Charlene’s prolonged absence has sparked renewed speculation about her marriage to Prince Albert. Picture: AFP
Charlene’s prolonged absence has sparked renewed speculation about her marriage to Prince Albert. Picture: AFP

The plot thickens: Princess Charlene reportedly linked to Russian billionaire Vladimir Doronin

By Marchelle Abrahams Time of article published Nov 23, 2021

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It reads like a script from a telenovela or day-time soapie, and yet we’re confused by the plot twist and movable characters. Who is the villain and who is the good guy?

That’s exactly how reports on Princess Charlene’s return to Monaco have been going.

Weeks after spending several months in her native South Africa, the princess finds herself at the centre of another media storm – albeit not of her own design.

Her absence from Monaco’s National Day celebrations sparked concerns for her health, despite the palace releasing a statement saying: “In order to protect the comfort and privacy essential to her recovery, the Princess' location will remain strictly confidential.”

AFP reported that Charlene’s prolonged absence sparked renewed speculation about her marriage to Prince Albert.

Later that week, Prince Albert dropped a bombshell, announcing to two separate publications that his wife was suffering from profound “exhaustion, both emotional and physical” and had been sent to a treatment facility outside Monaco.

The decision to seek medical care was made jointly by Charlene, her husband Prince Albert and her brothers.

But that’s not even the plot twist.

British tabloid The Sun reported that the 43-year-old royal has been linked to Russian billionaire Vladimir Doronin, famously known as Naomi Campbell’s ex.

“The ailing mum whose marriage to ruler Prince Albert, 63, has been famously turbulent, has been drawing support from Vladimir Doronin”, a source told the publication.

Doronin also attended Charlene and Albert’s 2011 wedding with then-girlfriend Campbell.

The source added: “The whole saga is very complex and confusing, but Charlene and Vlad have been in contact and spent time together. It looks as though she has certainly found some help from him recently amid her marriage problems.”

Wherever this "source“ got their information from will remain a mystery. In the meantime, the Royal Palace of Monaco will be controlling the narrative with its carefully orchestrated statements and photo ops.

Have you guessed who’s the villain now?

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