Princess Charlene of Monaco 'tried to flee three times'
Princess Charlene of Monaco tried to flee home to South Africa three times before her marriage to Prince Albert II, according to report on Sunday in French newspapers.
The couple's glittering religious wedding drew crowds of thousands to the Mediterranean principality on Saturday and the guest list included a host of heads of state, European royals and stars of the fashion and sports world.
But sources cited by the French press on Sunday said the former Charlene Wittstock, 33, had even tried to take refuge in her country's embassy in Paris in an attempt to get out of the wedding.
Instead senior Palace officials confiscated her passport and then persuaded her to take part in the weekend's nuptials.
"Several sources have even confirmed that an arrangement was reached between the future bride and groom," said a report in Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD), the French national newspaper, which provided no further details.
It followed confirmation by palace sources that Albert, 53, was due to undergo DNA tests because of claims by at least one unnamed woman that he has fathered another illegitimate child.Yesterday, the couple hosted a private marriage brunch, and are due to fly to South Africa on honeymoon on Tuesday.
Albert already has a six-year-old son called Alexandre through a former Togolese air hostess called Nicole Coste, and a 19-year-old daughter called Jazmin with Tamara Rotola, an American estate agent.
With the wedding in full swing, a senior palace official confirmed rumours that Prince Albert is likely to undergo the test after claims that he has fathered at least one more child.
The French news agency said anonymous officials spoke of "the truth" of a reported falling out between the couple earlier in the week and of a probable demand that Prince Albert take a paternity test.
In the new claims reported in the JDD, the newspaper quoted Monaco "policy advisors" among those discussing "two illegitimate children – one already born, the other to come" and the Princess trying to "escape three times".
The sources said that when Charlene visited Paris in May to try on her white-silk Armani wedding dress she "took refuge" in the South African embassy.
Later that month she also tried to escape during the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, they alleged. Then, last week, she allegedly had her passport confiscated en route to Nice airport via the helicopter service which runs between regularly between Monaco and France.
Senior police officials were reported to have confirmed the passport confiscation to Le Figaro newspaper last week.
Even if more illegitimate children come out of the woodwork, none will have a claim to the throne under Monaco law, a source said. "Even if a third or even a fourth child is confirmed Albert will not have an official heir until Princess Charlene bears him one," he added.
French magazine Public has attributed 'two new illegitimate children' to Albert. One is said to be 18 months old and the son of an Italian woman who is preparing to tell all.
Others, including Voici, have suggested that Ms Coste could have had a second Albert baby – an idea which gained credibility on Thursday when the 40-year-old beauty was pictured in Monte Carlo on the eve of Albert and Charlene's marriage.
Despite all the talk of palace intrigue, residents of the low-tax haven are standing by the royal couple.
"When the most famous of bachelors gets married, naturally there are jealousies," real estate tycoon Michel Pastor told the JDD.
Several Monegasque families claim the rumours were spread by a vengeful former mistress of the Prince.
A palace advisor told the paper everything hinged on when any alleged love child was born. "The whole thing rests on finding out whether (any child) is over five, as Charlene and Albert have officially been together for five years," he said.
One well-placed Monaco observer said that in the tiny enclave, "rumour and malice (are) held up as a national sport".