Princess Charlene of Monaco has taken to Instagram to show her dramatic new hairstyle and wish her niece Aiva a happy fifth birthday.
The royal, 43, put on a united front with her six-year-old twins and husband Albert, 63, as the family gathered around a birthday cake with Charlene’s brother Sean Wittstock, 37, his wife Chantell, 34, their eldest son Raigen, 7, and the birthday girl.
‘Happy 5th Birthday, Aiva! Love, Auntie Charlene,’ she wrote.
It comes as the Princess debuted a dramatic new shaved hairstyle on her recent conservation trip to her native South Africa, where her brother lives.
It’s not known if this photo was taken in South Africa or is Charlene is back in Monaco.
Princess Charlene of Monaco has taken to Instagram to show her dramatic new hairstyle and wish her niece Aiva a happy fifth birthday. The royal, 43, put on a united front with her six-year-old twins and husband Albert, 63, as the family gathered around a birthday cake with Charlene’s brother Sean Wittstock, 37, his wife Chantell, 34, their eldest son Raigen, 7, and the birthday girl
The wife of Prince Albert showcased the ‘French crop’ hairdo – featuring a longer strip on top of the head and dramatically shaved back and sides – in snaps shared on her charity’s Instagram page earlier this week.
She has not been pictured publicly with her husband since late January and she’s believed to have travelled to South Africa in mid-March.
However, she did post a snap of the family together at Easter on April 2. It’s unknown whether they joined her in South Africa or whether she returned to Monaco and flew back out again in May for her rhino conservation trip.
The royal, who is mother to six-year-old twins Jacques and Gabriella, first stepped out with a dramatic half-shaved head in December 2020 but has since gone even shorter and bolder with the cut.
Bold: Princess Charlene of Monaco debuted a dramatic new shaved hairstyle on her recent conservation trip to South Africa. The photos were shared on her charity’s Instagram account
When did Princess Charlene travel to South Africa and when was she last seen with her husband?
January 27 – Charlene is pictured with Albert for the Sainte Devote Ceremony in Monaco.
March 18 – Charlene is pictured at the memorial for the late Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, South Africa
April 2 – Charlene posts an Instagram picture of herself, Albert and their twins Jacques and Gabriella for Easter.
It is unknown where the image was taken.
May 8 – Albert, Jacques and Gabriella attend a Grand Prix event in Monaco
May 10 – Albert attends Monaco Gala Awards in Monaco
May 18 – Charlene shares her first picture from her conservation trip in South Africa
June 1 – Prince Albert II, Jacques and Gabriella attend event at Oceanic Museum in Monaco
June 3 – New photos emerge of Charlene on her conservation trip
June 5- Charlene puts on a united front as she shares a photo with her family to mark her niece’s fifth birthday with her brother’s family and Albert and the twins. It is not known where the pictured was taken
It is understood that Charlene remains in South Africa after being struck down with an ENT (Ear, nose and throat) infection ‘that does not allow her to travel’.
It’s been a tumultuous start to the year for the royal, after news emerged that her husband is facing a paternity suit over a love child born in the early years of their relationship.
The palace were forced to comment on the princess’s whereabouts ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, which she had been due to attend in Albert.
Instead the prince attended with their children.
It appears Charlene has still yet to return from South Africa as Albert stepped out without his wife on Monday for a visit to the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco with their twins.
The 62-year-old prince, who already supports two illegitimate children, is alleged to have had a relationship with a Brazilian woman which resulted in a daughter in 2005.
The claim, which his lawyers dismissed as a ‘hoax’, is particularly painful as he was dating Charlene at the time, having met the former Olympic swimmer in 2000.
The 34-year-old claimant – who cannot be named for legal reasons – says she had a passionate affair with Albert, leading to the birth of their daughter – whose name is also classified – on July 4, 2005.
Albert received a handwritten letter from the child, who is now 15, in September last year reading: ‘I don’t understand why I grew up without a father, and now that I have found you, you don’t want to see me.’
Legal papers were also filed, as lawyers for the claimant called on Albert to undergo a DNA test – just as he did before finally being identified as the father of two illegitimate children born in the 1990s and early 2000s.
In January, Charlene spoke publicly for the first time since the allegations, telling Point de Vue: ‘When my husband has problems, he tells me about it. I often tell him, “No matter what, no matter what, I’m a thousand percent behind you. I’ll stand by you whatever you do, in good times or in bad.”
Passionate: Charlene, who was raised in South Africa and represented the country at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, travelled to Thanda Safari in KwaZulu-Natal to learn more about being done by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa to help save rhinos
Flying solo! Her husband Prince Albert has continued with public duties with their children, taking them to the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco on Monday (pictured)
The mother-of-two went on to say she also often tells her husband she will ‘protect him’ and will ‘always be by his side.’
Charlene, who was raised in South Africa and represented the country at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, travelled to Thanda Safari in KwaZulu-Natal to learn more about being done by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa to help save rhinos from poachers.
The princess took part in conservation operations including rhino monitoring and tracking, deployment with the Anti-Poaching Unit, educational wildlife photography sessions, and a White Rhino dart and dehorning exercise.
Last public outing together: Charlene and Albert were last pictured together in public in January at the Sainte Devote Ceremony in Monaco. On April 2, she shared a photograph alongside her husband Prince Albert and their children Jacques and Gabriella to mark Easter, although it is not clear where it was taken
Prince Albert stepped out at the Monaco Gran Prix on 22 May in Monte Carlo without his wife, Charlene, after an ‘infection’ prevented her from returning from South Africa
Photos of Princess Charlene with the animals and rangers were shared on Instagram.
‘This entire experience moved me,’ Charlene said.
‘I connected with amazing people and spoke to the local trackers and anti-poaching units who all have an incredible passion for protecting our rhinos and environment.’
She continued: ‘It filled me with immense joy to reconnect with the African people and spirit again. I was fascinated to learn more about the area’s history and culture.
‘How fitting to rediscover my love for Africa at a place aptly named Thanda, meaning “love” in the Zulu language!’
Aiva-Grace is the daughter of Charlene’s brother Sean Wittstock and his wife Chantell, who was born in Johannesburg in 2016.
Her name was inspired by Charlene’s mother-in-law Grace Kelly,