Monaco’s Princess Charlene only returned to the principality last week after spending six months separated from Prince Albert in her homeland of South Africa—but, this week, she abruptly left once more.
In an interview with People magazine, Albert confirmed that his wife, 43, had been taken to a medical facility “outside of Monaco” after suffering from extreme “exhaustion, both emotional and physical.” Albert, who is 63, told the magazine that Charlene’s homecoming “went pretty well in the first few hours, and then it became pretty evident that she was unwell.”
Charlene’s months-long absence had fueled longstanding rumors that there are marital problems between the royal couple, but Albert has attempted to shut down that speculation, telling People: “This has nothing to do with our relationship... These are not problems within our relationship; not with the relationship between a husband and wife. It’s of a different nature.”
It’s been 11 days since Charlene celebrated her return to Monaco. Alongside an Instagram post of her with her husband and two kids, the princess wrote last week: “Happy day today. Thank you all for keeping me strong.”
However, the situation quickly went south. On Tuesday, Monaco’s Royal Palace confirmed that Charlene, a former Olympian, would have to rest for several weeks and avoid public duties, citing a “state of profound general fatigue,” forcing her to pull out of Monaco's national day celebrations.
On Friday morning, during the celebrations, the royal children were seen holding signs saying “Miss you mommy” and “Love you mommy.”
Her exhaustion was linked to serious health issues from earlier this year. In September, while in South Africa, the princess was admitted to a hospital for surgery to treat an unspecified ear, nose, and throat infection. According to her foundation, she was only taken to hospital after collapsing.
Speaking to People, Albert said his wife had been left incapacitated due to “several factors which are private matters.” The prince added: “She was clearly exhausted, physically and emotionally. She was overwhelmed and couldn’t face official duties, life in general or even family life.”
Prince Albert went on: “Obviously there were consequences of her different surgeries and the procedures she underwent in the last few months... That certainly was a factor, but at this point I prefer not to comment further. I can say she was suffering incredible fatigue. She hadn’t slept well in a number of days and she wasn’t eating at all well.”
The palace’s reluctance to fully explain the situation has led to rumors that Charlene is unhappy in her marriage, or even seriously ill. However, Albert tried to squash a string of rumors in the interview, telling the magazine: “This is not COVID... It’s not cancer-related. It’s not a personal relationship issue... It isn’t related to plastic surgery or facial work at all.”
The prince said Charlene was taken to a facility “elsewhere in Europe” after he and her brothers and sister-in-law staged an intervention.
“We wanted to tell her that we love her so much, and that we were there for her, and that the most important aspect for her is her health,” the prince said. “That she shouldn’t worry about anything else. That we all love her, that her children love her, and that we only want the best for her.”
The prince signed off by asking for privacy for his family while his wife receives treatment, and added: “I know we’ll get through this.”
Albert and Charlene married in 2011.