Prince Albert of Monaco last night attended the glittering Rose Ball without his wife Princess Charlene – amid rumours the pair may split after she was spotted without her wedding ring.
During an appearance in Milan on Friday, 44-year-old Charlene’s ring finger was noticeably bare, prompting speculation that the Monegasque royals may be planning a separation.
However, later that day, the couple made a joint appearance at the Monte Carlo Woman of the Year awards, where Charlene appeared to be proudly wearing her wedding ring – pouring cold water on the split rumours.
Last night, Prince Albert, 65, attended the Rose Ball without his wife, accompanied instead by his sister Princess Caroline of Hanover.
The royal looked smart as he smiled for cameras, wearing a classic black two-piece suit and bowtie. Meanwhile, Caroline donned a silver sequinned maxi dress for the occasion, which she paired with strappy sandals and an elegant up-do.
Prince Albert of Monaco (right) attended the Rose Ball last night without his wife Princess Charlene. He was instead accompanied by his sister Princess Caroline of Hanover (left)
Charlene’s absence may not have surprised everyone, as she also failed to attend the glitzy ball last year.
On that occasion, Prince Albert was once again accompanied by Princess Caroline, as the pair attended the event together.
The couple’s joint appearance on Friday followed French magazine ROYAUTÉ claiming that the prince and princess are in the process of separation – a rumour which gained momentum when the article was repeated by gossip sites, which sparked speculation on social media.
Rumours about the couple’s marriage first circulated after Charlene was absent from Monaco for most of 2021 while having medical treatment in her native South Africa, and was admitted to a Swiss clinic to be treated for exhaustion on her return.
She’s now back in full swing with royal duties and public appearances, but French magazine ROYAUTÉ claimed that the Prince and Princess are in the process of separation.
However, the Palace’s press office said they ‘formally deny the malicious rumours peddled by the magazine.
A spokesperson said: ‘I would like to formally deny the malicious rumors peddled by the French magazine Royauté. Please disregard this article which is totally unfounded.’
On Friday, Princess Charlene broke cover for the first time since the rumours re-emerged, stepping out in a camel-coloured jumper
Princess Charlene (pictured) was spotted out in Milan on Friday, without wearing her wedding ring, sparking more split rumours
The royal couple married in July 2011 after the prince proposed with a handcrafted pear-cut diamond flanked by smaller diamonds designed by Paris-based Italian jeweller Repossi.
Later, during the wedding service, the couple exchanged 18-carat white gold platinum rings by Cartier, with Princess Charlene laughing as she placed the ring on her husband’s finger.
However there have been reports of a rift between the Prince and Princess ever since their high-profile marriage.
At the time, Charlene was dubbed the ‘Runaway Bride’ by the French media after allegedly trying to flee before the wedding, but the reports were always denied.
Princess Charlene was noticeable absent from the Rose Ball last night, which he attended with Princess Caroline instead (pictured L-R: Christian Louboutin, second from left, Princess Caroline of Hanover, Prince Albert II of Monaco, and Stephane Valeri at the Rose Ball)
And since her wedding day, the royal has often gone without either ring – and on occasion even worn different rings on her wedding finger.
In the early days of marriage, the royal was often spotted showing off the dazzler, but since 2017 she’s seldom been seen pictured wearing the rings – even at formal events.
The much-anticipated Rose Ball was first thrown in 1954 by Princess Grace of Monaco, the American actress who married Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
The event is currently presided over by the Sovereign Prince Albert II and Princess Caroline of Hanover.
The funds raised go towards the Princess Grace Foundation, which assists young artists by providing scholarships.