Princess Charlene of Monaco has said how much she is looking forward to becoming a first-time mother. The former South African swimmer has spoken out about her plans to start a family with husband Prince Albert , explaining that now she feels “settled” into her royal role, she hopes children will soon follow.
“I think I needed to a bit of time to settle in and adjust,” the graceful blonde explained in an interview. “I don”t put any pressure on myself. If it happens, it happens.”
PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Charlene, 35, went on to emphasise how much she is looking forward to having children. “I wanted to get my foundation launched. I wanted to get the next couple of months sorted out and I can really take a rest,” she said.
“We had a big wedding. It was a big adjustment after that. Now I”m settled and I think kids will come.”
Much was made of the fact that Albert attended the Dutch inauguration celebrations last week without his wife. But Charlene was busy at a prior engagement, acting as matron-of-honour at her best friend”s wedding in Durban.
While there, she also visited her old training base at the municipal Lahee Park swimming pool in Pinetown, where she met with Khwezi Duma, one of the 2016 Olympic hopefuls.
Charlene”s foundation is sponsoring an upgrade of the centre, and a large focus of her foundation is a “learn to swim” programme. Young swimming star Khwezi, 11, is one of the faces of the campaign, and during her visit, Charlene was only too happy to share some of her tips with the schoolgirl.
Casually dressed in shorts, a t-shirt and sandals, the Princess changed into a one-piece costume and got into the pool with Khwezi for photos. “Ah!,” she exclaimed to her former coach Graham Hill. “Graham, it”s cold!”
“You”re getting soft,” he retorted. “You never moaned in 2000.”
While at the centre, Charlene who met her future husband, “the love of my life”, at a swimming gala in Monaco recalled her days racing for prize money with her training partner Terence Parkin.
“Times were tough and sponsorship wasn”t very good,” she said. “A lot of the time we travelled on shared prize money Terence, myself and Graham sharing hotel rooms, sleeping on floors.
“I wouldn”t change anything because I honestly don”t think I would be the person I am today if I hadn”t gone through that,” she added. “If everything was handed to me, I don”t think I would be as appreciative or (as likely) to give back.
“It”s great to come home and help people who I know work very hard to coach kids, get them to the next level. These are the people I want to support.”
The Zimbabwe-born royal won Commonwealth Games and All-Africa Games medals as a swimmer. But there is one standout moment.
“The highlight of my career was the Olympics walking into that stadium and knowing I”d achieved a dream I”d had since I was eight years old,” she said of the moment she represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Games.
“I”ve still got my friends and we still keep in contact. That”s what sport gives you lifetime friendships. That”s more valuable than anything else.”