Back in Monaco at the beginning of March, Charlene still does not live in the royal palace. The wife of Albert II would finish her convalescence at Roc Agel, property of the Grimaldis where she could always find refuge, when the pressure was too high.
Weasels are not welcome there. Understand the animals, as well as the curious. Finally returned to Monaco on March 12, after 4 months of care on the other side of the Alps, Charlene did not return to the private apartments of the royal palace. Albert II said that she still needed to calm down. The princess did not pose for photos either. Physically, she still needs to get back in shape. It is in an idyllic setting that the wife of the sovereign would continue his convalescence: Roc Agel, the Grimaldis’ property located in the town of Peille and overlooking the principality. More than a “country house”, a term used by the princely couple, who are accustomed to going up there on weekends or during the vacations, and even during the confinement of spring 2020, Roc Agel is an Eden of 56 hectares, where organic farming is practiced, where a dozen Jersey cows peacefully graze and where some 200 red hens peck, whose eggs had to be protected… from weasels, therefore.
It is because of its location, away from the Monegasque social life and palace intrigues, that Rainier III and Grace fell in love with this Provencal farm in 1957, one year after their wedding. You have to drive for 20 minutes and climb up to 760 meters to reach Roc Agel. You also have to pass through a gate. As soon as they acquired the property, lost in the middle of the garrigue, Rainier III and Grace took care to plant trees – willows, poplars, elms, Wollemi pines – like ramparts. “My parents were looking for a place in the country, a place to escape to when their obligations allowed, and where their children could grow up more quietly. Freer, in short,” Albert II recalled in Point de Vue, in 2017. Princess Stephanie, known for her ardent heart, sheltered two elephants rescued from a circus, Baby and Nepal, in 2013. The twins Jacques and Gabriella have sometimes been photographed there, informally, in close-up. But the lenses and cameras were always kept at a distance from Roc Agel. Only Grace, no doubt nostalgic for her years in Hollywood, immortalized moments of the royal family on film.
At Roc Agel, a domain protected from view, Charlene was always able to release the pressure
While Rainier III redesigned and maintained the exterior of the property, even cutting the hay himself, his wife, although also a gardening enthusiast, was more in charge of the interior decoration. Roc Agel’s very “American country” style was modernized in 2015, first out of necessity, then a matter of taste. Charlene brought her touch. In turn, the former South African swimmer, somewhat overwhelmed by Monegasque customs, considered Roc Agel a refuge, from the beginning of her relationship with Albert II. It is from there that she prepared her wedding, while the Wittstock clan had settled, in anticipation of the event, in La Turbie, a neighboring town. In Roc Agel, Charlene appears relaxed. She plays golf, swims in a turquoise pool, reads the international press, rereads her favorite author Rudyard Kippling, and gardens with the twins. She has sometimes been seen having coffee in a bar in La Turbie. When they stay at Roc Agel, the princess and Albert II also like to dine alone in a nearby restaurant. Charlene also likes to cook vegetarian dishes. Simple pleasures that are almost impossible in the principality, where her every move is scrutinized.
When will Charlene resume life at the palace and her agenda as a serene highness?
serene highness? The question remains unanswered. At the beginning of the year, Albert II stressed that she still had some care to undertake. This Thursday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, the sovereign attended a recital at the Princess Grace Irish Library in the company of… Jacques and Gabriella, whose place of residence is unknown since the return of their mother in the principality. Especially since the twins began schooling partly at the palace, with hand-picked little friends, in October. Some predict a public reappearance of Charlene at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix at the end of May, or at the Water Bike Challenge, which the Princess’ Foundation is launching in June. The trees of Roc Agel still hide mysteries…
Photo credits : Bruno Bebert / Bestimage