Just a few days ago, the palace in Monaco was forced to take an unusual measure: it commented on a media report. Or in the language of the Grimaldis press office: "the malicious rumors of the French magazine 'Royauté'" were formally rejected.
The magazine had dared to speculate about the relationship status of Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene - and brought up a possible separation of the two. Calm did not return to the discussion - on the contrary. The palace's thin-skinned reaction was interpreted as a sign of nervousness.
Since then, the prince has been under public scrutiny. And so his performance at the traditional Rose Ball made headlines again. The annual, exclusive ceremony in the Salle des Étoiles of the Hotel Sporting Monte-Carlo raises money for the Princess Grace Foundation. Princess Grace of Monaco initiated the event while she was still alive. Since her death, her daughter Caroline von Hannover has carried on the tradition. Always supported by her brother Albert.
The 65-year-old also came on Saturday evening and found himself exposed to prying eyes: would he bring his wife? But as in the previous six years, Charlène skipped the event. The South African was last seen at this festival, which is important for the principality, in 2016.
The renewed absence comes at an unfortunate time. Because many observers now see the rumors about a separation of the couple confirmed. But the absence could also have other motives: Charlène's relationship with her sister-in-law should not be the best, and the 45-year-old could also need rest after a long illness. However, the palace has refused a clear answer - and so the rumor mill will continue to boil. Until the next public appearance.