Fanciful talk of a 700-year-old Grimaldi family curse has re-emerged as the relationship between Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlene receives intensified scrutiny. Charlene was away from her family for months last year after facing a mystery illness while on a trip home to South Africa. Since returning, she has kept out of the public eye and has reportedly been receiving treatment outside Monaco. Could it really all be down to a witch’s curse? It might sound far-fetched, but the Grimaldi clan has historically been one of the most wretched famous families on the planet, especially when it comes to matters of the heart … The legend According to the Scottish Herald , there are several origin stories that refer to a family curse. The most famous version concerns Prince Rainier I kidnapping a Flemish woman in the 13th century. In turn, the woman cursed the prince and all of his descendants with the words: “never will a Grimaldi find happiness in marriage.” Another version of the myth claims the curse was the work of a witch who was condemned to being burnt at the stake at the order from the prince. Jealously, isolation, escape: behind Princess Charlene’s fairy tale Monaco life The tragedy of Grace Kelly Although the legend of the curse has been spoken about for decades, it was only after Princess Grace Kelly died in a tragic road accident that the myth became more widely spoken about. The Hollywood star turned her back on her career for love when she married Prince Rainier III in 1956. On September 13, 1982, she was driving back from the family country home just outside the city when the car veered off the road. On September 14, she was pronounced dead. The news shocked the world as her injuries were not described as life threatening when she was hospitalised the day before. After her death, questions around the incident dominated headlines: why was she driving when she had a chauffeur and was widely known to hate driving? Why were there no skid marks on the road, and why was the car in a brake position when it was found? The questions led many to chalk her death up to the curse – proof that no Grimaldi would find happiness in marriage. Grimaldis reunited: Monaco’s royal twins bond with their ‘illegitimate’ half-siblings Prince Albert’s controversial path The curse supposedly reared its head again when Prince Albert II, Monaco’s current ruler, lived what many have called a playboy lifestyle. Before getting married to Charlene Wittstock in 2011, he had fathered two known illegitimate children . His marriage to Charlene has also been shrouded in controversy since the couple officially confirmed they were an item, and Charlene has admitted in interviews that she battled to fit into Monaco and had lost “a sense of self”. When they got married, there was speculation the bride-to-be had attempted to run away just before the big day. Ten years later, in 2021, Charlene spent several months in South Africa, saying she had severe medical issues and was forced to remain grounded as doctors advised her she could not fly. Prince Albert has fiercely denied marriage trouble speculation, but when Charlene did return home to Monaco, but not to the palace, the rumours only grew. The palace issued a statement saying Charlene was in a treatment facility of sorts and needed time to rest and recover. Questions have been raised about Charlene’s silence and whether the version the prince is presenting is accurate. Who is Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, illegitimate teen son of Monaco’s Prince Albert? Princess Caroline’s three marriages Caroline is the eldest daughter of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier. She was married to Philippe Junot for two years, from 1978, before their marriage was annulled by the Vatican, according to reports. She later was married to Stefano Casiraghi, who died in a powerboat accident in 1990. The couple had three children together. In 1999, she married Prince Ernst August of Hanover, but still joy eluded her – the couple are separated but have never divorced. Princess Stephanie’s romantic circus Born in 1965, Stephanie is the youngest daughter of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III’s family. She was in the car with her mother on the day of the fatal accident, and speculation has endured other whether Stephanie was in fact driving the car, or if the two had an argument – haunting her in headlines ever since. She shocked many when she married her bodyguard Daniel Ducruet in 1995, but the marriage reportedly lasted no more than a year. She later got hitched to a Portuguese acrobat Adans Lopez Peres, who also split after a year together. Soon afterwards she was linked to Franco Knie, an elephant trainer, and apparently even began travelling with the circus. Did Princess Charlene really move Prince Albert’s son into the ‘employee wing’? The in-laws View this post on Instagram A post shared by Pierre Casiraghi Fan Account (@pcasi1987) Princess Grace’s in-laws, Count Pierre de Polignac and Princess Charlotte, are also said to have had an unhappy marriage. The couple separated in 1930 and Charlotte moved in with an Italian doctor. Charlotte was the adopted daughter of her father Prince Louis II, whose own parents were apparently equally ill-suited – Prince Albert and Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton were married for a year when she left her husband. The marriage was then annulled. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .