Last week, Princess Charlene of Monaco, the wife of the principality’s head of state Prince Albert II, returned home after eight months spent convalescing in her native South Africa. Days after her return, however, she canceled a planned appearance during national day celebrations, sparking new speculation that things might be amiss in the royal house. In a Wednesday interview with newspaper Monaco-Matin, Albert said that Charlene has left Monaco to continue her recovery, though he declined to say where she traveled.
“She is better but she still needs rest and peace,” he said. “She is not in the principality but we will be able to visit her very soon. I cannot tell you more out of discretion. There is tiredness, not just physical, which can only be treated with a period of rest and monitoring.” He also said Charlene’s extended absence pushed him to focus more of his attention on the couple’s six-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques.
When the royal house announced that Charlene was canceling her planned appearances for the days-long celebration of Monaco’s founding, it elaborated on her condition in a statement. “A period of calm and rest is necessary to ensure the very best recovery for Princess Charlene’s health,” it read. “Having battled with poor health over the past few months the Princess is currently convalescing and will continue to do so for the coming weeks, allowing her time to recover from a state of profound general fatigue.”
Charlene’s medical odyssey began in March, when complications from an earlier sinus surgery extended a planned two-week trip to South Africa indefinitely. In August, she told a radio station in the country that she was having trouble “equalizing pressure” in her ears and thus could not fly. She subsequently had two more surgeries and was hospitalized for further complications in September. During her absence, Charlene used her Instagram account to share updates on her health. Her most recent post, from last week, contains a picture of her reunion with Albert, Jacques, and Gabriella in Monaco. “Happy day today,” the caption read. “Thank you all for keeping me strong.”
In July, Paris Match speculated that a floundering relationship between the couple might have something to do with her extended absence, adding that Charlene was already known to spend her time away from Albert at homes in Corsica and Provençal before her illness. Albert, who was known for an active dating life in the 1980s and 90s and fathered two children out of wedlock before marrying Charlene in 2011, also responded to rumors that his marriage was in trouble in his Wednesday interview with Monaco-Matin.
“I’m starting to get quite used to all of this,” he said, when asked about press attacks aimed at his relationship. “I don’t want to be seen as a cranky old man, but I’ve learned to take it all and make sure it doesn’t bother me too much.”
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
— Inside the Sudden Disappearance of the Art World’s Most Wanted Man
— The Guy Who Bought Jeffrey Epstein’s Jet Has Some Regrets
— Eight Books We Couldn’t Put Down This Month
— Why Did the Palace Initially Keep the Queen’s Hospital Stay a Secret?
— The John Mulaney–Olivia Munn Rumor Mill Keeps Churning
— The Best Schitt’s Creek Merchandise
— The Story Behind Prince Harry’s Democratic Roots
— This Is 40 for Ivanka Trump
— From the Archive: In Her Majesty’s Private Service
— Sign up for “The Buyline” to receive a curated list of fashion, books, and beauty buys in one weekly newsletter.