Charlène of Monaco returns to the spotlight after a long illness
Princess Charlène of Monaco was seen attending a rugby tournament with her family in early May, a rare appearance after a year-long absence due to a private illness. The wife of Albert of Monaco, according to Vanity Fair, spent four months recovering at a private Swiss clinic.
This is not the first time the princess has been absent for a long period of time due to illness. After a mysterious absence of several months, in which Charlène was reportedly recovering from an illness in South Africa, she returned to Monaco on November 8.
For over a year, concerning reports about the health of Princess Charlène of Monaco were piling up. She spent months in her native South Africa and far from her husband, Prince Albert.
Why was she gone for so long? Was it only because of her health or is there more to the story? The princess's absence fed into longstanding rumours of relationship problems between Albert and his wife.
In South Africa, Charlène of Monaco underwent several surgical procedures due to an ear, nose and throat infection. A sudden collapse due to complications from the treatment required her to be rushed into the emergency room and hospitalized.
The princess was treated in Hospital Netcare Alberlito in Ballito, 380 miles south of Johannesburg.
Charlène Lynette Wittstock was born in 1978 in former Rhodesia, current-day Zimbabwe. Her family resides in South Africa, and so did she before she married Prince Albert of Monaco.
While the principality of Monaco tries to downplay the severity of Charlène's illness and residence in South Africa, reports have been contradictory. She has undergone three different surgeries, with the most recent one taking place in October 2021. In addition, she looks pale and thin on her Instagram photos.
Beside her health issues, there's another mystery surrounding the Monegasque princess: Where's her husband? Why are the prince and the princess so far removed from each other?
An August 25th Instagram photo shows that Charlène and Albert of Monaco were together this summer. After that moment, the duties of the principality forced them to be apart. Be that as it may, the couple has been surrounded by rumours since day one.
Charlène has made use of her trip to Africa to do some social work. She's pictured here talking with her twins over the phone while making blankets for a nursery.
The princess also visited Zulu king Misuzulu kaZwelithini. This image, posted by an account focused on royal African houses, caused much concern due to the princess's gaunt appearance.
There have always been talks about Charlène of Monaco's seeming unhappiness. She smiles in her Instagram profile but some physical strain is also noticeable. This may be the result of her illness, the mysterious infection that keeps her in South Africa under medical supervision, or it may be caused by something else.
Charlène's current body image is a stark contrast from that high-performance swimmer who started to go out with Albert of Monaco in the early 2000s. The Princess's thin, frail appearance has ignited a lot of talking.
A lot has been said about Charlène's marriage to Albert of Monaco, for example that she allegedly tried to run away just a few hours before the wedding. Still, they have been married since 2011 and have two children together.
At first, Charlène went from a world-famous athlete to a princess with a Grace Kelly-type of flair. Then, her own, unique style took over. You can see it in the bold look she sports in this photo from Christmas 2020.
Whatever her ailment is, many commentators find is unbelievable that Charlène of Monaco was in South Africa from May to November. Are there no hospitals in the principality?
One has to take into account, though, that a person with ear-related afflictions may not be able to fly. In addition, according to the press, the surgeries that princess Charlène of Monaco went through aren't mild. She had to go under general anaesthesia for the process.
The principality always insisted that princess Charlène would return to Monaco once the doctors approved it. Yet, many royalty watchers considered the possibility that she would remain in South Africa, since she never really seemed to fit in with the princely life in the House of Grimaldi.