Princess Charlene of Monaco says she is ‘still fragile’ despite return to public eye

Royal says she’s on ‘long, difficult, painful’ path

Liam James
Wednesday 25 May 2022 13:46
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<p>Princess Charlene appearing in public at the Sainte Devote Rugby Tournament in Monaco on 7 May</p>

Princess Charlene appearing in public at the Sainte Devote Rugby Tournament in Monaco on 7 May

Princess Charlene of Monaco says she is “still fragile”, in a rare interview after spending months away from her principality due to health issues.

The 44-year-old former Olympic champion swimmer, who married Prince Albert in 2011, spent months in Switzerland for treatment of several health issues, including what Monaco’s royal palace described as a “profound general fatigue”.

She returned to Monaco in March as her health improved, the royal palace said at the time, and only recently resumed official duties.

“My health is still fragile and I don't want to rush things,” she told newspaper Nice Matin on Wednesday, adding: “It's been a long, difficult, painful path. Today, I feel more serene.”

Her long absence fuelled media speculation of a rift between Charlene and Albert, which the palace repeatedly denied.

Charlene criticised the speculation, praising her husband for supporting her and saying that “like all human beings we have emotions, fragilities, but our family is exposed to media attention and the slightest weakness is relayed”.

Charlene and Albert with children Jacques and Gabriella at the Sainte Devote Rugby Tournament in Monaco on 7 May

Albert is the son of the late Prince Rainier III and actress Grace Kelly, who gave up a Hollywood career to become Princess Grace.

Charlene swam for South Africa at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney before retiring in 2007.

She and Albert were married four years later in a lavish ceremony in Monaco, a playground of the rich known for its Grand Prix car race.

“I'm very happy to be back home in Monaco,” Charlene told Nice Matin.

Charlene and Albert at their wedding in the Royal Palace of Monaco in 2011

The princess was ill for much of last year and spent months in her native South Africa, where she underwent various medical procedures.

She returned to Monaco in November but soon left for Switzerland for further treatment.

Last month Charlene made her first public appearance with Albert since November, attending the Monaco E-prix.

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