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Why does Charlene NEVER wear her engagement ring?

Princess Charlene of Monaco is often spotted in chic looks and expensive jewellery – but one piece she’s often seen without is her dazzling three-carat engagement ring.

The former Olympic swimmer, 43, married Prince Albert of Monaco, 63,  ten years ago after he proposed with a handcrafted pear-cut diamond flanked by smaller diamonds designed by Paris-based Italian jeweller Repossi.

Later, during the wedding service, the couple exchanged 18-carat white gold platinum rings by Cartier, with Princess Charlene laughing as she placed the ring on her husband’s finger.

But since her wedding day, the royal has often gone without either ring – and on occasion even worn different rings on her wedding finger. 

In the early days of marriage, the royal was often spotted showing off the dazzler, but since 2017 she’s seldom been seen pictured wearing the rings – even at formal events.

The princess, who is originally from Cape Town, has been in her home country for months after contracting a ‘serious sinus infection’. In August, she underwent a ‘four-hour operation under general anaesthesia’, although it was not made clear whether this was linked to the sinus infection. 

The couple deny any rift and say that Charlene hasn’t retuned home for health reasons – but rumours of unhappiness in the couple’s marriage long predate Charlene’s trip to Africa.

Princess Charlene of Monaco is often spotted in chic looks and expensive jewellery – but one piece she’s often seen without is her dazzling three-carat engagement ring. She is pictured in 2019 at the Monte Carlo gift distribution without the ring 

Charlene sported  a pearl ring on her wedding finger at Fete de la Saint Jean in 2020 (Pictured)

Charlene sported  a pearl ring on her wedding finger at Fete de la Saint Jean in 2020 (Pictured)

The princess, who is originally from Cape Town, has been in her home country for months after contracting a 'serious sinus infection'. In August, she underwent a 'four-hour operation under general anaesthesia', although it was not made clear whether this was linked to the sinus infection. She is pictured without the ring this year

The princess, who is originally from Cape Town, has been in her home country for months after contracting a ‘serious sinus infection’. In August, she underwent a ‘four-hour operation under general anaesthesia’, although it was not made clear whether this was linked to the sinus infection. She is pictured without the ring this year 

The mother-of-two missed her 10 year wedding anniversary but is expected to return to the principality this month,  after undergoing a ‘four-hour operation under general anaesthesia’ in August – although it was not made clear whether this was linked to the sinus infection.

Charlene and Albert reunited shortly after for the first time in months after the monarch and their children flew to South Africa, but photographs of the pair embracing were branded ‘awkward’ by a body language expert.

The pair have denied rumours of rift – with Prince Albert hit back at rumours of a rift in his marriage – 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’. 

 Known for her style, Charlene often wears gloves while out covering her jewellery, while many photos of her show her left hand hidden away.

Albert proposed with a handcrafted pear-cut diamond flanked by smaller diamonds designed by Paris-based Italian jeweller Repossi, pictured on Charlene's finger in 2012

Albert proposed with a handcrafted pear-cut diamond flanked by smaller diamonds designed by Paris-based Italian jeweller Repossi, pictured on Charlene’s finger in 2012 

In the early days of marriage, the royal was often spotted showing off the dazzler. One of the last images of her wearing her engagement ring was taken on Monaco's National Day in November 2017

In the early days of marriage, the royal was often spotted showing off the dazzler. One of the last images of her wearing her engagement ring was taken on Monaco’s National Day in November 2017 

Then a newly wed - Charlene wore the ring in 2012 to Monaco's National Day ball

Then a newly wed – Charlene wore the ring in 2012 to Monaco’s National Day ball

Photos of her at the Monaco National day Gala concert in 2012 show her wearing the ring, while she was seen wearing it again to greet the crowd from the Palace’s balcony during the Monaco National Day Celebration in 2017.

But during the same celebration in 2019 she was without the ring as she stepped out of the palace on the arm of Albert to greet crowds.

Several times throughout 2019 and 2020 she was in public without her engagement ring or wedding band.

She attended a Christmas gift distribution in 2020 in Monte Carlo – sporting a dramatic shaved haircut and no ring.

Again in September she ditched the jewel for The Crossing Calvi Monaco Water Bike Challenge.

In May 2019, she was again ringless to meet Lewis Hamilton as he won the Monaco Grand Prix and in June 2020 she sported an entirely different ring at Monaco Cathedral for Elizabeth-Ann De Massy’s funeral. 

The royal even wears different rings on the fourth finger of her left hand, instead of her wedding and engagement rings. Pictured: Stepping out on Monaco's National Day in November 2019

The royal even wears different rings on the fourth finger of her left hand, instead of her wedding and engagement rings. Pictured: Stepping out on Monaco’s National Day in November 2019  

She attended a Christmas gift distribution in 2020 in Monte Carlo - sporting a dramatic shaved haircut and no ring.

She attended a Christmas gift distribution in 2020 in Monte Carlo – sporting a dramatic shaved haircut and no ring. 

Again in September she ditched the jewel for The Crossing Calvi Monaco Water Bike Challenge.

Again in September she ditched the jewel for The Crossing Calvi Monaco Water Bike Challenge. 

She sported an entirely different ring at Monaco Cathedral for Elizabeth-Ann De Massy's funeral

She sported an entirely different ring at Monaco Cathedral for Elizabeth-Ann De Massy’s funeral

She was also without it as early as 2018 – when she ditched the diamond again to attend the Christmas gift distribution.

She was without it again at the  71th Monaco Red Cross Ball Gala in 2019 – and sported a pearl ring on her wedding finger at  Fete de la Saint Jean in 2020.

Since 2021 – where she’s been in South Africa – she hasn’t been pictured with ring.  

In his first interview since returning from visiting his wife in South Africa, Albert told People magazine of Charlene: ‘She’s ready to come home.’

Despite Charlene being admitted to hospital after a ‘sudden collapse’ rumours are rife that a rift with Prince Albert, rather than health issues, is what’s keeping her away from Monaco.

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

Last week, Prince Albert was joined on the red carpet by actress Sharon Stone, 63, for a first look at the eagerly anticipated James Bond release – Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as the iconic secret agent.

It was their second joint appearance in less than a week, with both having previously attended the 2021 Monte Carlo Gala for Planetary Health on September 23. Charlene was noticeably absent from the event. 

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’. 

The mother-of-two has apparently since had several corrective procedures – including one in late June that resulted in her missing her 10th wedding anniversary on July 1 and a four-hour long operation on August 13.

On September 1, Charlene was admitted to a local hospital after suddenly ‘collapsing’. She was later released but doctors are ‘still establishing exactly what happened’, according to a statement from Chantell Wittstock, director of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.

Speaking to People, Albert said: ‘She didn’t leave Monaco in a huff! She didn’t leave because she was mad at me or at anybody else… She didn’t go into exile. It was absolutely just a medical problem which had to be treated.’ 

He added that his wife had planned to travel to South Africa to reassess her foundation’s work and to spend time with her brother and friends.

But the ’10-day maximum stay’ has lasted several months because of the infection, which the prince said resulted in ‘all these medical complications’.

Yet the last time Charlene was spotted in Monaco was in January, and the extended time apart from her husband and two children has sparked speculation about the state of the royals’ marriage.

Albert admitted he ‘probably should have addressed’ the rumours sooner, but was ‘concentrating on taking care of the kids’ and believed they would just ‘go away’.

‘Of course it affects her, of course it affects me,’ he told the magazine. ‘Misreading events is always detrimental… We’re an easy target, easily hit, because we’re in the public eye a lot.’

In recent weeks, 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.

According to The Telegraph, 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’

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’.

Charlene has been in South Africa since at least March, with media reports suggesting she is looking for a house there.

The prince, who already supports two illegitimate children, is alleged to have been in 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 in 2000.

However, Charlene has publicly supported her husband, and the palace have reiterated she is only in South Africa because she’s unable to fly.

On August 13, the Monaco palace released a statement saying Charlene was to undergo surgery.

It read: ‘Princess Charlene will undergo an operation today, Friday, August 13, for four hours under general anaesthesia.’

The princess will not return to Monaco until at least the end of October.

Princess Charlene, who has been well enough to conduct interviews from South Africa and has been seen out and about, has used the time to promote her anti-poaching initiative, Chasing Zero.

Charlene’s last formal engagement was on January 27 when she joined Albert for the Sainte Devote Ceremony in Monte Carlo. She has not been seen at home since.

Instead she has been keeping followers updated through social media posts and media interviews, in which she has spoken candidly about missing her children and described her husband as ‘her rock’.

Speaking to South Africa Radio 702’s host Mandy Wiener, the royal said: ‘[It’s] very frustrating, terribly frustrating. I can’t wait to get back to them, I can’t wait to see my children.’

Charlene revealed: ‘It’s the longest period I’ve actually been away from Europe, let alone my children, but I’m FaceTiming them most days and they’ve been here and will be returning to see me again after my procedure.

‘It’s an amazing opportunity [to be here] but I’m very sad I can’t be with my children this summer in Europe.’

She added that she was initially only supposed to be in her native South Africa for ten to 12 days for a conservation trip with her Princess Charlene of Monaco foundation.

Princess Charlene (pictured), 43, has shared a photograph of herself smiling in front of what appears to be a bible in her first snap since being discharged from hospital following her health scare in South Africa one month ago

Princess Charlene (pictured), 43, has shared a photograph of herself smiling in front of what appears to be a bible in her first snap since being discharged from hospital following her health scare in South Africa one month ago

However, the royal had a problem ‘equalising her ears’ and was told by a doctor that she was suffering from a serious sinus infection.

‘It’s taken time to address the problem that I’m having,’ explained Charlene. ‘I cannot go into full detail, but I cannot force healing so I will be grounded in South Africa until the end of October.

‘The reason being I cannot fly above 3,000 metres otherwise I’ll have a problem with my ears.

Princess Charlene’s trials and tribulations in the Monaco royal family 

1987 – Bea Fiedler, a German topless model, claims her son Daniel was the prince’s son.

1992 – An American national files a paternity lawsuit against the Prince, claiming that he was the father of her daughter, Jazmin Grace.

2000 – Princess Charlene meets Prince Albert at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monte Carlo

2005 – In May, a former flight attendant claims that her youngest son, whom she named Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, was Prince Albert’s child. She states that his parentage had been proven by DNA tests requested by the Monegasque government.

On 6 July, a few days before he was enthroned on 12 July, the Prince officially confirms via his lawyer Lacoste that Alexandre was his biological son.

2006 – After a DNA test confirmed the child’s parentage, Albert admitted, via statement from his lawyer, that he is Jazmin Grace’s father.

2010 – Princess Charlene and Prince Albert announce their engagement

2011 – Princess Charlene was said to have bolted two days before the royal wedding after hearing Prince Albert had a third love child during their relationship. It was alleged that Charlene tried to flee home to South Africa three times before her ‘arranged marriage’, at one point taking refuge inside her country’s embassy in Paris.

Monaco officials were said to have coaxed her back by brokering a deal between the Prince and his reluctant bride that she provide him with a legitimate heir. After that she would be free to leave of her own free will.

During the wedding, Charlene was in floods of tears, while her husband looked on impassively. Later in the year, Princess Charlene confessed she felt ‘very lonely’ in Monaco

2012 – Princess Charlene was reported to be ‘depressed’ at her failure to provide her husband with a legitimate heir.

2014 – Pregnancy was announced in May. In December Charlene gave birth to twins Princess Gabriella and heir to the throne Prince Jacques.

2017 – Princess Charlene visits Africa, tells media: ‘I am African and this is my heritage. It will always be. It’s in my heart and in my veins.’

2019 – In a rare interview, Princess Charlene confessed it is ‘sometimes hard to smile’ and said the year had been ‘very painful’In another interview, she said she found motherhood ‘exhausting’

2020 – Charlene debuts a shocking half-shaved hairstyle. It is announced Prince Albert of Monaco will appear in court in the new year to fight explosive claims he fathered a third love child with a secret girlfriend before marrying his now wife Princess Charlene.

2021 – January 27 – Charlene is pictured with Albert for the Sainte Devote Ceremony in Monaco. It is the last time she has been seen in Monaco this year.

‘I feel well, I feel good, it’s just obviously a waiting game for me, but I’ve had a great opportunity to understand a little bit more about South Africa, the environment, the needs and it’s been wonderful to be back in South Africa, and I think at this time it’s crucial that people are aware of certain things via my foundation.’

Charlene joined the video interview from bush country in the KwaZulu-Natal region.

She has also shared videos released by the Monaco royal palace to mark her and Albert’s 10th wedding anniversary, which took place in July. The couple spent the milestone thousands of miles apart.

But royal sources have suggested the princess has ‘no plans’ to return soon. A palace source told Paris Match: ‘The Princess has, for the time being, in reality, no intention of returning.’

The separation is also affecting Charlene’s relationship with the people of Monaco.

Stéphane Bearn uses an impeccably sourced piece in the latest Paris Match to discuss the torturous separation.

He describes subjects in Monaco becoming increasingly angry about their runaway Princess, as they criticise everything from Charlene’s mood swings to her appearance.

‘In Monaco, since the departure of Charlene, tongues have loosened,’ Mr Bearn writes. ‘In the whirlwind of a hard-nosed court, her fine shine is rubbing off. Her sad looks are regarded as haggard.

‘Disappointed Monegasques talk about her anger, her whimsical moods, which are as changeable as her hair.’

He added: ‘The Palace had to invoke a suffering Princess so often that the Monegasques today find it hard to believe. By crying wolf, the mother of Jacques and Gabriella would have discredited and isolated herself.’

During her trip, Charlene also debuted a dramatic new shaved hairstyle.

She showcased the ‘French crop’ hairdo – featuring a longer strip on top of the head and dramatically shaved back and sides – in snaps shared on her charity’s Instagram page in late May.

The royal first stepped out with a dramatic half-shaved head in December 2020 but has since gone even shorter and bolder with the cut.

Charlene and Albert’s marriage has been plagued with rumours from the start.

The couple met at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monte Carlo in 2000, announced their engagement in 2010.

Former Olympic swimmer Charlene reportedly tried to flee Monaco for her native South Africa on three separate occasions before the royal wedding after discovering Albert had allegedly fathered a love child – his third – while they were together.

Monaco officials were said to have coaxed her back by brokering a deal between the Prince and his reluctant bride, saying she could leave once she had provided him with a legitimate heir.

One source said at the time: ‘Charlene will provide an heir, then if things don’t go well, she will receive a generous divorce settlement once she’s served a decent amount of time.’

Charlene was seen in floods of tears on her wedding day in 2011.

Just one year after their wedding, it was reported that Charlene was ‘depressed’ at her failure to provide her husband with a legitimate heir.

Her pregnancy was announced in May 2014, and in December that year she gave birth to twins Princess Gabriella and heir to the throne Prince Jacques.

In the 10 years since, Charlene has rarely spoken publicly of her experience.

In 2017, the Princess made an emotional return to Africa, where she spoke about how much the continent means to her.

‘I am African and this is my heritage. It will always be. It’s in my heart and in my veins,’ she told Eyewitness News.

Last year she admitted life was ‘very painful’, saying: ‘I have the privilege of having this life, but I miss my family and my friends in South Africa and I’m often sad because I cannot always be there for them.’

It’s been a tumultuous start to the year for the royal, after news emerged that her husband is facing a paternity suit over a love child born in the early years of their relationship.

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 15, 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.’

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.

In January, Charlene spoke publicly for the first time since the allegations, telling Point de Vue: ‘When my husband has problems, he tells me about it. I often tell him, ‘No matter what, no matter what, I’m a thousand percent behind you. I’ll stand by you whatever you do, in good times or in bad.’

The mother-of-two went on to say she also often tells her husband she will ‘protect him’ and will ‘always be by his side.’

Charlene, who was raised in South Africa and represented the country at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, travelled to Thanda Safari in KwaZulu-Natal in January to learn more about being done by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa to help save rhinos from poachers.

The princess took part in conservation operations including rhino monitoring and tracking, deployment with the Anti-Poaching Unit, educational wildlife photography sessions, and a White Rhino dart and dehorning exercise.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk