The royal travelled back to Monaco after a weeks-long absence due to her health, the Monegasque palace confirmed over the weekend. Her return came just in time for her to be able to finally celebrate a family occasion alongside her husband, Prince Albert, and twin children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. Albert, the head of the Grimaldi family, turned 64 on Monday and was able to celebrate the occasion with Charlene present.
The head of the principality is believed to have spent the day privately with his family.
Princess Charlene’s return to Monaco won’t see the royal immediately resuming her public duties, the palace said in a statement.
It read: “The next few weeks should allow for Princess Charlene to further strengthen Her health before gradually resuming Her official duties and commitments.”
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The palace said Charlene’s doctors allowed her to travel back to Monaco following an “encouraging recovery”.
The royal office also said the princess is looking forward to meeting with Monaco citizens during future engagements.
However, she still needs “peace and calm” to fully restore her health, the statement added.
It read: “In order for Princess Charlene to achieve a full recovery and as She still needs peace and calm, The Princely Couple therefore asks that their private life and family environment continue to be respected.”
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Princess Charlene’s health woes started in May last year, when she travelled to South Africa.
The princess was meant to remain in the country where she grew up for less than a fortnight to carry out conservation work with her foundation.
However, she ended up being stuck there for six months after developing a severe ENT infection.
This prolongued illness forced Charlene to miss important milestones, including her 10th wedding anniversary in July and the beginning of her children’s school year in September.
Charlene spoke candidly of the impact not being able to be with her husband on their key anniversary and her prolongued absence from home had on her.
Speaking to Channel24, the former Olympic swimmer said: “It’s been a trying time for me. I miss my husband and children dearly.
“What has been extremely difficult for me was when I was instructed by my medical team that I could not return home for my 10th wedding anniversary.
“Albert is my rock and strength and without his love and support I would not have been able to get through this painful time.”
The princess was eventually allowed to return to Monaco in November, after undergoing several medical visits and procedures – the last taking place in early October.
But Charlene remained far from the public eyes for several days, missing the celebrations for Monaco’s National Day – the principality’s most important holiday.
A few days after her return, Prince Albert revealed his wife had gone to a treatment facility elsewhere in Europe after it had become apparent she was suffering from “exhaustion, both emotional and physical”.
Speaking about his wife’s decision to seek professional help, Albert told People magazine at the time: “She had already made her decision, and we only wanted her to confirm it in front of us.
“She wanted this. She already knew the best thing to do was to go and have a rest and have a real medically framed treatment.”
During her time away at the facility, Charlene missed more events important for her family and the principality.
In December, she could not take part in person in the celebrations for the seventh birthday of her children, who are understood to have visited her at the facility over the Christmas holidays.
In late January, she had to miss the events linked to St Devote, the patron saint of Monaco.