Fast cars, tight curves, historic spills, and McDreamy. 
Say all you will about Formula One racing, but it was definitely the royal couple who set the pace around Monaco's Grand Prix circuit on Saturday.
Especially Princess Charlene, who made her first visit since 2019 to the Grand Prix event, long considered the sport's crown jewel.
Marking the annual return of racing's most glamorous weekend event, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, 44, were trackside before Saturday's time trials. During their informal walk around, the couple — without their children — thanked volunteers, greeted fans, and mixed with drivers and celebrities. 
RELATED: Princess Charlene Shares Glam Photo of Daughter Gabriella Ahead of Fashion Event: 'My Princess'
Just a month since her first return public appearance at the ePrix races, the Princess, according to local observers, appeared increasingly assured and confident.
Visiting familiar racing paddocks including Team Mercedes, Red Bull, and Aston Martin, Albert, 64, who earlier in the day drove the course for a YouTube point of view video, and Charlene spent considerable time talking with drivers such as Sebastian Vettel and Monaco resident Charles Leclerc, who eventually won pole for Sunday's running after a course accident curtailed trials.
For many of the drivers, who over the years have become friends with the Princess, there were informal kisses. 
Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
At Leclerc's Team Ferrari stand, both Albert and Charlene spent considerable time and laughs with racing enthusiast Patrick Dempsey. The Grey's Anatomy actor and the Princess have a connection involving past Grand Prix and Le Mans 24-Hour Endurance races.
Charlene traditionally has enjoyed the weekend event's splash and glamour.
Her absence at last year's Grand Prix, a cancellation formally announced at the last moment, for many was the first sign her health issues were more concerning than previously thought. Charlene first became ill while in South Africa in May 2021 for what was planned as a brief 10-day visit to her home country. 
However, complications from a previous ENT procedure grounded her for six months while a series of painful corrective surgeries, a relapse, and subsequent treatment delayed her final return until March.
For Saturday, the Princess chose to remind racing fans how greatly she enjoyed showing her colors at the Grand Prix, choosing to announce her presence by boldly wearing a long, sleeveless azure-print silk blouse. Inspired by German artist Imi Knoebel's 1999 Blue Angel painting, she paired the design from Swiss firm Akris with white cotton slacks, a clutch purse, and black stilettos. 
On Sunday, the Princess delighted racing fashion fans with a tongue-in-chic track outfit: a powder blue jumpsuit with a back-to-front collar designed by Terrence Bray.
Both royals were back on Sunday to catch this year's edition of a race inaugurated in 1929 by the Prince's grandfather. The most close-up of all racing events, the Monaco Grand Prix is also a unique Grimaldi family tradition, which this year will add another historic note: the first time around the track of Prince Jacques (Princess Gabriella was also in attendance on Sunday).
RELATED: Princess Charlene Addresses Rumors Around Her 'Painful' Recovery for First Time: I'm 'Still Fragile'
Earlier in the week, speaking about her health, Charlene described herself as "still fragile," noting she was pacing herself, not wanting to go "too fast." In the same interview, she acknowledged the Grand Prix as "one of the most important events of the year. It's a special weekend, with special excitement. I'm very happy to experience these moments with my family."
"And this year, Jacques will be doing the lap of honor with his dad for the first time. That will be a source of great pride for us," she added.
In the end, Sergio Perez won the Monaco Grand Prix for Red Bull on Sunday.


Shop Sephari

Leave a Reply