Princess Charlene of Monaco opens up about her ‘painful’ recovery: ‘My state of health is still fragile’

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Princess Charlene of Monaco is speaking out about her “painful” year-long health saga.

On Tuesday, the royal stepped out with her 7-year-old daughter Princess Gabriella at a Monte-Carlo Fashion Week event. The wife of Prince Albert told Monaco Matin that she remains “fragile” since her return in March after a four-month stay in a Swiss clinic where she received treatment for emotional and physical exhaustion.

“When I returned to the Principality, I focused all my energy on my children, my husband and my health because they are my priority,” the 44-year-old told the outlet.

“My state of health is still fragile, and I don’t want to go too fast,” the former Olympic swimmer shared. “The road has been long, difficult and so painful. Today I feel calmer.”

PRINCESS CHARLENE OF MONACO MAKES FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE SINCE NOVEMBER AMID MEDICAL SAGA

Princess Charlene of Monaco and her daughter Princess Gabriella of Monaco, Countess of Carladès present the ‘Emerging Designer Award’ to Ramzen during Monte-Carlo fashion week at the Opéra Garnier in Monaco.

Princess Charlene of Monaco and her daughter Princess Gabriella of Monaco, Countess of Carladès present the ‘Emerging Designer Award’ to Ramzen during Monte-Carlo fashion week at the Opéra Garnier in Monaco.
(Backgrid)

Charlene’s health deteriorated while she was visiting South Africa in May 2021. While the visit to her home country was meant to last just 10 days, complications from a previous ENT procedure grounded her for six months.

After several corrective surgeries and a subsequent relapse, Charlene returned to Monaco in November. But shortly after she landed, the princess experienced signs of emotional and physical exhaustion. After consulting her doctors and family, Charlene decided to seek medical treatment. It was ultimately determined that Charlene would seek treatment in a facility outside of Monaco.

Throughout her health journey, Charlene kept closely connected with her family with the help of daily phone and video calls. At least one family visit was held during the holidays, and Albert privately visited his wife on several occasions.

Charlene’s prolonged absence from Monaco sparked rumors concerning her marriage. The princess addressed those reports directly to local reporters during the fashion event.

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Princess Charlene of Monaco addressed ongoing rumors to local press during the glitzy gala.

Princess Charlene of Monaco addressed ongoing rumors to local press during the glitzy gala.
(Backgrid)

“You want to talk about rumors of divorce or my new home in Switzerland?” she said. “I still find it regrettable that certain media peddle such rumors about my life, my relationship. Like everyone else, we are human beings and like all human beings we have emotions, weaknesses, only our family is exposed to the media and the slightest weakness is relayed.”

Charlene praised her husband of 10 years and called him her “protector.”

“We discussed these malicious articles together, and he did everything to protect me and our children,” she said.

Charlene stressed that she was eager to resume her royal responsibilities.

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Prince Albert of Monaco with the couple's two children: Princess Gabriella of Monaco and Prince Jacques of Monaco.

Prince Albert of Monaco with the couple’s two children: Princess Gabriella of Monaco and Prince Jacques of Monaco.
(Photo by David Niviere/PLS Pool/Getty Images)

“I’m very happy to be back home in Monaco and with my family,” she said. “I received so many positive and warm messages when I was away from Monaco and I thank them for their support.”

In September, Albert slammed the allegations spread by tabloids that their union was in trouble.

“She didn’t leave Monaco in a huff,” the 64-year-old told People magazine at the time. “She didn’t leave because she was mad at me or anybody else. She was going down to South Africa to reassess her foundation’s work down there and to take a little time off with her brother and some friends.

“It was only supposed to be a week-long, 10-day maximum stay, and [she is still there now] because she had this infection [and] all these medical complications arose. She didn’t go into exile. It was absolutely just a medical problem which had to be treated.”

PRINCE ALBERT OF MONACO IS A ‘WARM AND WELCOMING’ ROYAL WHOSE FOCUS IS ON CHARITY, NOT TABLOID SCRUTINY: PAL

The son of Grace Kelly and the Olympic swimmer tied the knot in 2011.

The son of Grace Kelly and the Olympic swimmer tied the knot in 2011.
(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for La Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco)

Albert admitted that he “probably should have addressed” the gossip sooner.

“But I was concentrating on taking care of the kids,” he said. “And I thought it would just probably go [away]. You know if you try to answer everything that comes out then you’re constantly [responding], you’re wasting your time. … Of course, it affects her, of course, it affects me. Misreading events is always detrimental. … We’re an easy target, easily hit, because we’re in the public eye a lot.”

The celebrated athlete married the son of Hollywood actress Grace Kelly on July 1, 2011. The wedding was a spectacle, costing an estimated $70 million for the four-day event. They welcomed twins in 2014.

Their planned public anniversary celebration was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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