Is Prince Albert paying Charlene 12 million euros a year to stay in the marriage?

Princess Charlene has made public appearances in Monaco the past two weekends. She attended events with her husband Prince Albert and their two children. These events were her first public appearances since her mysterious illness in 2021 and her subsequent mysterious treatment at a Swiss facility for four months. In the most recent photos, Charlene looks healthier physically, but she seems especially downcast and over it, especially when interacting with Albert. Now French gossips have an interesting theory about why Charlene is back in Monaco and why she’s doing events with Albert.

Prince Albert of Monaco has signed an ‘ultra-confidential contract’ to pay his troubled wife Charlene more than £10m a year to fulfil her Royal duties, it was claimed today. Leading French media reported that the 64-year-old ruler of the tax haven Mediterranean principality was doing everything possible to keep Princess Charlene, 44, ‘at his side at public events’.

Major French outlets that specialise in celebrity news said Charlene’s sudden re-appearance at the weekend was welcomed by all Royal watchers. ‘But the Princess did not return at any price,’ magazine Voici reported. ‘She would have had her husband sign an ultra-confidential contract.’ Conditions include Albert paying Charlene ‘12 million euros [£10.2m] per year’, the outlet claims.

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.’

Events that Charlene could now be contractually obliged to attend include the F1 Grand Prix on May 29 and the Rose charity ball which has been rescheduled from March 19 to July 8.

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.

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.’

[From The Daily Mail]

Yeah, the principality doesn’t operate financially like other royal houses. While Albert is not technically a king, he actually is a royal executive, more like the CEO and president of the tiny principality. He has abundant wealth all over the place, in extensive real estate holdings, Swiss accounts, casinos and more. Monegasques don’t pay income tax and they get free cable. My point is that paying Charlene 12 million euros a year would be a drop in the bucket given Albert’s personal wealth. That being said, surely divorce or a permanent separation would likely be a lot healthier for both of them? Charlene is miserable, regardless of what she’s being paid to stay. (If I was being paid 12 million euros a year to make two dozen public appearances, I would slap a smile on my face so easily. But everybody’s different.)

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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53 Responses to “Is Prince Albert paying Charlene 12 million euros a year to stay in the marriage?”

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  1. Angel says:

    She’s the living proof that money doesn’t buy happiness. I feel so bad for her.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    I would only do the 12 million a year if I were able to live part time (say 50% in a place of my choosing WITH my children. But if this is true, she still looks miserable. What a sad life.

    • DuchessL says:

      Exactly what I came to say. We’re probably only getting the info on half the deal – the real deal was most probably a mean one which she wadnt able to refuse like “we’ll give you 12M euros, show up for events and live with your kids or you can go and do whatever you want outside Monaco.” No brainer i’ll chose my kids too. She’ll never get healthy living like this and will always look sad; sad face is the cry for help to replace the haircut drama.

  3. MY3CENTS says:

    I’m betting Kate would sign that deal in a heartbeat.

  4. ThatsNotOkay says:

    What’s she gonna do with $12M a year if she isn’t free? What’s the point?

    • Kkat says:

      It’s retirement money for when the kids are old enough not to be affected by custody issues.
      Once the kids are grown, there would be nothing to keep her there

  5. Southern Fried says:

    She appears so deeply sad that I worry about her.

  6. Kalana says:

    Charlene is what Charles and Camilla wanted Diana to be. Attractive white breeding stock with no support. But Diana had charisma and people loved her. Apparently people in Monaco don’t like Charlene.

    Albert is a controlling creep. Why stay married to someone who doesn’t want you. What kind of sadism is this? He’s so calm and collected while Charlene and the kids are unhappy. Does he struggle with feeling empathy? Is the control the point?

    And while I don’t know if the story is not true, his first son’s mother leaking a story about Charlene mistreating her step son, Albert supposedly being upset, but then things being fine between them seems very suspect. It effectively kills support for Charlene who may really be racist but then so is Albert.

    • Beverley says:

      Yes, about a year ago I read that his first son’s mother had enraged Albert by revealing that Charlene relocated the youngster to the servants’ quarters. I don’t have any problem believing this because although apartheid is officially abolished in South Africa, many whites retain their disdain for dark-skinned people. So yeah, I believe the South African Charlene sent Albert’s son by a Black woman away from his own living quarters in the palace and Albert was cool with it…until the boy’s mother publicly spilled the tea.

      • Kalana says:

        I’m going a step further and saying I think Albert authorized his son’s mother to tell that story and only pretended to be upset it got out. I think he doesn’t want people to feel sorry for Charlene and it’s hard to have sympathy for a racist woman who mistreated her stepson. The son’s mother was still complimentary about Albert.

      • Al says:

        If it’s true, why is it all on Charlene? Albert is the father and the prince. Wouldn’t he have ultimate authority over the situation? If not, why? So why isn’t he being held responsible for the banishment of his son? I’m not excusing anyone here; there are no winners in this story.

      • stagaroni says:

        Albert’s mistress/mother of his son dropped the child off unexpectedly, Albert was not home, and Charlene was preparing for the wedding. The child was left with caretakers at the palace because he could not sleep by himself in the wing of the palace where he stayed with his father.

        And…”servants quarters”???? I would not let my child stay where they used such terms to describe those who care for the palace and the royals.

    • Ange says:

      I’m sure he isn’t sleeping alone, it wouldn’t bother him that she’s unhappy and staying away from him.

  7. FC says:

    To paid that much money to stay with your kids and STILL not be able to smile is very telling. Albert must be more horrible that we’ll ever know.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Or Charlene is deeply committed to performing her own misery for an audience. I’ve known people who could be handed everything they claimed they needed to be perfectly happy and they’d still manage to find a way to be miserable.

  8. Miranda says:

    Charlene may very well be the most sorrowful-looking person I’ve ever seen. Has anyone ever seen her genuinely smile? And the poor children don’t look so happy, either.

  9. HeyKay says:

    Agree with all these statements. Why stay?
    What exactly does Albert get outta this?
    Who wants a deeply unhappy, miserable spouse that you must employ/pay to tolerate you for PR purposes?

    Albert really thinks he is all that, no?
    Monaco is a dodgy, tax haven and that is all.
    No one on the planet cares if they divorce.
    Those kids look miserable! Charlene has made some awful deal with the devil, IMO.

  10. SueBarbri says:

    This story just keeps getting stranger and stranger. Unless there’s a statute on the books somewhere that says the ruler of Monaco has to have a wife, what’s the point of any of this? I understood the need for getting married and having kids and all that, but what’s the point of this relationship now? He’s a Tomcat and she clearly despises him, so why bother with this charade?

    • Margles says:

      Seems obvious. She’s staying until her kids are adults. Otherwise, she’d likely never see them again.

      As for why he makes her stay? Power.

      • Becks1 says:

        But that doesnt’ fully make sense to me bc then why is he paying her? If the issue is custody and access to kids, you would think that would be enough to have her stay. But the fact that he’s paying her 12 million a year makes me think something else is going on.

      • Debbie says:

        What if Charlene’s position is that Prince Albert can “make” her stay (for the sake of the kids), but he can’t make her perform the duties of her station? Let’s face it, there are only so many times Albert can have a close family member stand in for Charlene before the media begins to gossip about her continued absence. So, he comes up with the $12-mil solution. Who knows?

    • Bec215 says:

      i think it’s because as long as he has a wife and minor kids with him outward respectable appearance, the press won’t go digging for dirt. She leaves, there will be a microscope on him, asks he’s a gross price of work… she’s basically a human shield, IMO. Either that, or there’sa will somewhere that disinherits him if he divorces before certain conditions are met. His parents knew him well, I’m sure.

    • HeyJude says:

      I don’t get that either, what does he get for this anyway? A wife in name only who visibly hates him and makes every single public outing look into a sad scene of like “oh here’s my emotionally abusive husband who’s keeping me here”. No one cares if they are together. It’s Monaco, anything hoes!

      How is that a good look for him and Monaco?

      Why not part ways, very generously compensate her to stay quiet in a lump sum, and find someone who will play the part happily? It’s very notoriously no secret Albert can find lots of ladies who are still somehow interested in him, it’s not like a William situation were no women want anything to do with him.

  11. lunchcoma says:

    I’m not quite sure why, at this point. It doesn’t seem like a healthy relationship for either of them, he has his legitimate white heir, she’s not well-liked by the people of Monaco, and the relationship causes far more bad press than ending it would.

    If he were smart, he’d instead use that money to give her huge alimony payments conditioned on a non-disclosure agreement.

  12. JEM says:

    I don’t think she is capable of even forcing a smile. She and her children look so miserable. It must be awful behind closed doors.

  13. Cathy says:

    What’s the point of having lawyers when these ultra confidential contracts get leaked?

    Has the Palace at Monaco been hiring former KP employees by any chance?





  14. MissMarirose says:

    My reading of this story is not that she’s being paid to stay. She’s staying for the kids.

    But Albert had to give her money to do public royal events. Otherwise, she’d just be holed up in the palace or some country house with her children. Which is understandable considering the people of Monaco don’t like her.

    • Cathy says:

      Here’s a thought. What if that money is a yearly allowance to run her personal life? Like pay for clothes, pay for any entertaining she may want to do, something for her charities and the costs her parents and her brother may run up while living in the principality? If you think of it that way then $12M is small as Monaco ain’t cheap?

    • Becks1 says:

      Okay that makes more sense. I just said above that it doesn’t make sense to say that he’s paying her to stay bc she loses the children if she leaves, but it makes sense that she’s staying for the kids AND he’s paying her for the public events.

  15. Fuzzy Crocodile says:

    How is it “ultra-confidential” if we know about it?

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      Took the words right out of my mouth. The tabloids know nothing unless they are told to report something. Now that could be the palace (doubtful) or someone with an axe to grind against Charlene. If she is staying, it’s for her access to her kids, not money.

    • minx says:

      Exactly. I burst out laughing at the Daily Mail’s breathless “ultra-confidential” line.

  16. L4Frimaire says:

    Is $12 million the going rate for royal payoffs these days? She always looks miserable and Albert seems repugnant and controlling. Is that money being used towards her family in SA or her personal charities? Whatever is going on, she’s decided to stay for now and do the consort thing.

  17. AmelieOriginal says:

    If she is going to stick around, I guess she’ll stick around until the twins are 18 and then she’ll divorce him and do whatever she wants. She and Gabriella can go off and live somewhere on the French Riviera. Jacques is the heir so he will be stuck running Monaco and unfortunately will probably fall victim to the Grimaldi curse. Seriously, NO ONE in that family marries happy, you can go all the way back in their family tree (just look at Albert’s grandmother Princess Charlotte! What a life she had). I think her parents are reliant on her too for money, they live in Monaco as does one of her brothers.

  18. Cherrol'sDaughter says:

    Why did she marry him in the first place? All during the engagement she seemed miserable. It seems she married for money and position and now she seems stuck. I have very little sympathy for someone who seems to have lead to her own destruction. I do feel for the children. They are the only innocents in this entire mess.

    • Kalana says:

      They confiscated her passport and brought her back when she tried to run away. She cried during the ceremony. The story is her family wants the money.

      • Cherrol'sDaughter says:

        I understand that once there she may have been trapped,ok. But why agree to something you KNOW you can’t do? Even if her family wanted the money,she made the decision and now she appears to be unable to function. I just don’t feel sorry for her.

    • CherHorowitz says:

      Yeah I know it was over a decade ago but a lot of people forget the drama just before the wedding when she tried to escape. Even gossip girl recreated the storyline when Blair married the prince of monaco!!

    • Bec215 says:

      They dated actually a long time before marrying – somewhere around five years. She first met him aged 20, at the Olympics. During their early days dating, he cheated on her and fathered a child. They worked through it, and the photos of them at that time look happy and normal. Then *right* before the wedding, times for maximum impact, another paternity suit was filed – and he acknowledged the child was his. That likely was the reason for fleeing home just before, when the palace confiscated her passport. He likely convinced her that it wasn’ta betrayal because the child was born before they were engaged… Not great, but she has the kids in 2014, and seems happy. Then, in 2020… ANOTHER paternity lawsuit, and that’s when Charlene seeks treatment for mental health and exhaustion, cuts off all her hair, and can no longer bear to smile.

      I think it’s quite understandable when you look at the whole timeline. It’s very easy to judge sitting on the other side of a screen…

      To me, it seems like she genuinely loved him early on, but repeated betrayals took their toll.

      • Cherrol'sDaughter says:

        Not judging. Giving my opinion about a grown a** woman staying in a situation where she is miserable and everyone seems to be treating the situation as if she were completely blindsided by his behavior.

  19. YeahRight says:

    I don’t feel sorry for her after learning she was othering her then soon to be Black stepson. My sympathy is saved for people who deserve it and not some racist airhead who thought the grass was greener on the other side who is now stuck. You chose to stay with his cheating self then got the nerve to treat that child he had on you differently because you didn’t want to walk away. Bye! You wanted the life, you got it.

    • Div says:

      I would be suspicious of how that story came out, right when people were starting to criticize Albert (again) over his treatment of Charlene and especially as it’s been said numerous times Charlene has zero power and doesn’t even live with Albert while in how would she have the ability to send his kid to the servants quarter?

      Like…don’t get me wrong…she’s of a certain age and from South Africa so it’s not hard to believe she’s racist. But Albert’s been smearing her like crazy behind the scenes and his ex seems like she’s still madly in love with him for some reason, and the timing was suspicious asf.

      • Bec215 says:

        Thank you… look at the palace “insiders” who throw another “Sussex disaster” story to the British press every time Charles or Will does something tone-deaf.

        The English translation was not “servants’ quarters”, but “employee wing”.

        The mother’s article is ridiculous… it makes Albert sound like Mother Theresa and claims she doesn’t get a penny from Albert (ha!). Meanwhile, this boy is a constant, daily reminder to Charlene of her husband’s inability to keep his pants zipped up.

        Shady as….

  20. FhMom says:

    At this point, I’m convinced that Charlene has permanently sad eyes. Is she really sad or is it her face or both? Look at how she smiles. Her eyes are still sad.

    This is not to say she isn’t miserable. I would be despondent if I were tied to that jerk. However, maybe she is content to be with her kids. The money is a salary of sort, as someone above said. There is money in the water of Monaco, so I don’t think the amount is as impressive as we all think it is. I imagine in a few years when the kids are sent to boarding school, the situation will be different. There would be nothing to keep her from living in Switzerland or wherever and just travel back to Monaco for occasional appearances. She was basically a breeder, and when those kids get a bit older, there will be no need for her to be in Monaco.

  21. stagaroni says:

    Prince Albert has been leaking bizarre stories for some time now in an attempt to discredit Charlene, and I think this is simply another tale to insure that she garners no public sympathy. He forced her to marry him; why wouldn’t he force her to stay in the marriage?

  22. Elsa says:

    I can’t imagine these rich people being so miserable. I can think of a million fun things to do to keep myself occupied and happy and none of them have to do with a husband. Being with my kids, learning something new, giving to others, enjoying the beauty of the world of which there is much where she lives.

    • Bec215 says:

      That’s the Hallmark movie version of royalty 🙂

      Every royal family has a large staff and rules upon rules upon rules that govern how they live.

      The Japanese crown Prince’s wife had a nervous breakdown, because the pressure and isolation was so difficult.

      Harry has been open since he was a teen about how suffocating palace life is, and he had more freedom than anyone in his family had ever had.

      You can’t just go to the beach… it’s an event with security, they clear a path, stand around, people are taking photos… not relaxing, I’d say … probably why the rich favor yachts. Your schedule is not your own, and you are always 100% under observation by staff. You have to announce your plans each day… it’s wealth, but not freedom.

  23. JFerber says:

    Whatever he’s paying you, baby, get out now, get out anyway, get out at all costs, get out!

    • Gina says:

      Kids! I think she can’t get out otherwise she’ll lose access to the kids.
      I feel sympathy for this woman.
      As about people of Monaco who don’t like her – people aren’t usually kind to white, rich woman who gets to wear tiaras, designer clothes and lives in luxury and still is looking miserable instead of being grateful to have all that. This is common mindset. Like, what does she want? Or, she knew what she is getting into.
      Sounds familiar.
      I believe she is completely helpless. Depends on Albert in every move.
      If Albert controlls everything and leaks such stories about her, what can she do? She isn’t charismatic or open or charming, she lacks ability to conquer people’s hearts. If she knows the rumors about her and isn’t strong enough to oppose it and has no support at all, what can she do exactly, I don’t know.
      The story about this kid and servants quarter is ugly if this is true and if this is exactly how it happened. We know only Albert’s mistress version.

  24. Susan says:

    I’m generally an Occum’s Razor type theorist…but in this case, I think there is SO much more going on we don’t know. The puzzle pieces just don’t add up. And while I know nothing about her, if I wanted to make someone public enemy number one, I would accuse them of being racist to a child. It doesn’t get much lower than that IMO.

  25. Isabella says:

    That little girl clinging to her mom is just heart-breaking.

    • Bec215 says:

      Most of the time, Charlene is clinging to the kids, usual I think to avoid having to hold Albert’s hand. 🙁