Has Princess Charlene been setting up a new life for herself in Johannesburg?

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco present gifts to the disadvantaged at the Monegasque Red Cross office

Princess Charlene has not been seen in Monaco since January of this year. It is widely believed that she only traveled to South Africa in May, and she’s been there ever since. Charlene and Prince Albert have a wide variety of excuses for why she’s still there. The latest excuse was some kind of complicated infection brought on by a sinus lift surgery she allegedly had done in Monaco just before she left in May.

One of the big surprises from this whole mess of “did she escape?!” is that it doesn’t seem like the European tabloids are doing much with it at the moment. Granted, the British media looks down their noses at the House of Grimaldi, but Monaco gossip is fun for Italian and French media, so why isn’t anyone saying much of anything? Well, apparently a German outlet, Bunte, is trying to get the ball rolling. This second-hand reporting is obviously being enhanced by Google Translate, but you get the idea:

According to the German magazine Bunte, which devoted its front page to Prince Albert of Monaco and his wife, Princess Charlene, are on the verge of divorce.

A divorce looming at the princely palace of Monaco? This is the question posed by the German magazine Bunte, which is on newsstands today. While Princess Charlene has been held in South Africa for several months for medical reasons, the whole world is wondering about the longevity of the princely couple. And for good reason, many clues would suggest that Albert and Charlene of Monaco are no longer the strong and inseparable couple they were a few years ago. They would even be building their future far from each other …

“Strange things have been happening in Monte-Carlo for over a year”, says Bunte magazine on July 15. According to the weekly, Princess Charlene would recently seek a foothold in Johannesburg, where she would be expanding her professional activities. Among other things, a company belonging to Gareth Wittstock, Charlene’s brother, would have the ambition to set up part of its activity in South Africa. Charlene’s friend and self-made millionaire Colleen Glaeser, 47, helped close the deal for the business. The South African supports the princess through tough times. Confidants report that Charlene “has been looking for a home for a long time near Johannesburg,” says Bunte magazine. He also specifies that the latter would have acquired a star horse of the South African equestrian circuit, proof that the wife of Prince Albert would not have the intention to leave the African continent, health problems or not.

Still, according to Bunte, Charlene of Monaco is said to be spending much more time in South Africa than she would like to suggest. The princess would make regular trips there since the beginning of the year 2021, to the point of abandoning her activities on the Rock. Her last appearance in Monaco dates back to January 27, 2021, the day of the Sainte-Devote ceremony, where she appeared in the company of her husband, Prince Albert II. Since then, her repeated absences, especially during the Monaco Grand Prix last May, have never ceased to be talked about.

[From News-in-24]

The gist is that Charlene – supposedly through her brother Gareth Wittstock – has been purchasing property in Johannesburg, South Africa, which was facilitated by one of Charlene’s independently wealthy friends. Sources also claim that Charlene has quietly been spending more time in South Africa over the past year than anyone realized previously. The suggestion being, she was planning to leave and she was setting up her post-Albert life in her home country. And she might have even bought some prize horse or something. If any or all of this is true, it would seem to indicate that the ENT infection really is just a cover story and stuff is being negotiated behind-the-scenes. The thing is, while I think Albert would “let Charlene go,” generally speaking, he doesn’t want a divorce. It’s not going to be a situation where they work out a divorce settlement with visitation and custody. They’re Catholic and he’s the “head of state.” He wants to stay married technically, and if she wants to stay in South Africa, so be it. As for the kids… well, clearly, they’ll “visit” occasionally.

Prince Albert II of Monaco during the last day of the World Rugby Sevens Repechage tournament


Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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36 Responses to “Has Princess Charlene been setting up a new life for herself in Johannesburg?”

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  1. Tanguerita says:

    well, it took her long enough, but now that her nose was finally set into the correct position, she probably can’t stand having the stank of Albert anywhere near her.

    • DuchessL says:

      LOLOL I think Albert has overdone it with the last illegitimate child. Charlene is probably so unhappy depressive maybe even suicidal, and it was just so so so cruel to just emprison her for the rest of her life in Monaco because another drama might happen. So they let her go and be happy with family and friends. And she can decide whether or not she wants to return. Get well soon Charlene.

      • LillyfromLillooet says:

        +1. It may rip her apart to not be able to be with her children but if you are depressed and suicidal, its got to be a situation of putting your own oxygen mask on first.

  2. Woke says:

    I’m not sure I really believe this. The explanation of why she’s still there seems pretty reasonable to me. Also not being able to see her kids more than occasional visits, I don’t think it’s a thing she can be content with that easily.

    • GraceB says:

      I’m really torn on what to believe. She could be building a second life for herself there. A place where she can escape when she needs to, but I also can’t see her wanting to live with just occasional visits from her kids. Perhaps I’m projecting my own feelings, but I just couldn’t imagine being without my kids. Saying that, I know people do it. I know things can feel so bad for people sometimes that they don’t see any other choice.

      • Marion says:

        Feel the same here, I couldn’t imagine myself being without my children. Yet some men do it without any problem.
        Maybe she’s felt so trapped during the last 10 years that this was her only way out. Which makes me feel ever sadder for her

      • MC2 says:

        I worked in DV & choosing your own safety over not being able to see your kids is a red flag of epic proportions. I am guessing her safety was at a grave risk- being emotionally & psychologically abused brings people to depression, addictive behaviors & suicidal ideation.
        If the children are forced to watch their mother be abused, but they are currently safe- this is a reason women leave. What would you choose? Be abused & watch your kids experience trauma by seeing their own mother abused, or spare them & leave…until you get the strength to hopefully return for them. It’s not really a choice women have & add to that the men tell them it’s their fault the abuse happens, they start to believe everyone would be better off without them.

      • Lee13 says:

        I don’t think she WANTS to live with only occasiona visits from her kids, but I don’t believe the possibility that she prefers that to her life in Monaco is nearly as inconceivable as people seem to think.

        (Not directed at any comment in particular, but a bit of context): My mother moved to another country when I was 10. She absolutely loved me and my brother and would have preferred to take us with her, but she also wasn’t willing to stay JUST for us. It caused a lot of pain for all of us of course, but I never doubted her love for us and we continue to be close 20+ years later. I always bristle when people act as if a mother’s love can always beat the odds or that a real mother would never leave her children behind. As a mother myself now, I get it. I could never imagine a scenario where I would ever allow myself to be separated from my children – especially given my own experiences. But life is complicated and I know that not everyone’s situation is comparable to mine. There just always seems to be a judgement there that hits me a little personally when it comes to these types of stories since I know my mother has always loved me to the absolute best of her abilities in spite of the distance.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    I believe they’re in the process of finalizing an arrangement for separate lives with her primarily based in South Africa. I’m starting to think that when she visited in May her intention was to return to Monaco but then she decided to stay in South Africa.

  4. Kitty says:

    Random, but if SA had a monarchy do you guys think Charlene would have preferred to have been a South African princess than a Monaco princess?

    • DS9 says:

      There’s no way for South Africa to have a monarchy that was an option for her without it being a foundation of racism…

      • Kitty says:

        True. It would cause riots if a white woman became princess of an African country. I was just saying if she had the choice to be princess in her home country. I think she enjoys the platform of being a princess but hates her life in Monaco.

    • Leducduswaz says:

      South Africa currently has seven legitimate Kingships, and another two which are disputed.
      The AmaXhosa (Eastern Cape) King Zwelonke Sigcawu
      The AmaZulu (KwaZulu-Natal) King Misizulu Zulu
      The AbaThembu (Eastern Cape) King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo
      The VhaVenda (Limpopo) King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana
      The AmaNdebele (Mpumalanga) King Makhosonke Enoch Mabena
      The AmaMpondo (Eastern Cape) King Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau
      The Bapedi ba Maroteng (Limpopo) King Thulare Victor Thulare

      • Talia says:

        Look up Ruth Williams Khama – she did exactly that (in Botswana not S.Africa) and back in the 1950s too. The fall out was EPIC. They (she and her husband) came out on top in the end but it took a lot of painful years to get there. A movie was made on the subject starring Rosalind Pike as Ruth – it’s well worth watching.

      • Lili says:

        I expected that SA would have Indigneous Kingship, as most african tribes do, I’m glad to see they are still in existence today.

      • Va Va Kaboom says:

        @Talia Just a couple days ago I found a short documentary about Sir Seretse Khama, his life, and how he lead Botswana from one of the poorest countries to the fastest growing economy in the world. It’s on the YouTube channel “NewAfrica” and if you enjoyed the movie about them you’d probably like this too. Oh, and when you say the fallout was epic you are not exaggerating lol.

  5. Gillysirl says:

    If I was treated how she’s generally treated in Monaco, I would want to leave. There’s a huge number of potential treatments she could be getting there that aren’t obvious through a picture. Whatever their stuff is, they keep it locked down and Albert hasn’t gone on any offensive “briefing” streak like their English counterparts.

    • Amy Bee says:

      It’s interesting that Albert hasn’t spoken about Charlene’s absence. It leads me to believe she really has left him.

  6. Mia4s says:

    This would make some sense. No divorce, but separate lives they will try to disguise with frequent travel. And I imagine she will be permitted to have whatever relationships she wants provided she is discreet….I mean he’s never been discreet, but we all know the double standard for women. 🙄

    “… are no longer the strong and inseparable couple they were a few years ago”

    Uhhhhhhhhhhh. Ok I’m just going to go ahead and assume something was lost in translation here. 😒

  7. Killfanora says:

    I don’t think being a Catholic would prevent Albert from getting divorced from Charlene as after-all his two sisters have umpteen divorces between them. I think the last count was five or six….?

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      It doesn’t matter. His siblings could get divorced 10 more times and no one would care. But the Head of State is supposed to set a different tone and only marry once.

    • Amanda says:

      Caroline was divorced once, from a grifter she married when young, and she’s currently separated from Ernst August of Hanover, but they clearly don’t plan to divorce (that may be the model for Charlene actually, as Caroline and Ernst August live very separate lives in different countries), and she’s still using her royal Hanoverian title instead of the lesser Monegasque one. Stéphanie has two divorces.

  8. DS9 says:

    We really put a too high expectation on mothers when it comes to their own happiness. Their kids seem well loved, well cared for, and happy. The primary beef is Albert’s wandering scepter and the people of Monaco being total snobs to Charlene after all this time.

    Her kids will be just fine with visits with her throughout the year. And so will she.

    • Anita says:

      I really, really like this input.
      Also, I agree about the snobbery of the aristocrats and higher ups.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Thanks for saying all this. I had also wondered on an earlier thread if the kids aren’t close to going to boarding school abroad anyway for most of the year.

  9. stagaroni says:

    The Princess could take land and sea transport to get home. It would take over a week, but if she wanted to get home, it could happen. I have never had a ‘sinus lift’ or dental implants, but I did have sinus surgery and the Dr broke my nose to fix a deviated septum. After 10 days I was off restrictions. I don’t know all the complications PC has experienced, but I do know that no one could keep me from my family that long unless I was tied down or I was ok with it. I wonder what the children think.

  10. Mina_Esq says:

    I bet there was some 10-year clause in their marriage agreement.

  11. J ferber says:

    I sure as hell hope she has gone for good. She can deal with custody from her home country. If she returns to Monaco, he will likely try to trap her there again. For God’s sake, Albert didn’t even have enough going for him to get a willing bride? She always seemed like his captive. DS9, I totally agree with your opinion.

    • Va Va Kaboom says:

      Nah, he’ll probably drive her to the tarmac himself. Might even carry her bags onto the plane too. Albert has his legitimate heirs now and they’ve managed the last ten years well enough. With Charlene on another continent he’s much freer to cat around without worrying about any fallout from her.

  12. GrnieWnie says:

    huh all the wild haircuts might’ve been about cutting Albert out of her hair, literally

  13. AmieDee says:

    Caroline, Albert’s sister, is still married to Ernst, no? Isn’t that a road map for Charlene to stay HSH without having to shack up with him?

  14. Lili says:

    in my heart i believe, she escaped from PA II, with all these women coming out of the woodwork claiming he fathered his children it got too much for her. With the drastic hair cuts they are like a cry for help. i just hope he lets her go gracefully, its not her fault you couldnt keep it in your pants.
    it says a lot all these princesses escaping the fariy tale of castles

  15. AmelieOriginal says:

    While I do enjoy a good conspiracy theory, I’m starting to think it might be a mixture of both. There’s another article on People today where she goes more in depth about her issues and how right now currently the pressure in her ears can’t equalize at 20,000 feet. Charlene is pretty private and probably felt she didn’t owe the public an explanation. But as time went on and her silence continued, the media naturally started to speculate about what on earth was going on. Her first statements were just she had a severe ENT infection and was having multiple procedures for it which were pretty vague. The latest article she is more detailed about why she can’t travel and at this point I choose to believe she kind of put herself in this mess unintentionally. She got a sinus lift and bone graft before she went to South Africa which led to severe ear pain and an ENT infection while she was there, leading her to get stuck in South Africa and get more procedures to deal with the consequences of the ENT infection. I think she’s probably secretly relieved to get all this extra time in South Africa–it’s the first time she’s been able to be on her own for so long away from snooty Monaco society and Albert. But I do think she desperately misses her kids and she wouldn’t have done the bone graft and sinus lift before leaving for South Africa had she realized it meant she would be stuck and unable to see them for several weeks.

    I do think it’s odd Albert has not said anything about his wife’s absence but that just leads me to two explanations: 1) he’s respecting his wife’s privacy as Charlene is notoriously private to begin with and is letting her handle the optics of her being in South Africa 2) he truly doesn’t care since they lead separate lives but is doing the bare minimum to make sure the twins get to speak to their mom every day by video call.

  16. Bellah says:

    Is it just me or do her hands seem disproportionately large in that “save our elephants” photo??
    Probably just an optical illusion.

  17. WTF says:

    If the goal is to separate, this is the dumbest clumsiest way to go about it. They could just live separate lives quietly.she could fly in for agreed upon events etc etc
    But this conspicuous absence and crazy cover stories only draws more attention.

  18. Bread and Circuses says:

    Given how long Albert was single (and making babies) despite being a prince who needed a legitimate heir, maybe marriage just isn’t for him and he’s always known it. After all, he put it off way longer than was convenient.

    Yes, it’s awkward being a Catholic head of state who gets a divorce, but he wasn’t exactly following church rules when he had however-many children out of wedlock. I don’t think he, personally, cares about that.