Princess Charlene of Monaco Relationship Timeline and 22 Photos of Her Younger Days

Princess Charlene of Monaco

There's always an aura of mystery surrounding Princess Charlene of Monaco's personality.  It could be her calm demeanor or her set of sad blue eyes, but she always looked so quiet and mysterious. We rarely see her smiling in public appearances lately.

Although there's no doubt how much she is loved by her husband, Prince Albert, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, Princess Charlene's outward bearing always intrigued royal fans.

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene attend Monte Carlo TV Festival

Photos of her recently seem to depict an enigmatic princess, impenetrable, but always charming. She has fully returned to royal duties, attending public events supporting her husband, but there's still an aura of mystery creeping beneath her soulful eyes.

Her sad blue eyes

Why did Princess Charlene's eyes often look sad? Is it natural? Or expressing some signs of unhappiness? Well, we cannot accurately tell. But all we can say is that Princess Charlene has the most mesmerizing set of eyes among all the wives of European princes. It sparkled when she smiled. And dropped when she looked sad. 

1. Charlene during her younger days, relaxing at home
2. The future princess at her apartment

Back in her younger days, one noticeable feature of her face is her set of eyes. Soulful, mesmerizing, expressive, and sexier when she smiles. We compiled photos of her younger days to see her magical transformation from a competitive swimmer to a glamorous royal girlfriend. She looked so angelic and vibrant during her younger days.

Charlene Wittstock competing for swimming
3. Charlene Wittstock, left, in South Africa's swimming team training kit, at the Commonwealth Games on August 4, 2002, in Manchester, England. Getty Images

4. Taking her regular training routine

Born Charlene Lynette Wittstock on January 25, 1978, in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, her parents are of German and Scottish ancestry. Her family moved to South Africa when she was 12 years old and she began training in swimming. Her mother, Lynette, was a swimming instructor, while her father, Michael, worked as a sales director.

Charlene Wittstock competing for swimming
5. Charlene Wittstock taking a break from training and attending a gala event

She won her first South African championship in swimming when she was 18 years old and went on to win three gold medals at the World Cup. During the Sydney Olympics in 2000, she competed with the South African team in the 4x100-meter medley relay. They finished fifth place.

6. Regular presence in the swimming pool

Meeting Her Prince

Charlene first met Prince Albert of Monaco, who competed in five consecutive Winter Olympics representing Monaco in the Bobsledding event, at the Mare Nostrum International Swimming Competition in Monte Carlo in 2000. 

7. Charlene relaxing at the poolside after practice

8. Just another day in training

"I was in Monte Carlo for a swimming competition (in 2000) when I first met him," she once revealed in an interview. "I was 22 and focused. I wasn't in the emotional place for a relationship". She won gold during the competition and at the same time caught Prince Albert's attention.

9. As a youngster growing up in South Africa

Charlene Wittstock competing for swimming
10. Actual competition

Prince Albert, known as a playboy prince during his bachelor days and who had a string of glamorous girlfriends during his younger days, began pursuing the pretty swimmer. But Charlene was focused on her swimming career and returned soon after to South Africa.

Charlene Wittstock younger days
11. Charlene during competition

In 2002, Charlene did not compete for a qualifying swimming tournament for the 2004 Athens Olympics due to her shoulder injury. It was believed Prince Albert began reconnecting with her this time.

Charlene Wittstock younger days
12. Early years of dating

The two began dating but the real state of their relationship was kept hidden from the public. They were private sightings of them going on a vacation together but the Prince's Palace of Monaco refused to confirm the real score.

However, in 2005, just months after succeeding his father to the Monegasque throne, Prince Albert II was rumored to have fathered a child with an Air France flight attendant. A month later, he confirmed the rumor. 

The son, Alexandre Coste, was born on August 24, 2003, around the time Prince Albert and Charlene were already speculated to have started a romantic relationship. The child's mother, Nicole Coste, changed her son's surname to Grimaldi-Coste, to reflect Prince Albert's name.

Charlene Wittstock younger days
13. Wearing a polo shirt and shorts during the Special Olympics on February 12, 2011, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Getty Images

Charlene Wittstock younger days
14. with Prince Albert walking on a beach a year before they confirmed their relationship

Despite the prince's admission to fathering a child, his relationship with Charlene appeared to be unaffected. Months later, in February 2006, during the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, they made their relationship public.

It was during this year also (2006) that Charlene Wittstock moved to Monaco and became a permanent resident. Their relationship became official when the Prince's Palace of Monaco confirmed the relationship in the same month.

Charlene Wittstock younger days
15. Making their relationship public in Turin, Italy

Charlene Wittstock younger days
16. During the early years of their relationship

Following the confirmation, Charlene began accompanying her prince to various events, including the fashion nights in Monaco. But it was as if their relationship had been under constant pressure, with never-ending challenges. 

Charlene Wittstock younger days
17. Swimming for charity in South Africa before the royal wedding

Less than three months later after going public with their relationship, on June 1, 2006, Prince Albert confirmed another paternity issue, that he fathered another child, this time a daughter who was born in 1992 in the United States, Jazmin Grace.

Prince Albert's confirmation of another love child did not threaten her romance with Charlene. He fathered Jazmin Grace a decade before he met the South African swimmer.

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
18. After confirming the relationship, Charlene started accompanying Prince Albert to public events

Despite all the challenges she had to undergo in their relationship, Charlene stayed with her prince. She just trusted her sound judgment and remained unaffected by the prince's playboy image.

She also had to give up her swimming career to be with her prince. "Giving up competitive swimming was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make," Charlene told Tatler in 2010. "I was not emotionally prepared to retire or for the change of life that it entailed."

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
19. Charlene playful in the swimming pool

On June 19, 2010, they both attended the royal wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden to Daniel Westling in Stockholm. And before the month ended, they announced their official engagement. Prince Albert gifted his bride-to-be with a sparkling pear-shaped diamond ring.

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
20. Attending the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
21. Official engagement photo

Three months before their own wedding, Prince Albert and Charlene attended the wedding of Prince William to the former Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. Charlene threw herself into months of preparation for their wedding scheduled in July 2011.

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
22. Attending the wedding of Prince William in London

But it was not as smooth as any fairytale romance story. Weeks before the royal wedding, Princess Charlene fled to Paris in tears was said to be escaping Monaco and ready to call off the wedding but was intercepted by the Prince's Palace officials. These rumors were not substantiated anyway and were denied by the officials.

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
royal wedding in July 2, 2011

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline

The royal wedding went on and more than three years later on December 10, 2014, the marriage was gifted with twins, Prince Jacques (who is a carbon copy of his mother) and Princess Gabriella (who looked so much like Prince Albert).

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
With their twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella

Still, the union is continued to be facing so many challenges. In December 2020, another paternity suit was filed against Prince Albert, claiming he fathered another child born in 2005 with a Brazilian woman. It was the year he admitted to fathering Alexander Coste.

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
Princess Charlene with her twins

What made the rumor stressful on the part of Princess Charlene was the claim of the woman in the paternity lawsuit that she conceived the baby while Prince Albert was already in a relationship with Charlene. 

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
Princess Charlene returns to royal duty

The Monegasque royals put a united front following the news with the prince's lawyers denying it was a hoax. Prince Albert and Princess Charlene later appeared in a public event in the Principality. 

But the public noticed a strange appearance of Princess Charlene, sporting a punky hairstyle. Months later, she left Monaco and traveled home to South Africa to work on her conservation advocacy. 

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
Attend public picnic in Monaco this year
Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
Accompanying twins on their first day of school

Separation rumors started flying when she did not come home for their 10th wedding anniversary in July 2021. It was revealed later she had an ear infection and needed to undergo surgery.

Princess Charlene returned in November of that year but had to leave Monaco again to seek medical treatment to address her emotional and physical exhaustion. She finally returned to Monaco three months later and resumed royal duty in April this year.

Princess Charlene of Monaco relationship timeline
Princess Charlene attends Paris Fashion Week 2022

Charlene's most gorgeous feature is always her beautiful sparking blue eyes. During her appearance at the Paris Fashion Week last week, her blue eyes lit up again, giving her a new glow, She dazzled in Akris navy blue pantsuits. Her natural radiance is back. 

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