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Princess Charlene and Prince Albert's love story: how they met, their current crisis and more

The couple have spent months apart due to Charlene's medical grounds

charlene albert love story
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
13 September 2021
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Princess Charlene of Monaco has remained in South Africa since May after she came down with an ear-nose-throat (ENT) infection.

It's meant months apart from her husband of ten years, Prince Albert, and their six-year-old twins. The family are believed to have visited Charlene twice in that time, most recently in August.

The princess, 43, spent her milestone anniversary in July apart from her husband but shared highlights from their marriage on Instagram, as well as recent cosy snaps during their reunion.

READ: Princess Charlene's luxurious palace she hasn't been in since May

WATCH: Princess Charlene and Prince Albert share highlights from their relationship

Their time apart has led to rumours of a rift between Monaco's royal couple, which Prince Albert, 63, has strongly denied in a recent PEOPLE interview.

HELLO! takes a look back at Albert and Charlene's love story, from how they met to the present day.

Where did Albert and Charlene meet?

The royal met Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock at the Mare Nostrum swimming meet in Monaco in 2000 and made their public debut as a couple at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics.

princess charlene prince albert 2006© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Albert made his public debut with Charlene in 2006

In an interview with Vogue, Charlene said: "Our first public appearance was at the Turin Olympic Games in 2006. Albert put me at ease. It was clear that we shared the same passions; we both became very emotional watching the athletes. Sport is the common denominator of our lives."

When did Albert and Charlene get married?

The couple announced their engagement in 2010 and their wedding in July 2011 made headlines around the world.

The three-day celebrations began with a concert on 30 June 2011 by classic rockers the Eagles and ended with a lavish reception on 2 July attended by the guests, who ranged from the Monaco royal family to Prince Edward, with wife Sophie, and Naomi Campbell.

MORE: Prince Albert sets record straight over Princess Charlene marriage rift rumours

MORE: Why Princess Charlene cried on her wedding day to Prince Albert

charlene albert wedding 2011© Photo: Getty Images

Charlene and Albert on their wedding day in 2011

A day after their civil ceremony, Charlene and Albert were married in a Roman-Catholic ceremony on July 2 in the presence of global celebrities and various heads of state.

Charlene was the epitome of sophistication donning an off-the-shoulder Armani Privé silk gown, which took three seamstresses 2,500 hours to make.

Who are their children?

Princess Charlene gave birth to twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, on 10 December 2014 at The Princess Grace Hospital Centre in Monaco.

Despite being younger than his twin sister, Prince Jacques is the heir apparent to the Monegasque throne as the crown passes according to male-preference cognatic primogeniture.

MORE: Princess Charlene sparks fan concern with photos of daughter Princess Gabriella’s leg injury

princess charlene prince albert children 2015© Photo: Getty Images

The couple pictured with their twin children in January 2015

Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques also have two half-siblings.

Albert fathered Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, born in 1992, with real estate agent Tamara Rotolo. She was confirmed as Prince Albert's daughter in 2006 when she was almost 16 years old. He had previously said he wanted to protect her identity until she was an adult.

He also confirmed he was the biological father of Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, born in 2003, whose mother is Nicole Coste, a former Air France flight attendant from Togo, in May 2005, just before he was enthroned as Prince of Monaco.

Neither Jazmin nor Alexandre are in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne as their parents never married.

When will Charlene return to Monaco?

The royal is not expected to return to Monaco until October. However, Albert previously told People that "depends on what her doctors say," and if her progress continues, she could be back as soon as this month. "I know she's said possibly 'late October,' " Albert said.

Rumours of a royal rift

After spending months apart, including on their ten-year wedding anniversary, there has been rumours of a rift between the royal couple.

Setting the record straight, Albert told PEOPLE: "She [Charlene] didn't leave Monaco in a huff! She didn't leave because she was mad at me or at anybody else."

The reason Charlene remains abroad is down to "medical complications" following a "severe ear, nose and throat infection". He added: "It was only supposed to be a weeklong, ten-day maximum stay, and [she is still there now] because she had this infection all these medical complications arose."

Albert's family support

While Albert has been carrying out royal duties, his children have been pictured spending time with his family members.

Charlene shared photos of Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques with Albert's sister, Princess Caroline, at a dog show in Monaco on Instagram.

View post on Instagram

Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella with their aunt Princess Caroline

The princess also has two younger brothers, one of whom, Gareth, resides in Monaco.

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