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Zonk 01-16-2007 10:14 PM

What do you think of Charlene?
Since the beginning of the Charlene & Albert relationship, there has been an ongoing discussion about the suitablity of Charlene as a suitable companion or potential wife/princess for HSH Prince Albert of Monaco. Since this issue will not go away, the moderators of the Monaco forum have decided to create a specific thread to discuss this subject.

We are doing so for the following reasons:
1) As stated, it's not a subject that is going away anytime soon. Well at least until the relationship has moved to the next level (i.e. marriage) or they decide to part ways. It is a subject of discussion for all members, new and old.
2) It is a subject that "infects" numerous threads, whether it be threads that involve the rest of the royal family (it has been briefly discussed in both the Princess Grace and Caroline threads for example) or the activities of Albert and Charlene. While we recognize that Charlene has no official activities on behalf of Monaco, Albert does and often the suitability of Charlene as a potential mate (even when not present) finds her way into his thread.

The moderators of the Monaco forum are creating this thread with some reservations, and as such, we have definitive rules about how the discussion in this thread will be conducted. Please read them carefully. Failure to comply with the specific guidelines below will result in the post (and related replies to such a post) deleted immediately without notice to the members. Depending on the severity of the infraction, members may face disciplinary action for them.

1) Insulting comments about other posters and royals are not permitted. Criticism is acceptable; insults and flames are not. We expect our members to treat each other with respect.
2) The Albert/Charlene relationship or lack of a relationship (as defined by some members) is a controversial one. Some things will be said that in general that members will not like. Before posting, please re-read the post in question to ensure that you are not misreading it. Ask for clarification of a point if you are unsure of something. Don't just assume something about another member's comment.
3)If you don't like Charlene, please watch the tone of your posts as well as some of the words used to describe Charlene. There is a way to express your opinion without being offensive to your fellow posters.
4) Please post your replies with a level head. We all have our own opinions and they should be respected, even if you don't necessarily agree with them.
5) There is to be no unsupported or malicious speculation. Our rule about speculation is intended to prevent tabloid-type flights of fancy which often slip into outright fantasy and sometimes even libel. While we realise that much of the information posted in the threads is based on reports in the media which we can't verify, we expect posters to base their statements on published reports rather than on wishful thinking or unsubstantiated hearsay. The forum moderators have the final say about whether posts are unacceptably speculative. Disagreements with moderator decisions must take place via private message, not by arguing in the threads and certainly not by reposting deleted material.

We are starting fresh with this thread, although there have been numerous other discussions of Charlene's suitablity in other threads. Any and all discussion about this will be confined to this thread only.

If you have questions about this thread, such as what is and is not permissible, please contact Lady Jennifer, TBHRC or Zonk to discuss it. Likewise if you have concerns about this thread.

semisquare 01-18-2007 04:07 PM

i'll go first.
i give her the same respect as i would anyone, reason she takes up space.just like any person does. but it would be nice for her to act with more self respect. if she is training for the 08 games, then train for the games. if she is wants to be pa "companion" then be it. but dont sit on the fence.
there, i said my peace
just remember its my opinion, so no bad thoughts about me

Henri M. 01-18-2007 04:44 PM

I thought that miss Wittstock was past present?

For the rest I hope that Prince Albert will look after a nice bride in her thirties or something, of noble or patrician descent.
The House of Monaco needs a new 'shot' of style and class.

PrincessofEurope 01-18-2007 06:29 PM

is the romance between ber and albert still on as i read that things seemed to have cooled. it would be such as hame if it has as she seems a really nice and well suited bride

Doña Alicia 01-18-2007 10:27 PM

They spent New Years together in Austria. She is still classified as his official companion. I don't know if that is code for girlfriend/future fiancee.

mw7060a 01-19-2007 07:58 PM

As I have said before from my personal observances, Charlene is quite the social butterfly and "chatty" in social settings.

princess olga 01-19-2007 08:28 PM

I think she 'cleans up' quite well actually, and, as consort of Albert, would do fine.

As for whether she is what Monaco needs, well, not sure. Monaco is sinking as a place to be seen, unless you are a Russian billionaire. I think therefore it would be better if Albert married more of a combination of brains a la Letizia, and glamour a la for example a more pedestrian Angelina Jolie.

It's too bad Rania of Jordan is no longer on the market. She would have done VERY well I think in Monaco.

Lillia 01-19-2007 09:01 PM

I guess if he's happy with her hanging around, that's all that matters, right?

He said he wasn't going to marry anyone at all, but if he does marry her, I guess we'll just have to get used to it.

I think she could be alright because, imo, she's not going to go anywhere soon -- as long as she behaves herself I guess she will continue to call Monaco 'home' for a while.


sandsla 01-20-2007 02:00 AM

I think she is pretty enough, but her behavior, imo, has been very juvenile & inappropriate. Unfortunately my impression of her has not changed since we were first introduced to her in Turin.

The first photos of her in Turin (her first public outing) where she is overtly affectionate (laying in Prince Albert's lap & hanging on him) in public & in pictures where she is looking directly at the camera. Making quotes to the press about the Olympics being "...a good place for lovers" (they are both past Olympic participants & Albert is a member of the IOC) you might think she might say something more appropriate about the sports at the Olympics? It seemed important to her to reveal the details of the relationship publically? She seems very insecure. Also when a reporter asked her about any impending marriage, she quipped "not yet". I believe from the beginning she seemed to seek attention & enjoy creating speculation. That is just my impression of course. But then I learned of the interview she gave years before regarding her first date with Albert (a Tell-All-Account) to the South African press detailing their date. I find her behavior very immature & inappropriate for anyone, especially for someone who is dating someone in Prince Albert's position, which makes the 20 yr age difference even more disturbing. I also believe she just does not possess the social skills among other things that one will need to fill the role Albert's wife will need? So that was my first impression & since then she seems to keep confirming it. I'm sure she is a nice girl in her own way & in a different environment.

Lakshmi 01-20-2007 02:28 AM

I don't find age difference between Albert and Charlene disturbing. In most traditional societies it's quite common that a husband is much older than wife. And Charlene is almost 30 y.o, so in this age it doesn't seem so a huge age gap, if she were in her early 20s and Albert was in his 40s it would be different. I mean Charlene is not a girl any more. I consider a women in this age mature. Many posters wants future Albert's wife to be in her 30s, but it's almost Charlene's age. But I think many don't accept age difference b/c of Charlene's behavior. She is just childish. Her life also seems like someone in early 20s or below. She doen't have any career plans. I don't think anyone believes in her swimming plans. Many people in her age have already families.Charlene just seems a clueless girl.

MyAdia 01-20-2007 09:05 AM


Originally Posted by Doña Alicia
They spent New Years together in Austria. She is still classified as his official companion. I don't know if that is code for girlfriend/future fiancee.

Charlene is only "classified" as Prince Albert's "official companion" on these message boards and never by the palace directly. It’s only a title that was interpreted in a Daily Telegraph (London) article and then misquoted by an Internet journal, the Post Chronicle.

This is the first post on the Royal Forum about the dubious title of “official companion”


Originally Posted by maryellen1539 on 06-02-2006, 08:15 PM

Last paragraph of the article

"Albert is currently dating Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimming champion from South Africa. According to the Times UK, the palace in Monaco has played down rumours of an imminent marriage, but have acknowledged Miss Wittstock as Albert's "official companion"."

However the last paragraph of the Post Chronicle article shows their sloppy journalism. First, if you click on the “Times UK” link you’ll find that the Post was actually quoting the Daily Telegraph. The Times didn’t write the article. Here’s the direct link to the Telegraph article. The last two sentences in this article states:

The billionaire prince has never married and is often described as the world's most eligible bachelor. He is dating Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimming champion from South Africa. While the palace in Monaco has played down rumours of an imminent marriage, Miss Wittstock was recently acknowledged as his official companion.

So, this is where everyone on the message boards is getting their cue that the palace has entitled Charlene Wittstock with the dubious title of “official companion” (which the Post Chronicle placed in quotes in their article). In my opinion, the Telegraph’s last sentence is not a definitive statement that the palace entitled Charlene with a title of “official companion” . This seems to be only an observation on the writer’s part that Charlene is officially Albert’s companion since she was presented to various Monaco officials at the Grandprix Auto Club gala. The Telegram never used the term “official companion” in any of their subsequent articles about Charlene and Albert. In fact a search of the term in the main stream media, the term “official companion” has never been used. More importantly, the French equivalent term (compagne officielle) has never been used in the French press NOR the Monaco press to refer to Charlene. The French press has referred to Charlene as Albert’s “compagne”, but never used the exact term official in conjunction with it. Here’s an example of the French media use of the term from one of the first press stories about this couple.

Originally Posted by excerpt of a Feb 14, 2006 article from the French news agency

Le prince Albert II de Monaco s'est affiché récemment à la cérémonie d'ouverture des jeux Olympiques d'hiver de Turin et à Sestrière, station de ski italienne où se déroulent les épreuves alpines des JO, avec une nouvelle compagne, la nageuse sud-africaine Charlene Wittstock.

I believe the Daily Telegraph just applied the term to Charlene based on Charlene’s appearance at what some press wrote as her “official” presentation. In fact, two articles in the Monaco press used the term "official" to describe her appearance as Prince Albert's companion at Grandprix functions. This is an excerpt form the Monaco Press’ article/picture gallery under the title “The Principality under the Charm of Charlene”


Dimanche 27 mai 2006SAS le Prince Albert II a présenté officiellement lors du gala de l'Automobile Club de Monaco qui se tenait à la Salle des Etoiles, sa compagne dont il est épris depuis plus de 6 mois. Charléne Wittstock a rencontré le Prince Souverain lors d'une manifestation sportive de natation précisément à Monaco en 2000 ou elle remporta le 200 métres dos. Ancienne nageuse de haut niveau, elle représenta l'Afrique du Sud aux Jeux Olympiques de Sydney en 2000. Leur idylle avait été dévoilé lors des Jeux Olympiques de Turin ou le Prince ne cachait pas son affection pour la ravissante Charléne. AO

On Sunday, May 27th, 2006 HSH Prince Albert II introduced officially during the gala diner of the Car Club of Monaco which was held in the Room of Stars, his companion by with whom he is being in love for more than 6 months. Charléne Wittstock met the Sovereign Prince during the swimming sporting events precisely in Monaco in 2000 where she carried off 200 métres backstroke. A former champion swimmer, she represented the Southern Africa in the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. Their idyll had been revealed during the Turin Olympic Games where the Prince did not hide its affection for the delightful Charléne.

Other media wrote similar stories that Charlene was officially presented to Monaco as Albert’s girlfriend. Thus, I believe this is what the Telegraph was alluding to in their article. The last two lines in their article is NOT a definitive statement from the palace as everyone has assumed on these message boards. Furthermore, on the rare occasion that Charlene is referred to in the press in Monaco, no title is given only her name. An examples from Monaco’s le Petit Journal.

Le Petit Journal: Aug 4, 2006 article (translated page)

900 convives à la plus prestigieuse manifestation caritative de Monaco

Le Gala de la Croix Rouge a eu lieu au Sporting vendredi 4 août, ouvert par S.A.S. le Prince Albert II qui est arrivé au bras de sa tante, la Princesse Antoinette, entourés de S.A.R. la Princesse Caroline et de S.A.S. la Princesse Stéphanie. La nageuse sud-africaine Charlène Wittstock a également pris place à la table princière. Cette 58e édition du gala de la Croix-Rouge s'est terminé par le concert du groupe Duran Duran et le feu d'artifice traditionnel.
A correction was even made to the press to identify Charlene’s as Prince Albert’s guest and not girlfriend in captions during the Red Cross ball. So, if the palace has given Charlene’s this title of “official companion” why haven’t they used it? Or, why hasn’t Prince Albert (any any of his associates), the Monaco Press, or even the main stream press ever used this title after the first mentioning by the Telegraph? Because it simply does not exist. It exists only on these message boards. Rumors and misinterpretations are easily spread across these message boards. Immediately after Maryellen’s posts the discussion started. The original stories about Charlene as presented by Paca were great and she gave details of some of the happenings in Monaco. But, a title of “official companion” as reported by the press or the palace was never mentioned prior to Maryellen’s first June 2, 2996 post. But, Paca quoted the mistakenly attributed Times UK article as her source of “official companion”


Originally Posted by paca on 06-04-2006, 02:04 PM
I haven't seen her and I haven't seen anymore pic. The mare nostrum is here. I suppose if she was attending, after her official outing the local paper would show a picture.


Originally Posted by paca on 06-05-2006, 09:50 AM
I'm sure if she was at the mare nostrum, we would have seen some agency pics. I have read somewhere (I think they said it in the times) that the palace has denied an imminent marriage but confirmed her as his official companion. I won't be surprised if she will be fading into the background now after the JGG outing. IMO she was only supposed to draw attention away from things going on behind the scene. But I guess we'll just have to wait.

MyAdia 01-20-2007 09:06 AM

Only a few posters actually questioned the validity of the claim that Charlene was given this title of “official companion” directly by the palace. These posters asked for verification, but the discussions normally focused on the term itself, specifically it’s definition. NEVER has anyone posted anything that proves that this actually came from the palace. NO ONE.

Originally Posted by creativemind on 06-08-2006,12:15 PM
Paca -- have you ever heard the palace refer to one of Albert's women as "official companion". If so, any particular "definition" from the palace of what it means? Just looking for some kind of "official" word on what it "officially" means.


Originally Posted by creativemind on 06-10-2006,09:40 PM
"Paca if you're around, do you mind sharing your knowledge of the words OFFICIAL COMPANION especially as a local. You defined it before (can't say who what when where how why) and I think it adds some terrific insight into things. I haven't seen it posted here. I'll just says words take on different meanings, connotations in different cultures, languages. But I'll leave Paca to define it because I don't want to butcher it!!!!!

The definition of the title “official companion” and its credence as coming from the palace was further enthrenced by explanations from posters. But, not one official source of this title coming from the palace was ever given after Creative’s first request.

Originally Posted by paca on 06-10-2006, 10:23 PM
I think i posted it in another thread. Did you mean this post?

In France, most people refer to their girlfrieds/boyfriends as fiancee, if they are serious about them. When you are actually living together, people tend to call them mari or femme/epouse, even if you are not married (I always correct people and now that we are seperated I have to keep telling people that I am not divorced and that we never have been married, inspite of all the modern laws, the language hasn't quite caught up with it) THe official term if you are living together is concubinage. And often the neutral form is compagne/compagnon. But this is very rarely used and then usually, when nothing particular about the feelings of the people involved is known. A reporter would probably use it to refer to a relation turned into desaster (i.e. crime of passion). You wouldn't see it used when a wedding is in the air and the couple is head over heels in love. Any native French speakers feel free to correct me, but this is how i have seen these terms used.


Originally Posted by Lynda on 07-13-2006, 12:49 AM
I think Charlene is a companion like it's officially stated. A companion is a person who escorts/accompany someone. She accompanied PA on several events and he invited her to spend time with him in Maldives on his birthday vacation. The title came from the palace because enquiring minds wanted to know the identity of this woman and why she was all cozy and snuggled with PA at the Olympics in Italy. The tabloids ran rampart with all types of rumors after seeing them together. So this is probably why the palace created the “Official Companion” title for CW.

PA introduced CW to PC and her family because she was his guest. I would think any good host would introduce a guest to the family if they are attending the same event. He was only acting proper by introducing CW to his official staff at the Yacht gala event because his staff were also attending the same affair.

PA and CW are both consenting adults and what was revealed to the public by nosy photographers was nothing more than two adults frolicking around. The media ran amok with the photos and posted “Monaco Princess and a Royal Wedding” stories. In addition, people started to speculate and spread rumors of CW being groomed for the next Princess of Monaco which had no merit. PA never stated CW was being prepared to be his wife. People speculated these rumors and Charlene gave interviews of how PA swept her off her feet and made her knees go weak when she was in his presence. I can understand her feeling this way. If you consider his lifestyle and compare it to hers, it is easy to imagine why she made these comments. Nevertheless, she will continue to be his “official companion” without the marriage attached. I truly believe he enjoys her company and she feels the same. So CW will probably escort PA to more events in the future.

IMO, PA has his work cut out for him being the new head of state in Monaco and at the present time, marriage is not on the top of his list. He stated, in due time he will settle down, get married and have more children with his princess bride…whomever she may be.

This is strictly my opinion. :)

By the time “Charlene Wittstock current Events Part 5” was started by tbhrc on 08-06-2006, 02:52 PM, the banner read:

Welcome to part 5 of the thread to discuss the current events of Charlene Wittstock, Prince Albert's official companion.
And, thus the seal of approval and fact of such a title was further enthrenced. But as a reminder from rule 5, “…While we realise that much of the information posted in the threads is based on reports in the media which we can't verify…” This title of “official companion" has never been verified AND its origin came from this one sentence in an article in the Daily Telegraph:

..While the palace in Monaco has played down rumours of an imminent marriage, Miss Wittstock was recently acknowledged as his official companion.

Just because such a statement is repeated often enough doesn’t give credence to its factuality. I’ve asked many times on another message board for any type of verification of this “official companion” title or job coming from the palace, but no one has ever produced it. Posters only refer to the original Telegraph article. Only a couple of people, such as Creative, has also asked for such verification. But, there isn’t any because this title is just several misinterpretations (message board posters) of a misinterpretation of a wrongly attributed article (Post Chronicle article of putting the term in quotes and stating that it came from the Times UK) of a misinterpretation (Daily Telegraph article) of a statement of an interpretation only by the Monaco Press that Prince Albert’s action of taking Charlene Wittstock to the Autoclub gala was an “official” presentation of his “companion". Nothing more and nothing less, in my opinion of course!

The use of the title "official companion" has been used officially by the moderators and adms of this message board and by various posters by various ways for various reasons. But the title has NEVER been used by the palace or the Monaco Press or any affliate of Prince Albert in any publications and they had various opportunities to use it. Just something to think about.

Warren 01-20-2007 09:35 AM

Excellent research MyAdia. :flowers:
It appears to be yet another case of misinterpretation being accepted as fact through sheer repetition.

hibou 01-20-2007 10:17 AM


Originally Posted by Warren
Excellent research MyAdia. :flowers:
It appears to be yet another case of misinterpretation being accepted as fact through sheer repetition.

Thanks, we've been debating that term since May. I am glad to clear that one up and at this point in time she looks more like an on again off again girlfriend anyway.

Doña Alicia 01-20-2007 01:28 PM

I would like to thank all of you for this info. I thought it was a title given to her by the palace. To be honest I am a little relieved to hear that it was just a breakdown in communication. As I have said before I sure she is a lovely person but just not princess material.

Lakshmi 01-20-2007 03:25 PM

MyAdia, thanx for your research. It looks like "official companion" never existed. It was created by tabloids that wanted to increase sale by stories about possible princes od Monaco.

Tara20052 01-20-2007 11:28 PM

I think that they will date for probably a long time, but I do not think that they will get married. I think that she is kind of pretty.

MyAdia 01-21-2007 04:55 AM


Originally Posted by Lakshmi
MyAdia, thanx for your research. It looks like "official companion" never existed. It was created by tabloids that wanted to increase sale by stories about possible princes od Monaco.

I don’t believe that the “official companion” term/title was even a tabloid story. I don't know, has anyone read a tabloid article where this term was used? Again, I think besides the below two articles (and I saw a Mexican article last fall), this term was restricted to the message boards. It seems to me to be a mistake by a journal making a slight assumption with their quote from another article.

The excerpt from the Post Chronicle was posted on The Royal Forums, in which the Post stated that their quote came from the Times (but when you actually click on the link, it’s a Daily Telegraph article):

Albert is currently dating Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimming champion from South Africa. According to the Times UK, the palace in Monaco has played down rumours of an imminent marriage, but have acknowledged Miss Wittstock as Albert's "official companion".
But, if you read the actual Daily Telegraph quote, the Post Chronicle took a slight liberty that wasn't included in the original statement (but which made a big difference to posters).

He is dating Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimming champion from South Africa. While the palace in Monaco has played down rumours of an imminent marriage, Miss Wittstock was recently acknowledged as his official companion.

The Post Chronicle article reworded the article stated, the palace in Monaco has played down rumours of an imminent marriage, but have acknowledged Miss Wittstock as Albert's "official companion". Although a slight difference, but this statement is saying that the palace has recently acknowledged Miss Wittstock as Albert’s “official companion”. They put official companion in quotes since the sentence is a paraphrase and they are quoting a direct term that is important from the original article.

However, if you read the Daily Telegraph original article, the writer has no problem using direct quotes, quoting terms, and attributing the correct subject to the action. She didn’t say the “palace acknowledged…” instead she used a comma and wrote “Miss Wittstock was recently acknowledged…” which is a passive statement where she doesn’t attributed a subject to the action. The Daily Telegraph writer is careful in attributed actors to important actions when she doesn’t use direct quotes to repeat their statements (she uses direct quotes 5 times). Here are some examples from her article where she doesn’t use direct quotes but makes the actor and action clear, Prince Albert of Monaco admitted…, The prince's lawyer said…, Prince Albert admitted…, The lawyer said…, They quoted…, Mr Lacoste said…, and the palace in Monaco has played down. But, the writer doesn’t state that “the palace… but have acknowledged” as the Post Chronicle stated. And, she probably would have placed the statement in direct quotes if she was attributing something from them, or at least place the term “official companion” in direct quotes as she did the term "circling paparazzi" when she paraphrased this quote: The lawyer said the decision had been made to confirm the reports because the "circling paparazzi" were making Jazmin's life intolerable.

I know this seems like boring tedious word-smithing, but this “official companion” term has been used both supportively and derisively in hundreds of message board posts. The term is kind of a mainstay now, so I don't expect people to stop using it. I just wanted some perhaps new posters to realize its origins. I wanted to write this explanation, so you are welcome, but even I am making assumptions. Of course, one can always ask the writer if she got the statement directly from the palace. But if anyone does, I probably wouldn’t mention any message boards. I don’t think you want journalists snooping around these boards.:smile:

sashajones 01-21-2007 07:21 AM

What does "official companion" really means? Does it mean that he is only and I mean only sleeping with her and no one else?

Ghislaine 01-21-2007 08:31 AM

We're getting rapidly off topic here....
Brilliant piece, MyAdia.
It's just a pity that Albert, Charlene in her numerous interviews and the palace haven't worked a bit more on defusing the rumours. Then all this media attention that Albert complains so much about wouldn't have happened. Now everyone can explain things in his/her own way - the boards, the tabloids.....

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