Times Princess Charlene's Body Language Hinted That She Was Unhappy

Residents of Monaco are said to be concerned about the state of their royal family — and particularly about the nation's highest-ranked princess, Princess Charlene. Ever since the Zimbabwe-born swimming star married Prince Albert in 2011, people have whispered that there was something off about the couple. Over the years, Monegasque locals have come to question Charlene's interest in Albert, with many believing that the princess tried to escape Monaco three times before her royal wedding. Others have alleged that the princess is paid $12 million per year to remain with the prince and perform her royal duties.

Of course, palace insiders deny these rumors — but that hasn't stopped the public from wondering whether or not Albert and Charlene's marriage is as steady as the couple claims. As French royal expert, Philippe Delorme, revealed in an interview with Madame Figaro, "Many had this impression [that Albert and Charlene had] an arranged marriage, it's true." In 2021, a Monegasque local echoed this sentiment, telling the Daily Mail, "There was a while when there was a sense that she was a reluctant princess, but this is different — there's obviously something not quite right either with her or the marriage."

Regardless of whether these rumors are actually true, there is no denying that Charlene has long seemed unhappy with her life in Monaco. As the princess has been photographed at royal events, body language experts have pointed out her small frowns, sullen gazes, and overall discontent. 

She appeared awkward at her civil wedding ceremony

When Princess Charlene and Prince Albert tied the knot in 2011, their wedding should have seemed like stuff of fairy tales. In true royal fashion, the couple planned a four-day blow-out event, complete with concerts, fireworks, and an enormous cake sporting 110 pounds of strawberries. And, rather than keep the festivities totally private, the bride and groom invited the people of Monaco to celebrate with them. During the event, Monegasque locals were treated to a complementary performance by The Eagles. Later, they were invited to attend a romantic harbor show featuring the French musician, Jean-Michel Jarre. 

Of course, not all portions of the royal wedding were open to the public. Only a select number of important guests were allowed to attend the actual ceremonies — yes, plural. It was not enough for Albert and Charlene to get married once. Instead, the couple enjoyed a civil wedding on July 1, followed by a religious ceremony on July 2.

In the midst of all the merrymaking and celebration, however, one person seemed distinctly unhappy. At the civil ceremony, Charlene's body language seemed extremely tense, leading some royal fans to question whether or not she wanted to get married. As royal journalist, Karen Kissane, observed in The Sydney Morning Herald, "Princess Charlene of Monaco looked dazed. A weak smile struggled to turn up the corners of her mouth. She managed a real one only when the ceremony was over."

She seemed somber during the religious wedding

If Princess Charlene seemed uncomfortable during her civil wedding ceremony, she did not look any more at ease at the religious service the following day. Dressed to the nines in a gorgeous white Armani gown, Charlene looked stunning, although somber. The press noted that the princess-to-be displayed a distinctive lack of physical affection towards her groom throughout the ceremony, even trying to dodge one of Prince Albert's kisses. 

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Australian columnist, Miranda Devine, recalled, "Outside he instructed her to kiss him and, when she blew a kiss to the crowd instead, he insisted again. They clunked their heads together in a parody of a kiss that was only marginally less awkward than the smooch he bestowed on her at the altar. It was simply excruciating. We make judgments from body language — and hers was miserable and his angry. "

Indeed, Charlene's body language indicated that she was less-than-thrilled to be at her wedding. As if the awkward kiss that she shared with Albert were not odd enough, the bride burst into tears at the end of the ceremony. Fans speculated that Charlene cried out of misery, and the hashtag "Run away Charlene" began trending on Facebook and Twitter. The princess, however, would go on to attribute her tears to the stress of the royal event, telling The Times, "Everything was just so overwhelming and there were all the mixed emotions because of the rumors" (via Hello!).

Princess Charlene's post-wedding interview was stiff

Following Prince Albert and Princess Charlene's wedding, there continued to be rumblings about the couple's relationship. Several French outlets spun rumors, alleging that Albert was hiding a royal love child from his new bride. And, unfortunately for the newlyweds, this gossip was only accentuated when ABC News reported that they slept in separate hotels during their honeymoon — a fact which was confirmed by a palace spokesperson. 

Perhaps in light of this bad press, Charlene and Albert decided to hold an interview with CBS This Morning to talk about just how much they loved being married. Albert spoke highly of married life, telling the outlet, "Well, I think it's wonderful. I can't speak for Charlene, but she will be able to answer you. But we're having a wonderful time." Charlene, in turn, echoed the prince's sentiments, sharing, "Great. I recommend it."

In the end, though, the couple's interview was not especially convincing. Throughout the TV special, Charlene's body language made her seem awkward and uncomfortable — especially around Albert. This dynamic became especially clear when the interviewer asked Albert what drew him to his wife. As Now To Love observed, "the shy princess squirmed saying she didn't want to hear it." As if that was not odd enough, the interaction ended when "a palace official stepped in, saying that question was too personal to answer." This bizarre reaction made it seem that Charlene was not particularly happy at Albert's side. 

She seemed tense with her husband at a 2017 athletic event

As the years went on, Princess Charlene's body language continued to hint that all was not well between her and Prince Albert. This was particularly evident at the 2017 Meeting Herculis Monaco, a track meet, which was attended by the Monegasque royal family. At this exciting athletic event, Albert and Charlene — both former Olympians — seemed excited about cheering the competitors on. However, when it came to actually interacting with each other, the couple appeared to be way less enthusiastic. 

In an interview with the Express, body language analyst, Judi James, said that she noticed "signs of possible high levels of tension" between Albert and Charlene at the event. Apparently, this was especially apparent on Charlene's side of things. Pointing to a photograph where Albert snakes his arm around Charlene's bare shoulders, James claimed that the gesture was purely performative, noting that the princess looked distinctly unhappy in the embrace. The nonverbal communication specialist explained, "His arm around her seems to be aimed at pulling her into pose and he grimaces while she performs a very rigid smile and a tense hand clasp." 

To make matters worse, James found that Charlene's body language indicated some misgivings about appearing in yet another photo with Albert — a potential sign that the princess is unhappy in the limelight. Per James, Charlene "appears to be more reluctant at posing with him again and he seems to watch her with anxious eyes." 

The princess appeared unhappy at the 2019 Monte Carlo TV Festival

It is no secret that royal life has not always been easy for Princess Charlene — and perhaps no event made that more evident than the 2019 Monte Carlo TV Festival. At this exciting VIP gathering, actors from across the globe drank cocktails, signed autographs, and even mingled with Monegasque citizens. In the midst of all the glitz and glam, though, Charlene seemed withdrawn. Throughout the four-day event, the princess was photographed several times with an overly serious expression on her face. And, as Prince Albert escorted her to the grand event, Charlene appeared impassive, as if she were about to attend a funeral.

According to body language expert, Judi James, the reason for the princess' stone-faced expression might have actually been loneliness. As the nonverbal communication specialist told the Express, Charlene "looked slightly isolated" when she stepped out among the Monegasque elite. Interestingly, there is some reason to believe that Charlene has not always felt great when surrounded by the principality's upper crust. In an interview with Tatler, the princess once admitted to struggling socially in royal circles. She confessed, "Although I have met some wonderful people since I've been living in Monaco, I regard them all as acquaintances. I only have two people I consider friends here." Perhaps, then, Charlene's tense body language could be a sign that she — like many royal brides before her — feels lonesome behind the palace walls.

At the 2022 Grand Prix, she avoided Prince Albert

It is not easy marrying into any European royal family, and over the years plenty of princesses have struggled in the initial years of this transition. Princess Diana, for example, was famously awkward in front of the cameras during the first years of her marriage to King Charles III. With time, however, she grew more confident in her public persona, even earning the affectionate nickname, the "People's Princess." 

Unfortunately, though, things have not gone so smoothly for Princess Charlene. Even eleven years after she walked down the aisle with Prince Albert, the Monegasque royal has been characterized as uncomfortable at official events. At the 2022 Grand Prix, Charlene's body language was withdrawn and occasionally forlorn. Although she did muster the energy to greet some of the race car drivers with a smile, the princess was photographed time and time again looking like her mind was somewhere else. As body language expert, Judi James, told the Daily Mail, Charlene's facial expressions can be "incongruent" — with forced smiles that never quite make it to her eyes.

As if this aura of sadness was not concerning enough, James noted that Charlene seemed evasive about touching Albert. According to the nonverbal communication specialist, the princess was spotted with a clutch in her hand — which stood as a barrier to any kind of hand-holding. James explained, "Any touch rituals seem to have been blocked by the carrying of her bag between them."

Her Grand Prix body language was closed-off

Although Princess Charlene never managed to become as popular as Princess Diana, the Zimbabwe-born bombshell has a lot more in common with the British icon than what initially meets the eye. Indeed, Charlene and Diana are said to share similar traits in terms of their body language. Apparently, both women have been encouraged to put on a display of happiness and royal warmth for the public — even as they were struggling tremendously in their personal lives.

Body language expert, Judi James, noted this similarity when speaking to the Express about Charlene's expressions during the 2022 Grand Prix. As James told the outlet, "A problem with Charlene's body language, though, and it is a trait that she shares in some way with Princess Diana, is an ability to use fluctuating facial expressions. Diana generally looked happy, but she could suddenly fall into a facial expression that was incredibly sad and reflective, even during her engagement interview. Charlene has shown a similar trait since her wedding, when her smiles of joy would slip into something much sadder-looking."

Unfortunately for the princess, these moments of discontent seem to indicate powerful feelings of loneliness. James explained, "When the mouth smile drops, [Charlene] can suddenly look sad and isolated." These forlorn facial expressions seem to contrast greatly with the way that Charlene lights up in front of her twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques. As James relayed, "Her smiles with her children look warm and loving."

Charlene and Albert's family photos in Africa were awkward

In May 2021, Princess Charlene was traveling in South Africa when she fell ill with an ear, nose, and throat infection. Unfortunately, as the princess' condition disintegrated, she was forced to seek a series of surgeries that prevented her from heading to Monaco. During this trying time, Charlene was separated from her husband and children for months. In fact, it wasn't until August that Prince Albert and the royal twins headed down to the Rainbow Nation and the Grimaldi family was once again reunited. 

Naturally, Charlene posed for a number of pictures when she was finally able to see her husband and two kids after this long separation. Oddly, though, these photos hint at the princess' overall unhappiness, especially in her marriage. As royal nonverbal communication expert, Judi James, revealed in a conversation with the Daily Mail, "There are no signs here of any direct connection between Albert and Charlene." Indeed, the pictures show very little chemistry between the princess and her royal beau. James explained, "There is no physical touch, closeness or even eye contact between them in the photos she has chosen for social media."

Interestingly, these family photographs also seem to signal Charlene's independence from her husband. As James relayed, "Charlene's body language here defines her as a free spirit and she seems to be making no compromises to signal emotional or even empathetic bonds with her husband via her poses."

When reuniting with Albert after months apart, Charlene seemed stressed

Perhaps as a way of compensating for the lack of chemistry in their family photos, Princess Charlene and Prince Albert also posed in a number of pictures, as husband and wife, after reuniting in 2021. These photographs, which were also posted on Charlene's Instagram, featured the prince and princess in a close embrace. In one shot, Charlene was practically hanging off of Albert's body. In another, the princess leaned toward her husband's shoulders. 

Although these pictures certainly tried to project intimacy, critics said that Charlene and Albert did not seem close at all, alleging that the photos were staged. As body language expert, Judi James, told the Daily Mail, "The couple could barely be closer, posing torso to torso and face to face, with Charlene's arm around Albert's neck in a clinging and rather possessive-looking hug that could almost be described as an overkill gesture." Fascinatingly, James also hinted that these pictures could have been an attempt to cover up the couple's lack of closeness, explaining, "Their eyes are fixed on what looks like another camera, making this a posed shot rather than anything more genuinely intimate, but the message of affection and physical closeness is there all the same." 

According to the specialist, Charlene seemed particularly unhappy in these shots. James shared, "Charlene's eye expression suggests sadness in both of these poses though and although she is smiling, the corners of her mouth are pulled slightly downward, suggesting mixed emotions."

Royal fans continue to worry about Charlene's wellbeing

Even after Princess Charlene recuperated from her ear, nose, and throat infection, royal fans continued to worry that there was something wrong with her. Apparently, you don't have to be a full-blown body language expert to see that the princess appears unhappy. As reported by The South African, Charlene's admirers took to social media to share their opinions on the Monegasque royal and her facial expressions. 

Commenting on Charlene's nonverbal communication at the 2022 Grand Prix, one Twitter user shared, "Nice to see Princess Charlene looking better health-wise, but she's noticeably still unhappy. I hope she can break away from this nasty institution one day. She clearly adores her children." Another Twitter user shared that same sentiment, declaring, "Not sure how well that treatment [or] rehab that she had went, but Princess Charlene still looks so sad and miserable. I feel for her." 

Ultimately, these comments reflect the overall feeling of concern that many royal fans have harbored on Charlene's behalf. Much of the world says that the princess is unhappy, although the palace has long insisted that she is fine. Speaking to People, Prince Albert condemned the widespread speculation about his relationship with his wife, insinuating that it was pure gossip. He stated, "We're an easy target, easily hit, because we're in the public eye a lot." Of course, it remains to be seen whether there is more to the story.