Maybe not the marquee royal reunion your mind goes to first, as in two brothers reconciling, but a reunion all the same.
But first, a brief refresher – it’s been months since Princess Serene Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco have been together. She left for South Africa in May and then announced that for ENT and other health reasons she’d have to stay until October, resulting in all kinds of rumours about whether or not she’d escaped and if a divorce was imminent. Sources were telling several European media outlets that Charlene was done with the royal life and had no plans to return to Monte Carlo, despite the fact that her children were not with her in SA. Charlene has denied the reports multiple times.
All this noise, of course, was happening around Albert and Charlene’s tenth wedding anniversary – which is one of the reasons why there’s been so much side-eye about their marriage. Because, um, remember (how could you forget) she wept at her wedding, while he stood next to her guffawing, and she has in the years since tried to explain that she was simply overcome with emotion, and nothing more. But …well… considering that the leadup to the wedding was already dramatic (with the revelation that Albert had fathered another secret child and rumours that she tried to runaway bride herself out of that sh-t THREE TIMES before the day, and then looked totally miserable throughout the ceremony), for a lot of people, that was the big takeaway and continues to be from that wedding and this marriage.
So when she went to South Africa earlier this year and didn’t return as planned, there was instantly a lot of doubt. Many were not buying that she had to stay in SA to be treated. Her explanation was that since it was an ENT issue, she couldn’t fly over a certain altitude. Charlene had surgery a couple of weeks ago and today we have an update:
Look, it’s not like I think the read on Charlene has been wrong all these years – my read on this marriage is probably as skeptical as yours – but I can’t say I bought into the “Charlene escaped” narrative, not because I think she can’t leave Albert, but because I don’t think she could leave her children. Taking off for South Africa on her own and making up a medical excuse and abandoning her kids indefinitely? If she was going to escape, wouldn’t she find a Katie Holmes way of doing it and keep her children with her? It’s too much of a risk, and it would be heartbreaking for any parent, and then on top of that, Albert would have all the negotiating power with the children in his custody.
Still, these pictures. All I see in the ones where she and Albert seem to be awkwardly embracing is overcompensation. So both things can be true – she can be stuck in a situation that is less than ideal for her but it also doesn’t mean that she’s been digging a whole in the wall for years with a knife and spoon, covering it up with a poster, and one day in May made a break for it.