The Golden Heart of Monaco: Princess Charlene honoured for her charity work for children
In a year when Princess Charlene of Monaco has had the affairs of her heart subject to more public scrutiny than she would like, she has been honoured for her compassion.
Charlene, who was married to Prince Albert of Monaco in May, was the recipient of the Golden Heart award at the Ein Herz fur Kinder (A Heart for Children) ceremony in Germany.
The award, presented in Berlin, was in recognition of her work teaching poor or disabled children to swim in her native South Africa and worldwide, via her Foundation Princess Charlene.
Golden Heart: Princess Charlene of Monaco speaks after being handed an award in recognition of her work for childrens” charities
Friendly face: Princess Charlene (left) was presented with the award by the former world swimming champion Franziska van Almsick
The former Olympic swimmer was handed the trophy-style award by her good friend Franziska van Almsick, a former world swimming champion.
Before announcing Princess Charlene”s name, Miss van Almsick paid tribute to her friend”s commitment to her cause, allied to her humility.
Charlene, who until that point had been a picture of composure in a strapless deep wine-coloured gown, was visibly moved.
“I accept this award with pride and joy in the name of the volunteers who work so hard,” she said in her speech, according to German newspaper Bild.
“Tonight it comes to children. The rescue of these children is a struggle and we can not afford to lose him.”
A Heart for Children is an star-studded annual telethon event and among the guests this year were Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, world boxing champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko and many famous faces from the world”s of showbusiness, media, politics and sports.
Glitz and glam: Princess Charlene wore a strapless wine-coloured gown to the event, where she enjoyed the company of her friend and fellow former swimmer Franziska von Almsick
Since the event”s inception in 1978 as Bild”s charity, it has collected more than over 170 million euros for children”s charities, both in Germany and Internationally.
The ceremony represented another high-profile outing for Princess Charlene, who recently appeared on U.S. television”s The Today Show with her husband to speak about the rumours that surrounded their wedding.
There was talk of Charlene, 33, being a reluctant and even runaway bride, as well as controversy over a paternity test for Albert.
But Charlene called suggestions that she was reluctant to marry the 53-year-old “hilarious”.
She said: “Why would we go to all this effort, to have this fantastic couple of days, and have our most intimate and dearest friends come and join us, for us to be reluctant.”