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Old 12-28-2013, 08:46 PM
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I don't know what it is, can't pinpoint any one thing, but i could never 'get into' this family and Charlene. They just strike me as a bit 'off'. She comes across very cold.

Old 12-28-2013, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by C4A View Post
As far as I know, from what I have read on the Forums and video clips that I have seen, P Charlene
1. Can understand the French language perfectly
2. Speaks French in situations where she feels comfortable such as informal conversations with individuals
3. Sings the National Anthem, wears traditional costume, thereby showing her loyalty to the Monegasque people
4. Is under little, if any, pressure from her husband to speak the language -- just my opinion

I am therefore curious to know why it is so important for some posters that she should be fluent in the language. Maybe some French/Monegasque posters can share with us how strongly they feel about it?

This is pr hogwash. I live in France.

She does not understand and becomes frustrated when people speak to her in French and tells them to speak in English. There was a recent clip when a child at one of the schools went off script and approached her in French that left everyone paralyzed. Her staff translated. She can recite prepared phrases and give some broken answers. She has been shown in photos and videos appearing to roll her eyes when people speak French in her presence.

She can mouth words but they are not the anthem and she has only tried that a few times. Even then she can only mouth a few phrases in the right place.

When she wore the national costume, she "personalized" it to her taste and did not wear the actual historical version because she wanted a version that was shoulderless. History takes second place to her more modern fashion desires.

It does not matter what pressure Albert has placed on her to learn the language. She should not need to be forced or pressured. She should WANT to speak the language of the people she is representing. She WANTED to be princess, no one forced her. This is her job.

In France, there are English speakers. Everyone makes mistakes when learning and has an accent. Yes, they will correct you often. To make no effort to attempt the language while living there (after almost a decade) is pretty universally not respected. In one of the videos when she was teaching in France, she made a brief scripted phrase in a quite respectable accent. She has the ability, she must make the effort.

Old 12-28-2013, 09:22 PM
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She is neither "cold" or anything else. She cares about these children. Whether she speaks French is of little value. Some people do not speak a new language well, when they learn it at an older age and, perhaps, she doesn't want to make a fool of herself. I, suspect, she and Albert always speak English to one another. English for Albert is very much his primary language, though, of course, he speaks perfect French. I only see the complainers on here, not her "subjects". Many , even on these boards and, I admire, that they are writing in English, do not write English as we who are native to this language do. I speak several languages, but none as well as English, which is my native tongue. If she spoke French and had errors, I am sure they were be complaints about that.
Old 12-28-2013, 09:43 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: France in exile. United States at home, France
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None of us are Princesses of a country, countess. There is a difference in what is expected between a poster here and Charlene. One who is incompetent to do their job would definitely be discussed or fired in our lives. This is not a new issue. Charlene has had almost 10 years. Grace, Mary, Maxima and others have done it.

While she may care about children, her first priority is to care about Monaco. She is the First Lady, a job she voluntarily took. It matters only how she does the job.

The fact that the stories of her English demands get out should say a lot of how the people of Monaco view it. They can not put such thing on a public forum without being arrested. It is still a punishable crime to even criticize the family. Several people were arrested just this year for facebook posts. So no monaco citizens will dare ever post. It is for others who have the freedom to "complain" as you say to do so.

One last note. The eye rolling she does both in this 'non' interview (really a few minutes of her at most) and in other videos is a bit undignified.
Old 12-28-2013, 10:11 PM
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I think it matters a great deal for her to speak French, that is the language of the country of which she is a Princess
Old 12-28-2013, 10:22 PM
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Sad to say, but despite any other accomplishments the fact that the Princess Consort of Monaco cannot or will not speak the official language of her subjects will always stick out like a sore thumb. Especially in comparison with her very accomplished peers in the rest of Europe. It matters not that "everyone speaks English" in Monaco and/or France. That is not the point. I live in Southern California, where most or many people speak Spanish. But immigrants to this country-especially those who hope for citizenship-are expected to learn English.

Charlene has the fashion and style part of her job down pat. No other princess in Europe is quite as elegant, imo. But the language issue will always be the elephant in the room until she either tackles it, or there is some good explanation why she can't after almost a decade.
"Be who God intended you to be, and you will set the world on fire" St. Catherine of Siena
Old 12-28-2013, 10:30 PM
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Booing, I totally agree with both your posts: no one can say Charlene makes an effort to speak French. Or be a true princess of her country, like Princess Grace was. It makes one really sad to see the Monaco's princely family losing its prestige with the new generation rulers.
"I grew up in Europe, where History comes from." - Eddie Izzard.
Old 12-28-2013, 10:32 PM
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I said 'she comes across as very cold', whether she is or not I don't know. As I also said the whole family always seem a bit odd to me. Just my opinion of course but I think the family lost a lot with the death of their mother. She gave them, I don't know a 'softness', for lack of a better word.
Old 12-28-2013, 10:49 PM
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I also agree with Booing. There are no excuses whatsoever for PC's inability to speak French by now. It's very disappointing and I really hope she will make an effort. She has excelled in many other areas, but this stands out like a sore thumb.
Old 12-28-2013, 10:54 PM
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I don't find Charlene cold at all. I think she is genuinely shy. But I have seen enough of her in company that she feels relaxed with and her warmth comes across very clearly, especially with children and the elderly.

It's easy to idealize Grace since she died so young and so tragically and was such a superb Princess. But many people have in fact described Grace as cold and snobbish.( I think it was Brigitte Bardot who nicknamed her Altesse Frigidaire?) At least a couple of books I have read said that she really began to put on airs after her marriage to Rainier. She was allegedly bitterly disappointed that Caroline didn't choose a husband from the Gotha.

What she gave Monaco was respectability. Despite her own rather colorful past and personal life she was able to project an image of decorum, restraint, an adherence to a certain code of behavior that her children did not choose to emulate after her passing from the scene.

As for the family being "odd" I don't agree either. They are definitely unconventional for a Ruling Family, but if you look at the way other aristocrats in Italy and France conduct their personal lives the Grimaldis seem completely in step. They have affairs, lots of them. They have children out of wedlock.

The only thing that makes the family stand out is that their lives play out on the international stage, not in private.
"Be who God intended you to be, and you will set the world on fire" St. Catherine of Siena
Old 12-29-2013, 02:12 AM
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Ok, as a non French Person with Little French language skills I have to say, that French is a very difficult language to learn.

- First the grammar - ufff, really difficult, every noun is male or female (whereas english is always "neutral")
- Second the accents on some words, i.e / will be written & pronounced differently than \ and often has a diffrent meaning (also not existing in english language)
- Third the pronounciation: French sounds extremly well and soft spoken by a native Speaker, but: it sometimes may Sound like "Scratching a nail on a blackboard" for a foreigner, who does not have good pronounciation skills - which is btw not only "Goodwill", but also a "tongue issue".

So yes, I feel sorry for Charlene, this is a hard piece of work for her. Nevertheless I am also of the opinion, that she MUST learn the language of her new Country.

Bye Bine
Old 12-29-2013, 03:59 AM
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I watched just the first few minutes of the video and saw the Princess "roll her eyes" twice - but it seemed to me to be done in a self-deprecating manner; my French isn't good enough to follow the translation which covered the sound of her English speaking but I still felt this mannerism was more to do with her modesty or shyness than anything else.
Old 12-29-2013, 05:21 AM
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What a disappointment, an "interview", which in fact is another travel program, could well be done by Albert's PR people.
Old 12-29-2013, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by LadyFinn View Post
What a disappointment, an "interview", which in fact is another travel program, could well be done by Albert's PR people.
Well, it probably was... P.Albert rules this country in a way very few monarchs do nowadays, and can shape the people's "opinion" in a way he likes
Apparently he does not find it necessary for his wife to be fluent in french, otherwise she would have been by now
(in another thread people have mentioned that royals are starting to be more like 'regular citizens' and that the 'mystique' is lost....well, imo in Monaco this is not the case)
Old 12-29-2013, 05:50 AM
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The title of Monaco Matin

Pari gagné pour Cyril Viguier avec le documentaire sur Monaco | Dernière minute | Monaco-Matin

Translation resume Pari required to C Viguier for his documentary. the documentary . the documentary wired on friday at 11. 30pm achieved 8% from the marche. Normally, at this rime and later in the evening the second part of the evening realizes only 3% 4%. The documentary will be aired again on january 4th;

This morning on twitter all the comments say that the most beautiful part is the swimming and the dance of the princely couple in the water. the comments say also that Charlene is at ease and happy in the interviews.

How can you judge and critic Charlene and the documentary. YOU ONLY WATCH THE 2 PARTS and NOT THE END OF THE DOCUMENTARY, in the third part, there are two other interviews of Charlene wich are more long than the one you saw in the first part. There is the scene of Charlene and Albert visiting the Palleos and there is the scene where Albert and Charlene are swimming and dancing in the water. Charlene spoke about the fact that they love the oceans and they defend them and the environement. she spoke also of her foundation because she want to avoid the deaths of children in the water. She spoke with many emotion.
Please wait to see the end judge by yourself and do not critic before the end.

Cyril Viguier began his documentary in february, he wanted to show the persons who live in monaco, it was not a publicity for the princely couple but he asked an interview of Albert and Charlene and Stephanie at the end of november. Palace answered yes for Albert and later on december yes for Charlene. Cyril Viguier wanted to show all in monaco in very small time this documentary lasts only one hour and 44mn. He said yesterday that he cuts in the interview of all the persons who are in the documentary but he will do a documentary about Charlene because he wants to show her personality. He found a person very natural, modern and who said she wants to deserve her new native land.

there is also a very quick interview of Princess Stephanie. I understand the desappointement of many of you. This documenraty do not speak about Caroline and other. just very quickly at the end with some photos of Caroline and charlotte but you did not see yet the end.
Old 12-29-2013, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Bine221 View Post
Ok, as a non French Person with Little French language skills I have to say, that French is a very difficult language to learn.

- Third the pronounciation: French sounds extremly well and soft spoken by a native Speaker, but: it sometimes may Sound like "Scratching a nail on a blackboard" for a foreigner, who does not have good pronounciation skills - which is btw not only "Goodwill", but also a "tongue issue".
hello bine,

greetings to "italy's most northern town".

while i understand the 'tongue issue' because not everybody has a talent for speaking foreign languages, i think it's a second grade problem.

just think of henry kissinger who throughout his whole life has been speaking english with some german accent, yet he not only became a professor lecturing at numerous universities, but - as we all know - secretary of state of the US.

one thing i can't understand about your above posting - problems with male and female nouns. in german we have also the neutral ones, 'die saechlichen' .

i recommend mark twains famous travel notes dealing with him experiencing german grammar - too funny, his reflections on 'das maedchen' = 'the girl' = neutral gender vs. 'die ruebe' = 'the turnip' = female gender.
Old 12-29-2013, 06:47 AM
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Please wait the end of the documentary, it is the most important part of this video, two intervoews of Charlene, a interview and a report of Stéphanie about her association fightaids and some images of Caroline and charlotte at the bal de la rose and at the jumping.

Albert spoke a lot in this documentary, I know there are many persons who are intelligent and spoke very well many languages but i will say you that Albert spoke about the good relations between france and Monaco, about the extention of Monaco, the econmiebut he does not speak a lot about the environement., he let Charlene speaking about the enveronement. He speaks also about the charities that his parents did and that his family goes on.

Personaly, i learned english and german in gymnasium many decades ago. my english is the worst here in Royal Forum when I am writting here, I am never sure that persons could understand what I am writting here . but when I visited Washington and Boston last september , I speak in english to the persons, very simples words to be understood. and it was enough . I read and I understand very well english and german. i will be unable to give an interview in my native language as princess Charlene and other princesses because I am never confortable in a interview and giving a interview in english will be for me impossible. Also I will never give any lessons to a person or to any princesses or queens because i am myself unable to do what they are doing. There is a saying in french which says ' ask never to a person what you are unable to do' and on this board I am sure that persons are giving lessons and they are also unable to do what they are asking to some persons.
Old 12-29-2013, 08:39 AM
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Is it me or something is wrong with the doc in youtube? some parts seem cut and Charlene appeared just for 3 minutes and talikng about Monaco and NOT her foundation... At least on you tube. She appears only in the firrst video
Old 12-29-2013, 08:43 AM
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Melina, I saw the documentary live. Yes, Charlene did a small part. There was more about Monaco and France than Charlene and it was billed as a MAJOR Charlene interview. Not once is her voice heard. Albert was more interviewed than her.

This was a pr piece and not about Charlene (although it was said to be so) or even dedicated to her. I have not seen what is on youtube from my mobile but I am sure it is enough to show that the majority of the time was not spent with Charlene!! It was like she was an afterthought at the very end. She got top billing with little appearance. I for one was eager to see HER and hear about HER as it looks as if she had finally gotten comfortable. Total Disappointment.

My criticism remains, she can still not speak the language of her adopted home, where she volunteered to be First Lady. They are her FIRST priority. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH CAROLINE. I for one did not expect to see her. I saw no one else who did either. It is simply appalling that when anyone criticizes Charlene Posters dismiss them as being in favour of Caroline or her brood and make viscous side comments about Caroline and her children in the next breath.

In total there was little 'interview' with Charlene. It ran like a car salesman trying to sell how "real their marriage is" and how "happy they are" and how glamorous monaco is. If you have to repeatedly try to sell it, you doth protest too much. The palace needs to write a new script.

It's wonderful about her work with children, I admire her for it. It is touching that she shares causes with Albert and can speak on his concerns just as passionately.

Charlene is not us. She has responsibility with her fame and power. It is not to be a fashion princess, or get a Starbucks open. This is the most basic part of her job, communication. If I could not do the basic part of my job, I would be fired. The same with Mary or Maxima or Charlene.

If criticism and discussion is one sided, like the law on talking about the sovereign family in Monaco, there can be no dialogue. If it is okay to discuss any other royal, including Caroline and her children, Charlene should not be immune.
Old 12-29-2013, 08:45 AM
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Sorry, I just read a third part is missing! :-(

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