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What’s the story behind Princess Charlene’s hasty return to royal duties? French media have a theory

Former president Jacob Zuma shares a light moment as he meets Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlene at King's House in Durban as part of a courtesy visit in July 2011. Picture: Supplied

Former president Jacob Zuma shares a light moment as he meets Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlene at King's House in Durban as part of a courtesy visit in July 2011. Picture: Supplied

Published May 12, 2022

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Two public appearances in two weeks? That’s a lot, especially for reclusive Princess Charlene.

The Monaco royal had been visibly missing from the public eye before embarking on her trip to South Africa earlier last year.

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After spending most of 2021 away from her family due to a severe ear and throat infection, Charlene found herself in and out of hospital and undergoing surgery.

Her return to the principality was a relief for the Grimaldis. But it didn’t last long. Soon, she was whisked off to an unknown location in Switzerland to receive treatment for exhaustion.

Amid her health woes, Charlene and husband Prince Albert had to deal with incessant reports of infidelity and their marriage breaking down.

Now that the couple have been reunited, it appears that finally things are on the up and up. Or are they?

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According to reports from media, Charlene’s return to public life may not be cut and dried.

They have a theory that might be the reason for the Grimaldis playing happy family with their twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques.

French magazine Voici has claimed Prince Albert signed an “ultra-confidential contract” to pay his troubled wife more than £10 million (about R198m) a year to fulfil her royal duties, the Daily Mail reported.

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The magazine further added that the 64-year-old royal was doing everything possible to keep Charlene, 44, “at his side at public events”.

Paris Match Belgium added fuel to the fire by writing, “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, according to the publication.

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In response to the claims, a royal insider told the Daily Mail, “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 to secure her own guaranteed income.”

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