News, Culture & Society

Prince Albert of Monaco returns to royal duties after celebrating 11th anniversary with Charlene

Prince Albert II of Monaco looked statesman-like as he signed the Golden Book on a visit to the German town of Bremen today.

The Prince, who has recently celebrated his 11th wedding anniversary with Princess Charlene, is on a visit to the northern German town until Friday.

He will be attending the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), which will see more than 1,000 scientists from 90 countries gather to discuss the threats to coral reefs from climate change, pollution and overfishing.

The Prince is hard at work again after spending the weekend celebrating his anniversary following a difficult year in which the couple spent several months apart.

Hard at work! Prince Albert II of Monaco, 64, met with politicians and officials in Bremen, north Germany, at the opening of the International Coral Reef Symposium today

The 64-year-old signed the Golden Book at the town hall in Bremen during his first day in the town (pictured)

The 64-year-old signed the Golden Book at the town hall in Bremen during his first day in the town (pictured) 

The Prince is hard at work again after spending the weekend celebrating his anniversary following a difficult year in which he and Charlene spent several months apart

The Prince is hard at work again after spending the weekend celebrating his anniversary following a difficult year in which he and Charlene spent several months apart

Returning to work today, Prince Albert shook off any rumours about his marriage and threw himself into a cause he is passionate about – combating climate change.

Over the last 15 years the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has invested nearly £82million into around 700 projects that focus on limiting the effects of climate change.

In 2018 he described global warming as ‘one of the greatest challenges our planet is facing’.

Speaking to the UN’s Environment Patron for the Polar Regions, Slava Fetisov, he said: ‘We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote renewable energies and improve energy efficiency.’

Prince Albert, a billionaire in his own right, has long been an advocate of combating climate change

Prince Albert, a billionaire in his own right, has long been an advocate of combating climate change

The Prince has previously described climate change as 'one of the greatest challenges our planet is facing'

Prince Albert will be keen to participate in the ICRS after his charitable foundation invested nearly £82million in projects that focus on limiting the effects of climate change

The Prince has previously described climate change as ‘one of the greatest challenges our planet is facing’

Prince Albert received a print of the Bremen Town Musicians by German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl on his arrival in Bremen today

Prince Albert received a print of the Bremen Town Musicians by German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl on his arrival in Bremen today

Prince Albert appeared in good spirits as he attended the event earlier this afternoon in Germany

Prince Albert appeared in good spirits as he attended the event earlier this afternoon in Germany 

The Prince pledged that Monaco would ‘contribute fully to the common effort’ of combating climate change and set out plans to make the principality carbon-neutral by 2050.

While Prince Albert wants to keep the focus on his Foundation’s work, many Royal fans have speculated about his personal life over the last year as Princess Charlene was absent in her native South Africa for 10 months.

At the weekend, they took to Instagram to share a new portrait together to mark their wedding anniversary.  

The couple, who share seven-year-old twins Jacques and Gabriella, tied the knot in a civil wedding on July 1, 2011. A religious ceremony was held the following day and a two-day national holiday was declared.

Last year, to mark their 10th anniversary, the couple shared a series of slickly-produced videos celebrating their relationship.

This year it was a far more low-key affair, with Charlene, 44, and Albert, 64, sharing just a single photograph. 

The portrait shows the couple standing hand-in-hand in a beautiful garden. Charlene wears a stunning seafoam green gown while Albert is dapper in suit and tie.  

Crown Prince Haakon, Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Prince Jacques, Princess Gabriella, Opening of the 'Sailing the Sea of Science' exhibition at the Frammuseum in Oslo on June 22

Crown Prince Haakon, Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Prince Jacques, Princess Gabriella, Opening of the ‘Sailing the Sea of Science’ exhibition at the Frammuseum in Oslo on June 22

She then did a stint in a treatment facility for ‘exhaustion’ – but she has recently resumed public appearances and Royal engagements. 

In May, She made her first appearance with her family since November and has since joined her husband and children at a TV festival, religious ceremonies and a royal visit to Norway. 

During their time apart Prince Albert said he was ‘hurt by the vicious rumours’ spread about his marriage. 

French media has claimed Charlene is receiving £10million a year to appear by her husband’s side at public outings. 

Leading French media reported the ruler of the tax haven Mediterranean principality was doing everything possible to keep Charlene ‘at his side at public events’. 

Major French outlets that specialise in celebrity news said Charlene’s sudden re-appearance was welcomed by all Royal watchers.

Timeline: Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s year apart

2021 

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

2022 

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 28 – Charlene and Albert appear together at Monaco F1 

‘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 writes: ‘Prince Albert would himself pay a tidy sum to the princess so that she appears at his side at public events.’ 

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.

Princess Charlene of Monaco attended the 61st Monte Carlo TV Festival with her husband Prince Albert (pictured) on June 17

Princess Charlene of Monaco attended the 61st Monte Carlo TV Festival with her husband Prince Albert (pictured) on June 17

Prince Albert recently said he was 'hurt by the vicious rumours' peddled about his marriage following his wife's 10-month long absence from Monaco and said that it's the 'most beautiful thing' to have Princess Charlene back with him. Pictured, at the Monaco F1 on May 29

Prince Albert recently said he was ‘hurt by the vicious rumours’ peddled about his marriage following his wife’s 10-month long absence from Monaco and said that it’s the ‘most beautiful thing’ to have Princess Charlene back with him. Pictured, at the Monaco F1 on May 29

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. 

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.’

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk