papers.
Albert’s lawyer, Thierry Lacoste, has described the allegations as a ‘a hoax’, saying: ‘There are no intimate photos, no tangible facts surrounding a possible relationship.’
Neither Albert’s daughter Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, now 28, nor his son, Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, 17, can claim the throne of Monaco, according to negotiated financial agreements.
The line of succession instead favours Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, six, and who frequently appear in their parents’ social media posts.
The former Olympian underwent a ‘four-hour operation under general anaesthesia’ in August – although it was not made clear whether this was linked to the sinus infection.
In recent months, lifestyle magazines across Europe have speculated feverishly that the royal couple could be headed for divorce. French magazine Madame Figaro stated the images ‘failed to convince the Monegasques’ amid reports Charlene is looking for a house in Johannesburg.
The magazine asked: ‘How long can she remain away from her children, her duties?’ How long will the fight against rhinoceros poaching remain the Princess of Monaco’s top priority?
‘How long will Albert II of Monaco go on bearing this affront, which is becoming ridiculous?’
Historian Philippe Delorme said that ‘lots of people got the impression it was an arranged marriage’ between Charlene and Albert, adding: ‘Albert chose a wife who resembled his mother, and Charlene clearly felt very ill at ease in this Grace Kelly role they wanted her to play’.
Meanwhile Prince Albert also hit back at rumours of marital woes insisting Charlene ‘didn’t leave in a huff’ and remains in South Africa only because of ‘medical complications’ following a ‘severe ear, nose and throat infection’.
The royal told People that the speculation over the state of his relationship with the Olympic swimmer has ‘affected’ them both, but that he didn’t address it early because he ‘was concentrating on taking care of the kids’.
Charlene and Albert reunited for the first time in months this summer after the monarch and their children – six year old twins Jacques and Gabriella – flew to South Africa, but photographs of the pair embracing were branded ‘awkward’ by a body language expert.
The mounting speculation about the couple’s marriage comes after Charlene shared professional photographs of her reunion with Prince Albert online, saying she was ‘thrilled’ to have her family back.
She shared a series of photos cuddled up with her kids in South Africa with the caption: ‘I am so thrilled to have my family back with me (Gabriella decided to give herself a haircut!!!) Sorry my Bella I tried my best to fix it,’ referring to her daughter’s choppy fringe.
However a body language expert told FEMAIL Charlene showed ‘no emotional bond’ towards her husband Prince Albert in the images.
Judi James said that rather than being the loved-up reunion photo one would expect of a couple surrounded by split rumours, the royals’ poses suggested ‘no signs of connection between awkward-looking Albert and Charlene’.