Princess Charlene is still in South Africa, ten years after her first escape attempt


Around May 19th, Princess Charlene left Monaco to spend some time in South Africa, where she was born and where she spent much of her life. Her intention was to do a few days of conservation work and then return to Monte Carlo to be by her husband’s side for the Monaco Grand Prix two weekends ago. Instead, it was announced on the day of the Grand Prix that Charlene would not attend. She was still in South Africa and she had been “forced to extend her stay” in the country because of a severe-sounding nose and throat infection.

Interestingly enough, Charlene is still in South Africa and she’s still posting photos onto her Instagram. The most recent IG posted is clearly from the same work she was doing with the rhinos before her alleged throat infection. It’s possible she’s sitting in a hospital bed in South Africa, posting two-week-old photos from her trip. It absolutely is the case that Charlene is *still* in South Africa though. By my count, she’s been there for over two weeks? Prince Albert was out with their six-year-old twins on Wednesday and the Daily Mail noted that Charlene has still not returned to Monaco.

So… this whole thing is curious and it sounds like another one of Charlene’s escape attempts, only this time she actually got away with her passport. Remember that? When Charlene tried to escape Monaco just before her 2011 wedding, Prince Albert’s henchmen confiscated her passport!! That was the widely-reported story, although Albert tried to deny it. The point is that I think Charlene either escaped for real or she just needs a big break from Albert ahead of their ten-year wedding anniversary next month. Maybe she just decided to do a commemorative escape attempt on the ten-year anniversary of her first escape attempt?? It’s pretty… interesting.

Tour de France Stage One

Monaco National Day 2019 - Balcony Parade

Photos courtesy of Charlene’s IG and Avalon Red.

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75 Responses to “Princess Charlene is still in South Africa, ten years after her first escape attempt”

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  1. k says:

    That picture is very Mad Max.

    • ellie says:

      I was just thinking about how Charlene and Charlize have a very similar name, look very similar and now I found out they’re both from SA.

      This would make a great movie about twin sisters whose lives turn out totally differently. One becomes a badass Hollywood star and the other becomes a princess/prisoner in a European microstate.

      • Palesa says:

        Both from the same town is SA even

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        It might have been a Vanity Fair article about Runaway Royal Brides but remember reading that Charlene looked liked a cross of Charlize & Naomi Watts. The wedding day did appear to be full of tears and the wedding night was separate rooms.

        I’ve always wondered about her interest in him outside of money. Albert just isn’t that sexy or interesting. He’s always screamed douchebag to me. Don’t know the results of the 3rd paternity test lawsuit that he was supposed to have done this past February. This child would have been while they were dating. I don’t know a lot about Charlene. She doesn’t seem like a bad person. I think it was royalfoibles that said something about the divorce/custody issues. Not sure how reliable that is. Always kind of liked the story about the boy twin having his action figure with him on the balcony of some event. I think Charlene got dragged for it. She’s earned some time off from the Grimaldi’s. She wears that hairstyle very well.
        Great screenplay idea!

    • Esme says:

      He has two legitimate kids, he should let her go already.
      (As a former competitive swimmer, I can’t help but sympathize with Charlene, sorry)

  2. milliemollie says:

    She didn’t escape. She’d never see her children again. She’s going to return to Monaco eventually.

    • Snuffles says:

      You never know, she might be willing to start some shit to get custody of her kids. Should be interesting!

      • milliemollie says:

        I don’t see Albert ever letting that happen. He’d do everything in his power to prevent that.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        She wanted out as soon as all of his skeletons were out of the closet. So he sent his henchmen, took possession of her passport and had his henchmen manhandle her back to Monaco. She cried throughout a majority of the event. The fact that he had it stipulated that if she divorces him, she loses custody of her own children is an act of a vile man. I hope she is able to free herself. Ten years later and she still looks miserable.

      • Snuffles says:


        Doesn’t mean that Charlene can’t make a public spectacle and embarrass the fuck out of him. He’d look like pure evil if he kept her kids away from her. She might be aiming for joint custody.

      • Enny says:

        I don’t think it’s true she’d never see the kids again. People said the exact same thing if Katie Holmes ever tried to leave Scientology. Albert does not have all the power here. It’s debatable how much power he actually has over anything these days. She knows where the bodies are buried – probably literally. If, indeed, she is divorcing Albert and leaving Monaco, she has a plan.

      • milliemollie says:

        @Enny Albert needs his heir, Tom has no use for Suri anymore since she’s not a Scientologist.

        @Snuffles I don’t think he’d look like pure evil to most people. He’d make her look insane and unstable, and most tend to believe the (male) monarch and would fall for it. A lot of people still think that Meghan is pure evil

      • Snuffles says:


        There will be a small contingent that will take Albert’s side but I’m confident the public sentiment across the world will be with Charlene. ESPECIALLY after what Meghan went through. And I think most of the world sympathizes with Meghan than they do the royal family. It’s only the UK press who are on their endless propaganda campaign.

        And just how powerful do you think Albert is outside of Monaco and his little royal circle? I think PR wise, he would totally lose if Charlene ever decided to air out their business and out it to the court of public opinion.

      • milliemollie says:

        It’s not just UK press smearing Meghan, the German tabloids are also against her.
        Let’s agree to disagree. I’d wish for her that she can leave with her kids, but I don’t see it happening.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Snuffles, the people of Monaco love their royal family. They don’t care about his cheating, or how long she holidays on her own.

      • Gruey says:

        There are MANY people who remember those tears. Lainey featured the clip over and over for months and all but said she was a hostage. Were she to explode the marriage, Twitter would have a field day reintroducing that footage to gen Z. She has power and with the right strategist and legal fire power, she could use it effectively.

      • QueenB33 says:

        I agree that she could make trouble for Albert to get at least some custody of her kids. The Sussexes have given her a blueprint on how to handle the monarchy. The days of Diana are over and people are getting sick of these elitist, racist and misogynistic institutions.

      • Belig says:

        @BothSidesNow “The fact that he had it stipulated that if she divorces him, she loses custody of her own children”

        Do we know this? How?

    • Talie says:

      all the royal marriages seem to be archaic in this way. Even in England, I believe “the crown” dictates all major decision with the children of the heir. I always found it odd that people talk about Harry having to be regent to George if something happened to William – like what about his mother!

      • MMadison says:

        If something happened to William, Kate becomes irrelevant. Without William she has basically has no position in the Royal Family. She will be the mother of the King or future King but really that’s it. Remember without William present Kate falls last in the pecking order behind all those of Royal Blood and any Royal married in who is present with his/her Royal spouse. Basically Kate is nothing without William. Remember how they treated Diana after the divorce so basically Kate would get the same treatment.

      • SnoodleDumpling says:

        Regent does not equal legal guardian. The Regency Act of 1937 is pretty clear that a regent only deals with the legal and traditional duties of the monarch and that the surviving non-royal parent retains legal guardianship of the minor monarch.

        A regent only steps in as legal guardian if BOTH parents are dead (and since a regent would have to be the next adult in line over 21 they’d likely be one of said minors’ nearest living relatives anyways so under normal circumstances would already be under consideration for guardianship).

    • Still_Sarah says:

      @ MillieMollie : Any woman who’s been married ten years and has been caring for twins for six years deserves an extended vacation back home where she can relax and remember who she was before all of that. My sister took a trip with my mother for two weeks when her kids were about the same age. It was the first time she had traveled without her kids. I hope Charlene smokes a few joints, hoists some beers and dances all night with her girlfriends.

    • Demi says:

      I don’t see any of that happening I think she will return & they may live separate lives just to show up for public appearances if their marriage indeed is on the rocks
      Monaco need the Grimaldi to be independent or they will be part of France

    • HeyJude says:

      I don’t think that’s necessarily true, unfortunately. People give up their children all the time, even mothers.

      Especially, and I really wonder this is the case, if Charlene has decided the palace forces are influencing her kids in a negative way beyond what she can combat as their mother, and now that they’re older she sees they’re turning more into Albert. Which is something I imagine she’d struggle with, so she’s decided to try to get herself out even without them. She can’t save anyone until she saves herself, so to speak.

      See Nicole Kidman leaving her kids in Scientology to safely set up a life elsewhere for herself. In these nefarious organizations this is sometimes the reality and the only way out.

  3. Christine says:

    And she got a new shaved haircut! A day ago. D
    So she is well enough to get haircuts……

  4. caitlinsmom says:

    I seriously doubt that she would abandon her children. I agree, if she did try to escape for good she would never see them again.

  5. Cecilia says:

    Good for her for escaping to be honest.

  6. Jay says:

    I’d want a month long vacation, too, before having to pose for commemorative photos with Albert. Maybe she’s negotiating. Oh, it’s our ten year anniversary and you want me to do press? Well… my calendar is pretty full. What’s it worth to you?

    • MF1 says:

      Yeah, this reminds me of when Melania refused to move into the White House until 45 rewrote their prenup. I think Charlene is exercising her leverage here. (And apologies to Charlene for comparing her to Melania. I’m sure she’s a much better person than that Nazi POS.)

  7. Elvie says:

    Has Albert ever done solo outings with the twins before this year? It does feel very sinister, like even if she hasn’t done a runner, they’re flaunting the kids in her face in the press as a threat.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Yes he has, repeatedly, done solo engagements with the kids before this year.

    • Neta says:

      They are now together in South Africa, where they went on a safari, Charlene, Albert and the twins. You can se the pic on her own Instagram.

  8. DuchessL says:

    Charlene will spend time put on their 10th anniversary so we’ll all know what she thinks: Fck Albert. Boy, she has lost so much weight, that to me + the SOS haircut is a deadringer for mental health issue. I hope all goes well for her and for her children.

  9. ThatgirlThere says:

    I really don’t understand this union. The way she is so clearly miserable with this awful man. Why he seemed to force her to marry him. Why she can’t leave with her babies forever.

    She’s acting out the way I feel Keen Kate wants to.

    • Maria says:

      Kate would never. She has everything she worked for. If William divorced her though she might get a side buzz, lol.

      • SomeChick says:

        somehow I think Kate would respond by getting even more hair. the buzz look would never work on her, unlike Charlene, who rocks it.

  10. Gil says:

    I have also got weird vibes from their marriage. Like he only wanted a woman that “looked” like his mom to become the mother of his children. I don’t seen chemistry or anything between them.

  11. Mia4s says:

    Am I wrong or aren’t we waiting for yet another paternity suit to be resolved with Albert? One that would be for a child born after she married him (i.e. one born after what I am sure is one of many extramarital affairs)? Yeah…..I’d need to get away too.

    The son is the heir so there is no way she’d get to leave with her kids. My guess is we will see a lot of extended vacations. I’m sure the kids have an army of nannies looking after them, so other than their father being a twat and their mother being desperate to escape all the time….yeah never mind, this won’t end well.

  12. Amy Bee says:

    I think she’s left him. Two weeks is a long time to be away from your children. I think Albert has agreed for her to leave but she had to leave the children with him.

    • Linda says:

      How is two weeks a long time to be away from your children?

    • Seraphina says:

      I get what Amy Bee is saying about the two weeks when the kids are that age. BUT, PC has a slew of help. The longest I went away for was 6 days and the kids were about that age as well. All I can say is that it was a nice break. It seems difficult at first but it gets easier.

  13. Samab says:

    I think that’s gonna be my new haircut

  14. DS9 says:

    If she has to leave her children behind to gain mental and emotionally stability for herself, then I don’t blame her one second for that.

    I would imagine hee children are loved and cared for by the same people who have always loved and cared for them and that the vast majority of Charlene’s misery is about how Albert’s lumpy head ass treats her, not what the children live with/are exposed to.

    • Merricat says:


    • MF1 says:

      Me too. She’ll be a better mother when she’s mentally and emotionally healthier. Good on her for taking care of herself.

    • Seraphina says:

      DS9 – I agree with you. I stated above that I once went on a trip for a week with my cousins and the aunts. I was apprehensive about leaving but damn was it good to get away from all the running around and mommy duties. Good for the mental well being indeed.

  15. Lala11_7 says:

    Alls I’m saying is that picture looks like a representation of….”I WISH A MOFO WOULD TRY IT!!!”

    So…there’s THAT for subliminal messaging…

  16. mellie says:

    I cannot even begin to imagine what it’s like to live like these people……beautiful princess fleeing from evil prince. Completely out of my wheelhouse.

  17. Miranda says:

    She has such desperately sad eyes. Even in the rare photos where she’s smiling, her eyes never are. I don’t think there’s any question that there’s some horrific emotional abuse going on here. Albert’s constant affairs are almost certainly a calculated effort to humiliate Charlene and remind her that he sees her as nothing more than a broodmare, and I also don’t doubt that he’s doing everything he can to turn her children against her in her absence.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, exactly, Miranda. I noted this further down. She looks so absent. I can’t work out whether she’s deliberately doing this in pictures – as some form of protest against the constraints of her marriage – and/or she is simply done in and defeated, and the photographers are capturing it. It’s really sad.

  18. notasugarhere says:

    I doubt she’s going anywhere, she has what she wants. She, like Kate, waited through almost a decade of cheating and waffling before Albert married her. No marketable skills, no real job, just lived as Girlfriend Of for a decade.

    All she wants is an easy, posh life, a handful of royal duties a year, and the wealth to do whatever she wants. They’ll stay married, she’ll keep doing her duties in Monaco while taking kids on dad-free holidays as she’s done in the past.

    • Maria says:

      She was an accomplished swimmer and set up her own foundation among other things.
      I don’t know what their courtship was like, but although she might have shades of a vapid socialite, she’s still done far more than Kate (not that that bar is very high).

      • notasugarhere says:

        Yes, she was an Olympic swimmer. Which pays nothing and didn’t get her a career. She was on the party circuit when she met Albert.

        Her foundation? Yes she pours her heart into it and does great work. All of the money for that foundation came from her husband, she didn’t raise it.

    • MissMarirose says:

      One of the things I found curious about her is that after a decade of living at the palace as his girlfriend, she still didn’t speak any French during a pre-wedding interview.

      I’m not sure why that is, maybe she just can’t pick up another language, but I’m willing to bet that kind of isolation contributes to her loneliness.
      Hopefully, she can speak French now.

      • notasugarhere says:

        She was fluent in English and Afrikaans when they met. My understand is she’s been working on, and improving, her French for years. And Monaco is cosmopolitan, she wouldn’t be isolated as plenty of people in Monaco speak English.

  19. Amelie says:

    If her family still lived in South Africa I would say maybe she is extending her stay on purpose but from what I remember reading both her parents and brother relocated to Monaco. It’s possible she still has a lot of friends back there but I just can’t see her abandoning her two kids. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe there will be a surprise divorce announcement.

  20. Nina says:

    Can someone remind me how this marriage came about in the first place? I feel like I’m missing something – how did it get to the point where she couldn’t break it off?

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      He needed a legitimate heir and he was getting older and he’s messy so he needed to get married.

      • notasugarhere says:

        And other countries were getting press for their royal wedding celebrations, so he decided he might as well get married too.

  21. GirlMonday says:

    Two weeks after a year and some change of covid doesn’t seem crazy to me. But she does look like she wants to be free

  22. Hyrule Castle says:

    Remember what the Monaco courts did to Kelly Rutherford and her kids.

    Sure, we can say she did it to her and deserved it, but we all know now how reporting can slanted, and the woman is always crazy, in the wrong, etc etc.

    Remember poor Denise, what she went through.

    I can’t imagine Charlene would chance it, in a Monaco court system.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Kelly Rutherford who lied repeatedly in legal documents? Who wrongfully called immigration on her ex, falsely accused him of crimes he didn’t commit, and had him thrown out of the US? A California court ruled that joint custody was required, and that they could all live in France where the father was legally allowed to live. California court, not a Monaco one.

      He put forward an agreement to willing to co-parent in a different country of her choice, one where they could both live legally. She rejected it, jumped from US court to US court, and demanded full custody. He won physical custody of the kids because she made it illegal for him to live in the US, and she refused to accept any joint custody. Monaco court ruled in his favour, after the California court had also done so. She pulled more games, refused to return the children to the father with whom they’d been living for years, was challenged in courts, and she lost. Frankly she deserved to lose.

    • Isabella Saxon says:

      Who is Denise?

  23. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    I heard she came down with Covid in SA. Her and Albert aren’t together anymore and it’s no huge secret to most around Monaco. They broke up after the twins were born and only see each other at official engagements. I can’t imagine she’d abandon her twins but who knows anymore? It all depends on how truly traumatic this has all been for her. The events around the wedding are those where very few know what truly happened that took her to the border in that state. But we know something happened.

  24. Robin says:

    There is such an absence in her eyes sometimes. I worry for her.

  25. Neta says:

    I think she is back in Monaco, the latest pic from her own Instagram HSHPrincess Charlene show her and the kids, and prins Albert all together at a birthday party för her brothers kid Aiva.

  26. Bread and Circuses says:

    Unrelated, but I love that balcony photo, with the children looking like very tiny Bond villains.

  27. godivalady says:

    i hope she gets out. with lots of money. i feel like this marriage has been so stifling for her

  28. SusanRagain says:

    OK, I’m lost.
    She was a live in the palace girlfriend for 10 years?
    And then did not want to marry him?
    But, was somehow forced to go thru with the marriage, birth children and has been held hostage by the ptb, for a decade of a miserable marriage?

    I do remember she wept thru most of the wedding ceremony and the tabs had tons of coverage about her being a runaway bride, etc.

    But, how could she be forced into all that?
    Yes, I know, “royalty” has wealth, power, blah, blah, blah but Albert is known to be a cheater with multiple and assorted children. Why would her force her to marry him? He could obviously father children, despite his aging.
    He could have waited longer and married any number of women, happy to live a life of luxury and provide a legit heir.

    She is stunning looking and I like all of her fierce hairstyles.

    • notasugarhere says:

      She wasn’t forced, she didn’t try to run, they won a ruling against the tabloids who claimed she was a runaway bride. She and Albert have their own version of a business arrangment, in which she is content. She works very little, gets her own Foundation funded by Albert, holidays with and without the kids whenever she wants.