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Punchy Prince Ernst August snogs young woman on Thai beach

Speculation is growing that Princess Caroline of Monaco is set to split from her German husband after he was allegedly photographed kissing another woman in Thailand.

Princess Caroline, 52, spent Christmas in the Swiss ski resort of Crans-Montana while her husband Prince Ernst August of Hanover was on Freedom Beach in Phuket, Thailand, where German magazine Bunte showed pictures of him kissing a mysterious young woman.

She is described as a younger version of Caroline and the pictures triggered other reports in the German media on long-standing rumours of a divorce later this year. A divorce could be one of the most costly in history.

The prince has a wealth estimated at more than £5billion in property, estates and investments and under German and French law Princess Caroline would be entitled to half.

 'Betrayed!' said the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper. 'Poor Caroline. What does this scandal mean for Monaco?' said the country's biggest selling newspaper Bild.

And Bunte, which has in the past had a direct line into royal houses of Hanover and Grimaldi, said: 'The First Lady of Monaco simply cannot accept being publicly duped in such a manner by her marriage partner.'

The pictures were taken on Phuket's Freedom Beach and show the prince - who is a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II - in the sea with the woman, who bears an uncanny resemblance to his long-suffering spouse.

Bunte added: 'Tourists from all over the world could witness him with his pretty companion, kissing her with his arms around her and swimming in the sea, and how she let him rub sun cream into her body.

'The woman could be a double for Caroline, only somewhat younger, perhaps late 30s to early 40s with long mahogany brown hair.

 'She wears big sunglasses, plain earrings, has soft, arched, eyebrows and a slim figure.

'The two made no secret of their being together on Freedom Beach which each day sees 30 to 40 boatloads of tourists arriving on the white sand next to crystal clear water.

' The magazine added that Princess Caroline was 'deeply humiliated' by the pictures.

She had stood by her husband during his recent court action against a Kenyan nightclub owner who claims he was hospitalised after being punched by Prince Ernst August nearly a decade ago following a row about music from his establishment.

Rumours of affairs in the marriage of circulated for months, but have always been denied by the palace in Monaco.

Prince Ernst August was noticeably absent from official engagements for most of last year.

 The couple were last seen together on June 27 at a showjumping event in Monaco.

Newspapers commented at the time how unhappy and 'worry-filled' Princess Caroline looked. She is due appear as a witness for her husband on Wednesday in the court in Hildesheim to testify that he did not significantly harm the aggrieved nightclub owner.

In September last year it was first reported that the couple were leading separate lives. Princess Caroline returned to Monaco while he stayed in the marital home in Fountainbleau.

She changed the school for her daughter, Princess Alexandra of Hanover, to the Ecole de la Condamine in Monaco.

 The 'Grimaldi curse' believes that family members will not have long and stable marriages.

Princess Caroline married Philippe Junot and later divorced him. She then married Stefano Casiraghi and he died in a motor boat accident.

Prince Ernst August, who has been accused of having alcohol problems in the past, was fined over £150,000 and given an eight-month suspended sentence for charges of threatening behaviour, verbal abuse and causing bodily harm in 2001 relating to three separate incidents.

The prince only admitted to one - when he made abusive phone calls to two journalists from the tabloid Bild Zeitung after they published photographs of him urinating against the Turkish pavillion at the Hanover Expo.

He was also convicted over a brawl with the nightclub owner on the Kenyan resort island of Lamu and for kicking a photographer at the Salzburg opera festival in 1999.

Austrian Times


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