Princess Charlene and Prince Albert Share Rare PDA Moment After Addressing Marriage Rumors
Monaco's Prince Albert and Princess Charlene embarked on their first official overseas trip together since Charlene's return to public life earlier this year — and put on a rare display of affection during one of their outings.
The royal couple was joined by their 7-year-old twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, as they stepped out in Norway for the opening of the "Sailing the Sea of Science" exhibit at the Fram Museum in Oslo on Wednesday. They were joined by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.
Outside the museum, the royal couple, who recently shot down rumors of issues in their marriage, shared an unexpected kiss.
Last month, the princess addressed rumors surrounding her recovery and the couple's relationship, telling local media in Monaco that she remains "fragile" since her return to Monaco in March after a four-month stay in a Swiss clinic, where she received treatment for profound emotional and physical exhaustion.
"When I returned to the Principality, I focused all my energy on my children, my husband and my health because they are my priority," Princess Charlene told Monaco Matin.
"My state of health is still fragile and I don't want to go too fast. The road has been long, difficult and so painful. Today I feel calmer," she said.
Since her return in March, new rumors have swirled around the couple, with reports suggesting Charlene plans to leave Monaco and has bought a home outside Geneva. Charlene directly addressed the rumors last month, telling reporters: "You want to talk about rumors of divorce or my new home in Switzerland?"
"I still find it regrettable that certain media peddle such rumors about my life, my relationship," she said. "Like everyone else, we are human beings and like all human beings we have emotions, weaknesses, only our family is exposed to the media and the slightest weakness is relayed."
This week's visit marks the royal couple's return to the international stage. Making their first joint appearance together at an event outside Monaco in nearly two years, the occasion is another sign of Charlene's recovery as she resumes her royal duties.
Charlene first became ill while in South Africa in May 2021 for what was planned as a brief 10-day visit to her home country. However, complications from a previous ENT procedure grounded her for six months. A series of painful corrective surgeries and a subsequent relapse delayed her return to Monaco until mid-November.
In early November, Charlene voluntarily entered treatment in a professional facility. The choice of a clinic outside of Monaco, her husband Prince Albert told PEOPLE exclusively at that time, was her personal decision supported by family members.
While Albert and the couple's children visited Charlene on several occasions, her prolonged absence from Monaco caused the princess to miss her 10th wedding anniversary and gave rise to numerous reports concerning a rift in the couple's marriage, as well as speculation concerning the true nature and degree of her medical issues. The couple consistently denied these tabloid reports.
She also praised her husband of 10 years, calling him her "protector" for repeatedly speaking out against the rumors. Describing him as "very supportive," she told the newspaper, "We discussed these malicious articles together and he did everything to protect me and our children."
In candid remarks made earlier this month, Prince Albert said his wife has "suffered greatly" and admitted her near year-long enforced separation, caused by multiple health issues, has been "a test" for the couple and on their children.
"We missed the princess a lot. And we were obviously hurt by the malicious rumors that were peddled," he told Journal de Dimanche. "But we were able to stay united despite the distance, we spoke to each other often."
"Today, Charlene is back with us and this is the most beautiful thing which could have happened. She's better, we can finally spend time together. It is a relief and a joy for all of us," Albert added.
The exhibition the family visited on Wednesday is dedicated to Prince Albert I of Monaco, who died in 1922. Dubbed the "Explorer Prince," he devoted much of his life tooceanography, exploration and science. This year marks the centenary of the death of Prince Albert's great-great-grandfather and namesake.
The siblings' outfits adorably coordinated with their parents. Jacques wore a dark coat and blue tie just like his dad, while Gabriella wore a sparkling black dress that matched her mother's all-black ensemble by Akris.
Earlier in the day, Charlene, who recovered from COVID-19 earlier this month, and Albert were the guests of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway for lunch at their private residence Bygdø Kongsgaard. Newly engaged Princess Märtha Louise was also in attendance.
On Thursday, Albert will unveil a bronze bust of Prince Albert II, given to the Norwegian Polar Institute in Longyearbyen in memory of his many Arctic expeditions and his links with Norwegian explorers. This commemorative voyage will continue with a private cruise aboard Commander Charcot.