An enigma of sorts, Princess Charlene has always been painted as the damsel in distress locked away in her ivory tower as the world looks on.
Always one to keep the media at arm’s length, it’s seldom that she grants exclusive interviews. And with the amount of misinformation out there, people have drawn their own conclusions.
Now London-based publication Tatler has dedicated their January cover to the 43-year-old royal by going beyond the sensational headlines and speaking to those closest to her.
The feature traces her journey from South African Olympian to the halls of the royal Palace of Monaco.
Unnamed friends have also come forward and shared their impressions of the young Charlene, branding her an “ambitious” swimmer determined to be the best at her sport, and a force who should not be “underestimated,” the Daily Mail reported.
Another friend rubbished the perception that the princess is “naive” and trapped in an unhappy marriage with Prince Albert. “I don't for one second think she did not know what she was doing when she married him,” they told the publication.
Her fellow swimmers gave some insight into her personality, including that she was “goofy,” never lonely, and a good friend to have around.
But many admit they were blindsided when the news broke that she and Prince Albert were in a relationship.
A former swimming buddy told Tatler: “Charlene is no Princess Di.”
“She may come across as being extremely naïve, but nothing could be further from the truth. She is very good at keeping her smarts under wraps. I don't for one second think she did not know what she was doing when she married him.”
The princess is currently in a treatment facility.
Barely a week after returning from South Africa, she was promptly shipped off to a treatment facility outside Monaco, far from the media’s glare so she could recover in peace after her loyal husband Prince Albert announced that his wife was suffering with “profound exhaustion, both emotional and physical”.