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Princess Charlene shares touching tribute to Desmond Tutu

‘You will be missed’: Princess Charlene of Monaco shares touching tribute to her ‘dear friend’ Archbishop Desmond Tutu and says she’ll treasure their ‘fond memories’ after his death aged 90

  • Princess Charlene of Monaco has paid tribute to the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu after he passed away in hospital aged 90 on Boxing Day
  • Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and in recent years was hospitalised on several occasions
  • The post comes as Charlene, 44, recovers in a treatment facility in an undisclosed location after being sent away suffering from ‘exhaustion’

Princess Charlene of Monaco has paid tribute to the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu after he passed away in hospital aged 90 over the weekend.

Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and in recent years was hospitalised on several occasions to treat infections associated with his cancer treatment.

The post comes as Charlene, 44, recovers in a treatment facility in an undisclosed location after being sent away suffering from ‘exhaustion’ within days of her return to Monaco in November, following a 10-month absence in her native South Africa.

Princess Charlene of Monaco has paid tribute to the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu after he passed away in hospital aged 90 over the weekend

Taking to Instagram to share a picture of the smiling duo together, Charlene wrote: 

‘My dear friend, you will be missed. I know that you are at our fathers side.(sic)

‘I will always have fond memories of us. And your laughter will remain in my heart forever. Rest In Peace.’

Charlene met Desmond on numerous occasions, including at the Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre in her native Cape Town, as part of a charity campaign in 2011.

Taking to Instagram to share a picture of the smiling duo together, Charlene wrote: ‘My dear friend, you will be missed. I know that you are at our fathers side.

‘I will always have fond memories of us. And your laughter will remain in my heart forever. Rest In Peace.’ Charlene wrote

On Sunday, in a statement on behalf of the Tutu family, the Office of the Archbishop of South Africa said the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and veteran of South Africa’s struggle against white minority rule, ‘died peacefully at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town this morning.’ They did not give details on the cause of death. 

In 1984 Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent opposition to apartheid. A decade later, he witnessed the ends of that regime and chaired a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to unearth atrocities committed during those dark days.

He preached against the tyranny of white minority and even after its end, never wavered in his fight for a fairer South Africa, calling the black political elite to account with as much vigour as he had the white Afrikaners.

The post comes as Charlene, 44, recovers in a treatment facility in an undisclosed location after being sent away suffering from ‘exhaustion’ within days of her return to Monaco in November, following a 10-month absence in her native South Africa (seen with Prince Albert and their children)

Last week Palais Princier announced that Princess Charlene is still some ‘months away’ from a full recovery

In his final years, he regretted that his dream of a ‘Rainbow Nation’ had not yet come true.

Tributes from around the world poured in on Sunday morning following the announcement.

The Queen said she and the whole royal family are ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who she said ‘tirelessly championed human rights in South Africa and across the world’.

In a statement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said Archbishop Desmond Tutu would be ‘remembered for his optimism, his moral clarity, and his joyful spirit’.

Last week Palais Princier announced that Princess Charlene is still some ‘months away’ from a full recovery. 

From left: Tutu, Nelson Mandela and former South African President Frederik W de Klerk chat on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town during the official announcement of the Nobel Peace Project in 2003

Making an elequent point about the Israellis and Palestinians making a lasting Peace as he speaks to the Peres Center for Peace January 11. Tutu had said that, ‘if South Africa could make peace then certainly Israel and the Palestinians can and will’

Timeline: The schoolteacher’s son who inspired change

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a beacon of progress in South Africa and around the world. Following the news of his death on Sunday, MailOnline looks back at his storied life.

1931 – Desmond Tutu is born in Klerksdorp, a town around 170 km (105 miles) to the west of Johannesburg.

1943 – Tutu’s Methodist family joins the Anglican Church.

1947 – Tutu falls ill with tuberculosis while studying at a secondary school near Sophiatown, Johannesburg. He befriends a priest and serves in his church after recovering from illness.

1948 – The white National Party launches apartheid in the run-up to 1948 national elections. It wins popular support among white voters who want to maintain their dominance over the Black majority.

1955 – Tutu marries Nomalizo Leah Shenxane and begins teaching at a high school in Johannesburg where his father is the headmaster.

1958 – Tutu quits the school, refusing to be part of a teaching system that promotes inequality against Black students. He joins the priesthood.

1961 – Is ordained as an Anglican priest, having studied theology.

1962 – Tutu moves to Britain to study theology at King’s College London.

1966 – Tutu moves back to South Africa and starts teaching theology at a seminary in the Eastern Cape. He also begins making his views against apartheid known.

1975 – Tutu becomes the first Black Anglican Dean of Johannesburg.

1976 – He is appointed the bishop of neighbouring Lesotho.

1978 – Becomes the first black secretary general of the South African Council of Churches, a highly influential grouping with 15 million members that is active in the struggle against apartheid. 

1980 – As general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, Tutu leads a delegation of church leaders to Prime Minister PW Botha, urging him to end apartheid. Although nothing comes of the meeting it is a historical moment where a Black leader confronts a senior white government official. The government confiscates Tutu’s passport.

1984 – Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to bring about the end of white minority rule.

1985 – Tutu becomes the first Black Bishop of Johannesburg. He publicly endorses an economic boycott of South Africa and civil disobedience as a way to dismantle apartheid.

1986 – Tutu becomes the first Black person appointed as Bishop of Cape Town and head of the Anglican Church of the Province of Southern Africa. With other church leaders he mediates conflicts between Black protesters and government security forces.

1990 – State President FW de Klerk unbans the African National Congress (ANC) and announces plans to release Nelson Mandela from prison.

1991 – Apartheid laws and racist restrictions are repealed and power-sharing talks start between the state and 16 anti-apartheid groups.

1994 – After Mandela sweeps to power at the helm of the ANC in the country’s first democratic elections, Tutu coins the term ‘Rainbow Nation’ to describe the coming together of various races in post-apartheid South Africa.

1994 – Mandela asks Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was set up to listen to, record and in some cases grant amnesty to perpetrators of human right violations under apartheid.

1996 – Tutu retires from the church to focus solely on the commission. He continues his activism, advocating for equality and reconciliation and is later named Archbishop Emeritus.

1997 – Tutu is diagnosed with prostate cancer. He has since been hospitalised to treat recurring infections.

2011 – The Dalai Lama inaugurates the annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture but does so via satellite link after the South African government denies the Tibetan spiritual leader a visa to attend.

2013 – Tutu makes outspoken comments about the ANC. He says he will no longer vote for the party because it had done a bad job addressing inequality, violence and corruption.

2013 – Dubbed ‘the moral compass of the nation’, Tutu declares his support for gay rights, saying he would never ‘worship a God who is homophobic’.

2016 – Joins advocates calling for the right to assisted dying. 

2021 – A frail-looking Tutu is wheeled into his former parish at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, which used to be a safe haven for anti-apartheid activists, for a special thanksgiving service marking his 90th birthday.

Dec. 26, 2021 – Tutu dies in Cape Town, aged 90.

A palace statement released last week revealed Albert and the couple’s children were planning to visit Charlene during the holidays, as well as asking for the family’s privacy to be respected.

The royal missed the seventh birthday of her twins Gabriella and Jacques earlier this month, but shared photos of the celebration on Instagram, writing: ‘Happy birthday my babies.

‘Thank you God for blessing me with such wonderful children. I’m truly blessed. Love mom.’

Speaking to Page Six, a source described as the royal’s friend said: ‘It is unfair that she is being portrayed as having some kind of mental or emotional issue.

‘We don’t know why the palace is downplaying that she almost died in South Africa.’

The source explained the royal had a severe ear, nose and throat infection, which resulted in ‘severe sinus and swallowing issues stemming from an earlier surgery’.

The friend added: ‘She has not been able to eat solid food in over six months because of all the surgeries she has since gone through. She has only been able to take in liquids through a straw, so she lost nearly half her body weight.’ 

 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.

Timeline: Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s 10 months’ apart

January 27 – Charlene is pictured with Albert for the Sainte Devote Ceremony in 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 2 – Charlene posts an Instagram picture of herself, Albert and their twins Jacques and Gabriella for Easter.

It is unknown where the image was taken.

May 8 – Albert, Jacques and Gabriella attend a Grand Prix event in Monaco without Charlene

May 10 – Albert attends Monaco Gala Awards in Monaco without Charlene

May 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 17 – Prince Albert attends Red Cross Summer concert in Monte Carlo with his sister Princess Caroline of Hanover

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 – Charlene and Albert mark their 10th anniversary separately. ‘This year will be the first time that I’m not with my husband on our anniversary in July, which is difficult, and it saddens me,’ Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene said in a statement.

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 13 – Charlene undergoes a four-hour operation. The reason is not announced

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

September 1 – Charlene is admitted under an alias to the Netcare Alberlito Hospital after suddenly ‘collapsing’

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 23 – Prince Albert attends the 2021 Monte Carlo Gala for Planetary Health

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 – Princess undergoes surgery in South Africa

November 8 – Charlene arrives back in Monaco. Prince Albert said within hours it became clear she was ‘unwell’

November 13 – Prince Albert attends Expo 2020 in Dubai without Princess Charlene

Following his return from the trip, Prince Albert holds an intervention with Charlene’s brothers and a sister-in-law in which Charlene ‘confirmed’ she would seek ‘real medically framed treatment’ outside of Monaco

November 16 – Royal household confirms Princess Charlene will not attend National Day celebrations on November 19

– Prince Albert attends a Monaco Red Cross event without Princess Charlene

November 17 – Prince Albert reveals Princess Charlene has left Monaco and is recovering in a secret location

November 19 – Prince Albert reveals Charlene is in a treatment facility ‘elsewhere in Europe’ after a family intervention

 

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