'It's unbearable': Monaco royals hit back at rumours of a shattered marriage
Monaco’s Prince Albert has come out swinging against the persistent rumours that his marriage to Charlene Wittstock is already on the rocks.
“We want to express our indignation at these rumours. It’s unbearable,” the prince told a select group of journalists who had been invited to the Prince’s Palace. "What's regrettable is that the media pick up these rumours without verifying the information."
Albert, 53, and Wittstock, 33, were married July 1-2 in civil and religious ceremonies, accompanied by a lavish $60 million celebration attended by more than 3,000 guests.
Before the wedding, it was reported that Wittstock had tried to flee Monaco three times, angry about stories that Albert may have fathered a child, his third.
The tears that Wittstock shed on her wedding day were interpreted as a sign that the former South African Olympic swimmer was an unwilling participant in the wedding.
The rumours intensified during their honeymoon in South Africa when it was revealed that the couple stayed in separate hotels while Albert attended meetings of the International Olympic Committee in Durban.
“Sometimes the rumors made us smile,” Albert said, an IOC member since 1985. “Such as when the media explained the Princess and I had not slept in the same hotel. It was for practical reasons, of course.”
As for the source of the rumours, the prince said his family as “long been the subject of rumours born of jealousy.”
"There's one or more people in Monaco who are trying to cause harm," he added, but refused to give any names.
The couple returned Wednesday from Mozambique, where they have been holidaying since July 9.
It was “a wonderful stay. We were not disturbed,” said the prince.
The prince pointed an accusing finger at the media for the marriage speculation.
“I find it unworthy of your colleagues,” he told the journalists from three local papers while his wife sat by his side. “I have always respected the freedom of expression, but spreading false information is lamentable and subject to criminal penalties.”
At the end of the interview, the Prince put his hand on the thigh of his wife and asked her if she wants to add something.
“No, I think that says it all," she said.