Prince Albert cut a lonely figure as he attended Monaco’s National Day at Expo 2020 in Dubai without his wife Charlene, days after she returned from a 10 month trip to South Africa.

The mother-of-two, 43, arrived back in Monaco last week after flying by private jet from the South African city of Durban to Nice, France, and posed for snaps with Albert, 63, and their two children Jacques and Gabriella.

The mother-of-two, who underwent several surgeries while in South Africa and was taken to hospital after collapsing in September, still looked frail on her return to Monaco.

In the days that followed, it quickly emerged Princess Charlene of Monaco may not live ​in her husband Albert’s palace following her return home and does not plan to immediately resume public engagements.

Today, Albert was at the Expo Dubai with Princess Stephanie, his son Louis Ducruet, and his wife.

Prince Albert cut a lonely figure as he attended Monaco's National Day at Expo 2020 in Dubai without his wife Charlene, days after she returned from a 10 month trip to South Africa

Prince Albert made a solo appearance at Monaco’s National Day in Expo 2020 in Dubai, without Charlene. He was there days after Charlene had returned from South Africa for a 10-month trip.

The mother-of-two, 43, arrived back in Monaco last week after flying by private jet from the South African city of Durban to Nice, France , and posed for snaps with Albert, 63, and their two children Jacques and Gabriella

Last week, the mother-of-2, aged 43, returned to Monaco after she flew by private aircraft from Durban in South Africa to Nice (France) and took photographs with Albert, 63 and their two children, Jacques and Gabriella. 

Expo 2020 is a World Expo currently hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and was originally scheduled for 20 October 2020 – 10 April 2021.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Arab Emirates, the new dates are 1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022.

It comes days after Chantell Wittstock, Charlene’s sister-in-law and PR for her charitable Foundation in South Africa, said not only that it is ‘unclear’ whether the princess will be living full-time in the Palace, but also that her return to formal duties is dependent on her recovery from a mystery illness. 

Charlene lived in Monaco in a two-bedroom apartment, 300 m above an abandoned chocolate factory, before she moved on to the 12th Century Palace. The possibility exists that she might return to live at the property. 

Despite posing for snaps with Charlene earlier this week, Prince Albert attended the event with his sister Princess Stephanie and her son Louis

Prince Albert was able to attend the event along with Princess Stephanie, his brother Louis and their daughter Charlene, despite not taking photos with Charlene earlier in week. 

Albert wore a red facemask and dark sunglasses throughout the event on Monaco's National Day at Expo Dubai 2020 (pictured)

Albert was seen wearing a red mask and sunglasses during the Expo Dubai 2020 National Day celebrations (pictured). 

If the Princess will now return to her arm’s-length relationship with Sean her brother Charlene, Ms Wittstock said, “Oh, we don’t know yet.” It’s likely she’ll be travelling between the two of them, wherever is convenient.

“And it’s not clear where she will settle or what her plans are. She’s only recently returned, so everyone is still finding their feet. She is excited to be back with her children and she’s excited for them to meet their mother again.

“So, we’ll find out where she will settle. It will also be her husband, and her children.

When Ms Wittstock was asked by reporters about stories that focused on Prince Albert’s sister-in law’s marriage, she replied: “It’s absolutely nothing I can comment upon. What I can confirm is that Princess Diana is now in Monaco, with her husband and their children. That should be enough. 

These claims will undoubtedly cast doubt on the photocall that Charlene had earlier in this week, when Albert (63) and their children were reunited after a 10-month separation from Monaco. 

Charlene was unable to spend time with her family as she recuperated from the sinus infection that she had contracted on a charity solo trip in January.

Separate lives? Before she left in January, Charlene had raised eyebrows by living in a modest two-bedroom apartment above an old chocolate factory about 300m away, rather than in the Palace itself, as illustrated. There is debate over whether she might return to the property

Separate lives? Charlene lived in an apartment with two bedrooms above a chocolate factory 300m from the Palace. This raised eyebrows before she moved on to January. The possibility of her returning to the property is up for debate.

Low-key: Instead of enjoying palatial rooms overlooking the Mediterranean, and a domestic staff including butlers and cooks, the apartment, pictured, is a pared back apartment

 Low-key: Instead of enjoying palatial rooms overlooking the Mediterranean, and a domestic staff including butlers and cooks, the apartment, pictured, is a pared back apartment

French commentators were skeptical about the reunion that was shared via Instagram amid feverish speculations over the fate of the Grimaldis’ relationship.

Charlene’s time away followed fresh allegations last December that Albert had fathered a love-child (which would be his third, if proven) with an unnamed Brazilian woman during the time when he and Charlene, a former Olympic swimmer for South Africa, were already in a relationship.

Charlene answered the question about Charlene returning to public engagements.

“That does not happen overnight. It’s clear that she will be relaxing. Her main priority right now is to spend time with her family and children.

Grand return: Charlene spent months without her family in her native South Africa while she recovered from surgery following a sinus infection she contracted during a solo charity trip earlier this year. Pictured, the princess arriving in Monaco on Monday

Charlene made a grand return to Monaco after undergoing surgery for a sinus infection that she had contracted on a charity solo trip in January. The princess arrived in Monaco Monday. 

Carefully choreographed: Albert, 63, was waiting for her at the Monte Carlo helipad, along with their six-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques. The family were joined by a hand-picked photographer inside the Palace walls for the 'reunion' photos, pictured

Carefully choreographed: Albert, 63, was waiting for her at the Monte Carlo helipad, along with their six-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques. For the’reunion photos’, the family was joined inside Palace walls by a carefully selected photographer. 

Hidden message? Posting a snap of the reunion on Instagram, Charlene wrote: 'Happy day today. Thankyou all for keeping me strong,' but did not name check her husband

Hidden message? Charlene posted a photo of the reunion to Instagram and wrote, “Happy day today.” Charlene thanked everyone for their support, but didn’t name-check her husband.

Delighted to be reunited: Charlene's sister-in-law said she is thrilled to be back with her children. Pictured, Charlene with her son Jacques on her return to Monaco on Monday

Charlene is happy to be together: Charlene’s sister in law said that she was thrilled to see her family again. Charlene and her son Jacques, on Monday when she returned to Monaco 

Charlene and Albert took nine months to make solo outings to South Africa, Monaco and South Africa. 

January 27Charlene with Albert at the Sainte Devote Ceremony of Monaco  

March 18 – Charlene is pictured at the  memorial for the late Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, South Africa 

April 2nd –Charlene uploads an Instagram photo of Albert, Charlene and their twins Jacques & Gabriella to celebrate Easter.

The exact location of the photo is not known.

May 8, – Albert and Jacques attend a Grand Prix in Monaco sans Charlene

May 10, 2010 –Albert goes to Monaco Gala Awards without Charlene

April 18 Charlene shares her first picture from her conservation trip in South Africa  

June 1 – Prince Albert II, Jacques and Gabriella attend event at Oceanic Museum in Monaco 

June 3 – New photos emerge of Charlene on her conservation trip 

June 5- Charlene puts on a united front as she shares a photo with her family to mark her niece’s fifth birthday with her brother’s family and Albert and the twins in South Africa

June 7 – Albert and the twins attend the World Rugby Sevens without Charlene 

June 17Prince Albert and Princess Caroline of Hanover attend the Red Cross Summer Concert in Monte Carlo 

June 18 – Prince Albert appears alone Monte Carlo TV Festival 

June 24  – Charlene’s foundation releases a statement saying the royal is unable to travel and is undergoing procedures for an ear, nose and throat infection   

July 2 Albert and Charlene mark their 10th Anniversary separately. In a statement, Her Serene Hness Princess Charlene wrote that this year would be their first anniversary without me being with him.

July 3 – Albert appears with glamorous niece Charlotte Casiraghi  at the 15th international Monte-Carlo Jumping event, which is part of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco,

July 27 – Prince Albert  attends Olympics alone in Tokyo

August 13Charlene goes through a four hour operation. It is unknown why. 

August 25, – Charlene shares photos of Prince Albert, Gabriella and Jacques visiting her in South Africa 

August 31The media is abuzz with speculation regarding the couple’s relationship

September 1, – Charlene, after sudden “collapsing”, is admitted to Netcare Alberlito Hospital.

September 2, – She is discharged, with a statement from the Palais Princier reading: ‘Her Highness is closely monitored by Her medical team who said that Her condition was not worrying’

September 23rd – Prince Albert is present at the Monte Carlo Gala for Planetary Health 2021

September 29, – Prince Albert is joined on the red carpet by actress Sharon Stone for a first look at the eagerly anticipated James Bond release 

September 30 – Charlene releases a stylish video promoting her anti-poaching campaign from her South African bolthole 

October 3, – Princess Charlene shares a photograph of herself smiling in front of a bible in her first snap since being discharged from hospital following her health scare

October 5, – Prince Albert attends  Sportel Awards Ceremony in Monte Carlo with nephew Louis Ducruet

October 6, – Albert tells RMC radio Charlene is ‘ready to come home’ 

October 8, – South Africa: Princess has surgery

November 8 Charlene arrives back in Monaco  

All of her South Africa procedures went well, we are happy to report that. Medically, she is now able to fly home. She is now back with her children in Monaco. 

The Princess Charlene of Monte Carlo Foundation promotes wildlife conservation and water safety in Africa. She indicated that it would soon cover the whole continent.

The main reason that she traveled to Africa to begin Foundation projects was when she became ill. However, the Foundation team in South Africa continued all her Foundation projects and made sure she got everything she wanted.

“Even though she was recovering, during the intervals between operations, the princess continued to try to stay hands-on with us and be fully involved on the ground. From next year, it will expand into all of Africa.

“As far Charlene is concerned. It’s a positive outlook and it is clear that Charlene is going to be back at her best and go full steam ahead. It won’t happen overnight.

This latest development will undoubtedly fuel the speculation surrounding the future of Charlene’s marriage to Albert.

The French media treated Monday’s photographs with considerable skepticism.

Albert and their twins of six years, Prince Gabriella (aged 6), were waiting to meet her at Monte Carlo helipad. A hand-picked photographer joined the family inside Palace walls to take the “reunion” photos.

However, there were already questions about the living arrangements of the couple.

The ‘Reunion Of Albert and Charlene Monaco: Where do They Sleep?’ Gala, a French celebrity magazine that covers celebrities in France on Tuesday was hotbed of speculation.

And Voici – another popular magazine read widely across Monaco and France – ran with: ‘Charlene of Monaco back: the Princess breaks the silence and forgets to mention her husband’.

Charlene used this video on social media to express gratitude to everyone who helped her during months of illness.

People were able to see the photographs of Charlene looking frail in the street shadows of the Palace of the Prince of 12th Century.

“We are happy to have her back but she doesn’t look well so it feels like we don’t have the complete picture,” stated a Rock Cafe owner, in his 50s. He asked to remain anonymous.

He confessed that, in years past, he had, along with many Monegasques expressed dissatisfaction at Charlene’s less prominent status than other royals.

He said that there had been a time when it was clear she was reluctant to be a princess. But now, something is very different. There’s clearly something wrong with either her or the marriage, and we don’t know why.

Charlene seems to be in a wall, as she retreats behind the Palace’s ramparts, which is a good sign.

Her Palace Press Officer stated she couldn’t return telephone calls to MailOnline and that she didn’t reply to the list of questions we had sent.

There are no new doubts regarding the relationship between Monaco’s royal family and Charlene. MailOnline received confirmations from several Monaco Ville residents that Charlene had spent the majority of her time in Monaco Ville, the narrow medieval streets.

According to one source, “We frequently saw her outside of the Palace and would often see her alone or with an arm guard,” but it wasn’t with Albert. She chose to stay in the apartment over the palace because that was where she spent most of her time.

MailOnline received a second source from Monte Carlo who knew the couple very well. He said that Charlene should proudly return to Palace, and live as if she were a princess.

The people of Monaco love their Royals so they don’t want them to live separate lives.

Charlene received criticisms before her trip to South Africa. She was accused of dividing her time among several properties other than the Palais.

Charlene chose to visit the Chocolate Factory instead of living in palatial rooms with views over the Mediterranean and having a staff that includes butlers and cooks.

Charlene, who wed Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2011, has been living in her home country of South Africa for much of this year, and the extended stay has stoked speculation that the royal couple may be headed for divorce. Albert took their children to visit in August

Charlene was married to Prince Albert II in Monaco in 2011 and has spent much of the year in South Africa. There has been speculation that they may soon be divorcing. Albert brought their children to see them in August

Last Monaco outing together before her departure: Charlene and Albert were last pictured together at an official event together in January at the Sainte Devote Ceremony in Monaco

Last Monaco outing together before her departure: Charlene and Albert were last pictured together at an official event together in January at the Sainte Devote Ceremony in Monaco 

It only had two bedrooms, and had been used in the past by Albert’s sister, Princess Stéphanie.

Stéphanie, 56, led an extremely turbulent personal life herself that included two divorces and high-profile affairs with security guards and an elephant trainer.

The trials and tribulations of Princess Charlene in Monaco’s royal family 

1987 – Bea Fiedler (a German topless model) claims that her son Daniel is the prince’s child.

1992 – A paternity suit is filed by an American citizen against Prince. She claims that he is the father of Jazmin Grace, her daughter.

2000: Princess Charlene and Prince Albert meet at the Mare Nostrum swimming contest in Monte Carlo

2005 – In May 2005, an ex-flight attendant stated that Prince Albert’s youngest child, Alexandre Grimaldi Coste, was her son. He was proven to be her son by DNA tests, which were requested by the Monegasque government.

The Prince confirms through his lawyer Lacoste, that Alexandre is his biological child on 6 July. This was just a few days after he was elected to the throne.

2006 – After the DNA test verified that Albert was Jazmin Grace’s father, Albert gave an account from his lawyer.

2010 – Prince Albert and Princess Charlene announce their engagement

2011. 2011 – It was reported that Princess Charlene fled two days prior to the wedding, after learning from Prince Albert that she had a third child with her. Charlene, it was claimed, tried three times to escape South Africa before the arranged marriage. At one point she took refuge at her country’s Paris Embassy.

According to reports, Monaco officials coerced her by helping him broker a deal with his unwilling bride. The Prince would then be able to inherit a legal heir. Then she could leave at her will.

Charlene was overcome with emotion during the marriage, as her husband watched in silence. Charlene, Princess Charlene later in the year admitted she felt “very lonely” in Monaco.

2012: Princess Charlene was said to have been ‘depressed’ at not being able to leave her husband with an heir.

2014 – In May, the announcement of a pregnancy was made. Charlene was blessed with twins, Princess Gabriella (heir to the throne Prince Jacques) in December.

2017 – Princess Charlene visited Africa in 2017, and told media, ‘I am African. This is my heritage. It will remain so. It’s in me and my veins.

2019 – In rare interviews, Princess Charlene admitted it’s sometimes difficult to smile, and that the year was’very painful.’ Another interview revealed she considered motherhood ‘exhausting.

2020: Charlene displays a surprising half-shaved style. Prince Albert of Monaco is expected to appear before the court this year in an attempt to refute explosive claims that he was father to a third lover child with a mysterious girlfriend, prior marriage to Princess Charlene.

2021-January 27: Charlene and Albert are pictured together at the Sainte Devote Ceremony, Monaco. She will be seen for the final time in Monaco this season.

Charlene also escaped Royal protocol and stayed at RocAgel. It is a mountain retreat in the outskirts Monaco that was restored for Albert’s late mother Grace Kelly. Grace Kelly became Princess Grace after she tragically died in a car accident while driving up the treacherous road to Roc Agel.

Charlene also visited a vacation home on Corsica, a Mediterranean island.

Paris Match, the celeb bible, has always had particularly close ties with the Grimaldis – the ancient dynasty now headed by Albert and Charlene.

“Charlene and Albert are on the Verge Of Breaking Up?” Match, August’s headline.

The note stated, “There won’t be a photo of their 10th anniversary wedding anniversary.”

All the high-end French publications – the kind that Albert and Charlene would normally grant fawning interviews to – concurred.

Madame Figaro, a conservative and upmarket woman ran the headline “Are Charlene II and Albert II of Monaco about to divorce?”

Philippe Delorme, historian and author told the magazine that many people had the wrong impression. It was actually an arrangement marriage.

“Albert” chose Charlene as his wife because she resembled his mom. Charlene was clearly uncomfortable in the Grace Kelly role that they desired her to fill.

Karl Marx stated that history repeats itself.

It was an extravagant three-day celebration that included a concert by Eagles. Photos of Charlene, the bride, in tears and her husband looking distant raised concerns among some. But Charlene said later that it was just an emotional moment.

Charlene’s absence at every flagship event of the tax haven principality has made her stand out.

The Monaco Grand Prix was held on May 23rd and the Fashion Awards were hosted by Princess Alexandra’s charity foundation on May 18.

Charlene famously chopped off half her head like a punk rocker last Christmas.

It was thought that this was the first sign of an ever-growing crisis, which could lead to a multimillion-pound divorce.

Charlene began her exile to South Africa a month ago, after the discovery that Albert was in yet another paternity suit.

According to a Brazilian woman, who can’t be identified for legal reasons, her 15-year old daughter is the product of an affair she had with Albert in 2004.

Although Albert and Charlene weren’t yet engaged, they were already friends for over four years. They met at a Monaco swimming gala in 2000.

Albert was to be questioned by lawyers for his claim. However, Albert’s own counsel dismissed the matter as a hoax.

The parties have not yet commented, suggesting that some sort of settlement could be reached. This is similar to what happened with Albert and his earlier lovers.

Jazmin Grace Grildi (now 29) and Alexandre Coste (17), are the results of Albert’s affair with an American agent for estates. Alexandre Coste was 17 when Alexandre’s mother is a former Togolese airline hostess.

They were both removed from Monaco’s lineage of succession and received large financial settlements.