Princess Charlene of Monaco, also known as ex-Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, who retired in 2007, got back in the water for a charity swim today.
Princess Charlene of Monaco, 35, was seen swimming with children in Saint Geours de Maremne in southwestern France.
The Monégasque princess wore her blonde highlighted hair scraped back as she paddled through the pool and taught the group of enthusiastic children how to swim during the Live to Swim Day.
Princess Charlene proved the best possible coach at the event organized by the club Inshore Rescue Capbreton.
The event’s aim was to raise awareness of water safety and saw 150 children participate.
Princess Charlene of Monaco was seen swimming with children in Saint Geours de Maremne in southwestern France
Her own charity, The Princess Charlene Foundation, aims to help women and children on five of the world’s seven continents. One of the focus points is also reinforcing the awareness of water safe
“Some of my present and future projects for my foundation are underlining the importance and reinforcing the awareness of water safety,” writes Princess Charlene on her foundation’s website.
“We are all aware of horrible stories about small children drowning because they could not swim.
“Teaching them how to swim could save their lives, and the importance and awareness will help them to feel more comfortable and confident in all aquatic areas as well.”
Charlene Wittstock represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with her team finishing fifth in the Women’s 4×100 m Medley. She retired from competitive swimming in 2007.
Her commitment to the sport, though, seems unwavering.
Ensuring Charlene Wittstock’s home-town of Durban, South Africa, becomes the premier city for swimming in the country, the princess is reportedly set to donate a “large amount” to the its swimming future.
This could make it the top sport in the city, ahead even of rugby and football.
Last month Princess Charlene’s husband Prince Albert, 55, showed off his sporting abilities as he played volleyball on a beach.
The princess finally put rumors to bed over the ‘turbulent’ start to her marriage last month in a rare interview.
She said the tears streaming down her cheeks at her wedding to Albert in 2011 were not the result of a series of rows over his womanizing ways, but in fact tears of happiness.
Princess Charlene described this speculation, as well as rumors she attempted to escape in the days leading up to her wedding, as “categorical lies”.
Princess Charlene, the wife of Prince Albert of Monaco, has become “depressed” at her failure to provide her husband with a legitimate heir, it was claimed yesterday.
Charlene Wittstock, 33, is said to have struck a “deal” with the principality’s playboy ruler to bear him a child after she tried to flee before their wedding last summer.
The South African is now unable to get pregnant, France’s Voici magazine reported.
Prince Albert has already fathered two love-children, but neither can succeed him as they were both born out of wedlock.
Voici magazine said: “Charlene has made the subject of pregnancy a taboo topic around the Royal palace.
“She might have a smile on her face at official functions, but inside she is stressed and frustrated.
“This subject is weighing more and more heavily on her shoulders.”
Rumors of a rift and a “pregnancy pact” erupted even before the couple married in a lavish state wedding ten months ago.
Princess Charlene, the wife of Prince Albert of Monaco, has become “depressed” at her failure to provide her husband with a legitimate heir
Charlene Wittstock was said to have bolted for Nice airport two days before their wedding after hearing Albert had had a third love-child during their relationship.
Monaco officials were said to have coaxed her back by brokering a deal between the Prince and his reluctant bride that she provide him with a legitimate heir.
After that Princess Charlene would be free to leave of her own free will, it was reported last July.
One source said at the time: “Charlene will provide an heir, then if things don’t go well, she will receive a generous divorce settlement once she’s served a decent amount of time.”
Prince Albert of Monaco, 54, has one seven-year-old son Alexandre with Togolese air hostess Nicole Coste. He has another daughter Jazmin, 20, born after a brief affair with American estate agent Tamara Rotola.
Charlene Wittstock last year called suggestions that she was reluctant to marry “hilarious” on the Today show.
“Why would we go to all this effort, to have this fantastic couple of days, and have our most intimate and dearest friends come and join us, for us to be reluctant,” she said.
Prince Albert suggested the rumors might have been triggered by jealousy from people who “did not like the fact that we were finally together and married”.
He was apparently told on the day of his wedding that he would have to take a paternity test to determine whether he was the father of the third illegitimate child.
Charlene Wittstock, who was accused of trying to run away three times before she married, claimed the rumors were purely generated to sell magazines.
But she spoke earlier this year about her “loneliness” in Monaco, and added: “I only have two people I consider friends here.”
Before he met Charlene Wittstock four years ago, Prince Albert dated dozens of the world’s most famous and beautiful women, including Angie Everhart, Brooke Shields, and supermodel Claudia Schiffer. He also battled persistent rumors he was gay.
A Monaco government spokesman insisted that once he met Charlene Wittstock, Prince Albert knew he had finally found the woman he wanted to provide an heir.
The spokesman told France’s high society Point de Vue magazine last year: “Charlene has beauty and style, and we are all praying that she will ensure the royal succession in our principality.
“Albert has never settled down in the past, but knows that the time is now right to produce the next ruler of Monaco.”