Did Princess Charlene Really Try to Run Away Before Her Wedding to Prince Albert?

Prince Albert of Monaco and his wife, Princess Charlene, had what many would consider a fairy tale wedding ten years ago. But behind the appearance of a fairy tale might have been a much more sinister story. There were multiple reports of Charlene being unhappy at the time of the wedding for many reasons. Some even said she tried to leave him before the wedding. 

Let’s take a look back at the story of their wedding, and try to answer the question of whether Charlene tried to be a real-life runaway bride. 

The marriage of Princess Charlene and Prince Albert

The pair were married in 2011, according to ABC News. At the time, Albert was 53, and Charlene was 33. There were rumblings that Charlene was unhappy with the marriage due to Albert’s philandering and fathering children with other women. Reports said she had demanded a DNA test from her husband. 

ABC reported she was largely unhappy with the marriage after it happened, but as far as the Catholic Church was concerned, she had little recourse once it was made official. Robert Lacey, a British historian, said as much when commenting on the ill-fated marriage: 

“When they got her into that Catholic Church and got her married, they really trapped her so far as the Catholic Church is concerned…It would be very difficult now for her to get a divorce.”

It paints a sad picture of a woman stuck in a bad marriage. Charlene even tried to get away before the wedding, according to multiple rumors. 

The (rumored) story of how Princess Charlene tried to run away before her wedding to Prince Albert

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene smiling
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene | PLS Pool/Getty Images

Vanity Fair reported on a rumor (originally reported by a French weekly newspaper L’Express), that Princess Charlene did in fact try to run away before her wedding to Prince Albert. The rumored report stated she actually made three attempts to flee. 

Allegedly, Charlene (nee Wittstock) received word only a few days before the wedding that Albert had fathered another child out of wedlock to go along with the other two he’d sired during their five-year relationship. 

Wittstock’s first escape attempt was to the South African embassy while getting fitted for her bridal dress in France. Her second attempt was reportedly during the Monaco Grand Prix that same month. Finally, her last stab at it came when she tried to buy a one-way plane ticket to South Africa while at a French airport. Reports put the prince’s entourage at the scene, taking her passport from her to “persuade” her to remain. 

If these stories are to be believed, they’re indescribably sad. It’s the tale of a woman essentially held against her will and forced to marry a man she felt she couldn’t trust. So how are the two faring, a decade on? 

The status of Princess Charlene and Prince Albert today

Like with many royal couples, this relationship is shrouded in both secrecy and rumors. It’s easy to get “sources” on the record to speak about their marriage without a lot of concrete evidence as to how it’s going. Still, the stories about this marriage are that it is rocky. This isn’t hard to believe based on the rumors of Charlene trying to run away. 

PEOPLE reported that Charlene was away from her husband and children for “months” due to “medical complications.” This has led to rumors of a separation between the two. 

According to the woman herself, however, she told South Africa’s Channel24 the following: 

“I miss my husband, my babies — Jacqui and Bella — and my doggies terribly, [but] I can’t force a recovery of bone and membrane — it takes time.”

Doctors told her that she couldn’t fly above 20,000 feet due to an ear, nose, and throat issue she had surgery to repair. 

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