Reports have called into question the relationship between Prince Albert, 63, and Princess Charlene, 43, as they haven’t been seen together in public since January
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images)
It was 10 years ago when Prince Albert II of Monaco married Princess Charlene in a lavish two-day wedding costing £55million.
But now they are facing calls to reveal if their marriage is on the rocks following rumours all is not well in their relationship.
The last time the pair were seen in public together was in January and Charlene, 43, has been in South Africa since March – travelling there for a conservation trip.
According to the Telegraph, her trip to South Africa came shortly after reports surfaced that her husband, 63, was facing a paternity suit after being accused of fathering a love child early in their relationship. He already has two children out of wedlock.
Charlene, 43, failed to return to Monaco to celebrate her 10th anniversary with her husband in July but said she wasn’t allowed to travel due to a “serious” ear, nose and throat infection and has since had surgery.
Last week Prince Albert flew out to South Africa with the couple’s seven-year-old twin children and they posted images of themselves enjoying time as a family on social media.
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In one post, Charlene wrote: “I am so thrilled to have my family back with me.”
She also told a South African TV news channel: “Albert is my rock and strength and without his love and support I would not have been able to get through this painful time.”
But despite the pictures and the interview, French media have questioned their relationship, with respected Madame Figaro magazine asking: “How long will Albert II of Monaco go on bearing this affront, which is becoming ridiculous?”
Meanwhile, The Times pointed out that renowned French royal commentator Stéphane Bern wrote an article in Paris Match which asked: “Albert and Charlene on the verge of splitting up?”
He also wrote in that article that while Charlene was in South Africa, Albert had invited the mother of one of his illegitimate children to Monaco’s prestigious Red Cross ball.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene met in 2000 – the same year Charlene represented South Africa in the Sydney Olympics in swimming.
They married in July 2011 but there were reports before they tied the knot that she tried to leave Monaco and return to South Africa. The Palace dismissed the claims as “ugly rumours”.
The couple also spent their first days of the marriage apart with the pair staying in separate hotels in the South African city of Durban – due to Albert attending a meeting of the International Olympic Committee.
The palace later said they made up for their time apart on a secret honeymoon – thought to have been in Mozambique.
Three years later Charlene gave birth to twins Prince Jacque and Princess Gabriella.
But in the past, she has spoken about missing her native South Africa.
She told Eyewitness News: “I am African and this is my heritage. It will always be. It’s in my heart and in my veins.
“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.”