Separate beds for royal couple

Durban - It was supposed to be their fairytale honeymoon in Africa, but Princess Charlene slept alone in a bedroom 16km from her prince.

Charlene Wittstock, now Princess Charlene of Monaco, arrived in Durban this week with Prince Albert to host a wedding reception for South African friends and dignitaries who could not make it to Monaco.

The reception was at the swanky Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks, north of Durban.

It was widely reported that the royal couple would be staying in the presidential suite, at R25 000 per night.

However, it has been confirmed by hotel spokesperson Joanne Hayes that Princess Charlene stayed in the Buthelezi suite (R10 600 per night).


Prince Albert stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Durban.

This royal marriage has seemed doomed from the start. Shortly before the wedding last week, reports surfaced that Charlene had tried three times to flee the principality and return to South Africa.

Reports in the French media suggested Prince Albert had recently fathered a third child out of wedlock, despite the fact that he was engaged to Charlene since 2006.

Officials in Monaco confirmed that Albert was facing new paternity tests.

The couple attended a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Durban and on Thursday night hosted a gala ceremony to celebrate their nuptials.

Left in two cars

However, when they met President Jacob Zuma they arrived in the same car but left in two separate vehicles.

At Zuma’s residence, they met with the president for 30 minutes and then reappeared for pictures.

Zuma jokingly told Prince Albert he had not paid lobola, and said while he could not attend the wedding, the private meeting had more than made up for it.

When photographers urged the royal couple to kiss, it was another of those awkward moments – Charlene turned her head away and Prince Albert ended up giving her a peck on the cheek.

Pictures of Charlene taken this week showed an unhappy woman who rarely smiled. The only time she showed real delight was when Archbishop Desmond Tutu hugged her.

Charlene and Albert cut short their South African stay on Friday, citing urgent business in Monaco as their reason.

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