AFP
Wire Service
4 minute read
4 Jan 2022
1:03 pm

Royal news update: Princess Charlene’s health, Camilla gets another title

AFP

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert's marriage remains under scrutiny as her ongoing health issues keep her from public appearances.

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert. Picture: Instagram

In this week’s royal news update, the palace confirmed that Princess Charlene of Monaco is still some months away from a full recovery, Prince Andrew’s attorneys are expected to argue that a once-confidential settlement between accuser Virginia Giuffre and late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein protects Andrew from litigation, and Queen Elizabeth II will be appointing her daughter-in-law Camilla, a member of the ancient Order of the Garter.

Princess Charlene still ‘months away from recovery’

Princess Charlene
Princess of Monaco, Princess Charlene. Picture: Instagram

Princess Charlene of Monaco, who has been receiving specialised care outside the principality, is still some months away from a full recovery, the palace said on Thursday.

Charlene, the wife of Prince Albert II, is being treated for extreme fatigue away from her family after returning to Monaco in November, following months away in South Africa. Her absence from Monaco’s annual national day last month, the biggest annual event in the palace calendar, had fuelled new concern over her health, but also speculation about the state of the couple’s marriage.

The princess “is recuperating in a satisfactory and reassuring manner, although it may take a few more months before her health has reached a full recovery”, a palace statement said. Albert and the couple’s children were planning to visit Charlene during the Christmas holidays, it said, asking for the family’s privacy to be respected.

Prince Albert had himself told People magazine in November that Charlene, 43, had needed treatment outside Monaco but did not go into details about the nature of her health problems.

“She was clearly exhausted, physically and emotionally. She was overwhelmed and couldn’t face official duties, life in general or even family life,” he told the magazine.

Prince Andrew to urge US judge to dismiss sex abuse case

Prince Andrew
Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, arrives to attend a church service at St Mary the Virgin Church in Hillington, Norfolk, eastern England, on 19 January 2020. Photo: Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

Prince Andrew’s lawyers will use a court hearing on Tuesday to urge a New York judge to throw out a sexual assault lawsuit brought against the British royal in the United States.

His attorneys are expected to argue that a once-confidential settlement between accuser Virginia Giuffre and late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein unveiled on Monday protects Andrew from litigation.

The hearing, to be held between the parties’ representatives via video conference with press and public able to listen in by telephone, starts at 10:00 am (1500 GMT).

Giuffre alleges that Epstein lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates, including Andrew, an allegation the prince has repeatedly and strenuously denied. A deal made public for the first time on Monday by a New York court shows that Giuffre agreed to drop a civil case against Epstein for $500,000 in Florida in 2009.

The settlement contained a provision that purports to protect “other potential defendants” from being sued related to alleged sexual abuse committed by Epstein, who killed himself in jail two and a half years ago.

The 61-year-old Andrew has not been criminally charged.

Giuffre says Andrew assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, and on his private island in the US Virgin Islands. She alleges he also sexually abused her at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, who was last week found guilty of sex trafficking minors for Epstein.

Queen Elizabeth boosts Camilla’s royal standing

Britain’s Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall helters from the rain beneath an umbrella as she arrives to attend the official commissioning ceremony of HMS Prince of Wales | Photo by Andrew Matthews / AFP

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II said on Friday she was appointing her daughter-in-law Camilla as a member of the ancient Order of the Garter, in an apparent boost to her royal standing.

The monarch announced she was adding Camilla, the wife of the heir to the throne Prince Charles, to the royal members of the Order, who currently include her children Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward and her eldest grandson Prince William – but not their spouses.

The inclusion of Camilla, who married Charles in 2005, comes as she has taken on more prominent royal duties in recent years and has seen her public approval rating grow.

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The Most Noble Order of the Garter is the oldest order of chivalry in the world, established in 1348 by the queen’s ancestor King Edward III. Its members are called knights and ladies.

They attend an annual service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, walking in procession wearing white ostrich plumes, blue velvet robes, and black velvet hats.

The order includes a maximum of 24 non-royals personally chosen by the monarch. It is Britain’s highest honour and is awarded for outstanding public service and achievement.

The Queen on Friday also appointed former Labour prime minister Tony Blair as a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the highest British civil honour obtainable. He will join former Conservative prime minister John Major who was awarded the honour in 2005.

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