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Keeping up with the Grimaldis: Is Princess Charlene the latest casualty of Monaco curse?

Princess Charlene promotes her children charity

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“She was very unhappy.”

As the layers unfold with the drama surrounding Princess Charlene, the more bizarre the story becomes.

South African media has been speculating the royal is being funded by Naomi Campbell’s billionaire ex, and that she is possibly living in a modest two-bedroom flat above an old chocolate factory.

Experts have linked Charlene’s recent bout of ill health and absence from Monaco to The Grimaldi Curse.

According to the legend, Sovereign Prince Rainier I kidnapped a beautiful Flemish maiden in the 13th century, and was, in turn, cursed the Rainier lineage. “Never will a Grimaldi find happiness in marriage,” she allegedly said.

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Since then, the private lives of the Royal Family of Monaco have been draped in divorce, infidelity, and tragedy, and in the last few weeks, the unfolding drama with Princess Charlene has mirrored the mishaps of those who came before her.

A senior detective in Monaco told the Daily Mail.“Charlene had her passport confiscated so that the prince’s entourage could persuade her to stay.”

Earlier claims about rot started early on in her relationship with Prince Albert, and weeks before the pair wed in an estimated £53m ceremony, it was reported that Charlene had tried to flee Monaco due to cold feet.

Shortly before the wedding, it was proved that Prince Albert fathered a second illegitimate child after starting a relationship with Charlene.

Princess Charlene 'taken on more than she can handle' says expert

Despite the discovery, Charlene returned to the palace and plans for the royal wedding continued.

On the fateful day that Charlene walked down the aisle, she reportedly became her own something blue.

The groom, twenty years her senior, was aware of her devastation, and it was alleged that as Charlene approached him, Prince Albert begged in a whisper, “don’t cry, don’t cry.”

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Charlene herself said: “Everything was just so overwhelming and there were all the mixed emotions because of the speculation.

“Obviously all this tension built up and I burst into tears [immediately after the ceremony.

“And then I burst into tears some more because I was thinking, ‘Oh no, now the whole world has seen me cry’.”

In May this year, Princess Charlene travelled to her home country of South Africa in support of anti-poaching charities.

The trip was meant to be quick and easy, ten days tops, but residents of Monaco grew concerned when the Princess did not return.

The palace came out and stated she was suffering from a serious ear, nose, and throat infection requiring “procedures” that will keep her there “indefinitely.”

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The unspecified infection then led to multiple surgeries that kept Charlene “grounded” in South Africa as she was unable to fly.

Throughout the saga, the Palace gave sporadic updates with little information of any use to put Princess Charlene finally returned to Monaco following six months away in November but after a few days and cancelled engagements, Charlene sought additional treatment “outside of Monaco” as “it became pretty evident that she was unwell.”

But the Grimaldi’s refusal to be transparent with Charlene’s health could be a grave mistake, an expert in European monarchy said while discussing the general feeling in Monaco.

Maddalena Mastrostefano said: “Her prolonged absence and missing these important engagements for the Monegasque population is going to create a strain in her relationship with the people of Monaco.

She added that “the many interviews that Prince Albert has given is likely because the people of Monaco are starting to say, ‘hey, we are paying her a salary, we expect something in return,’ which in the case of royals is representation, the image of the country being protected elsewhere.”

Earlier this month there was outrage from the British people for Buckingham Palace’s twenty-four-hour delay in announcing that the 95-year-old Queen had spent one night in a London hospital – a complete departure from Monaco’s own handling of Princess Charlene’s health struggles.

Buckingham Palace quickly learnt from their faux pas and gave the British public a clear insight into the Queen’s condition when a sprained back stopped her from attending the Remembrance Sunday service in London.

The monarch holds the event in high regard and has only previously missed it due to pregnancy or being on overseas visits.

Prince Albert’s constant insistence that Charlene’s absence is nothing to do with their marriage has had the opposite effect, and patience is wearing thin with the Monegasque people.

Ms Mastrostefano also told Express.co.uk that people in Monaco are really starting to resent the institution altogether because not only is the taxpayer-funded Princess not performing her duties, but everyone else in the House of Grimaldi has been stepping up to carry out duties traditionally associated with Monaco’s leading lady.

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