It was a bittersweet National Day celebration in the Principality of Monaco. The day, normally festive and cheery, has been tinged with sadness at the absence of Princess Charlene, who has retired from public life indefinitely to finish her recovery.
As usual, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella have taken part in multiple events connected to the festivity, only missing the traditional Te Deum (or Thanksgiving service) but being present for both the police salute and medal awards in the court of the Palace and the balcony appearance.
And it was right on the balcony that the two children showcased their pain at the prolonged distance from their mother. Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella held handmade signs that read “We miss you mommy” and “We love you mommy,” written in colourful pens and decorated with plenty of hearts.
Undoubtedly, Princess Charlene was following the proceedings from her health retreat; she posted on social media a short video of Monaco’s flag blowing in the wind while the national anthem was playing as a celebration of National Day. The Princess must have been extremely touched by her children’s public display of love and nostalgia – as was the public, which erupted in long and heartfelt applause when the children pulled up the signs.
The children had only had limited time with their mother since mid-May when she flew to South Africa and was unable to return due to complications from an ear, nose and throat infection. She was finally cleared to make the journey back about ten days ago and posted a series of pictures of her return to Monaco but had to leave shortly after to finish her recovery.
In an interview given to People magazine and published on 19 November to coincide with Monaco’s National Day, Prince Albert revealed that Princess Charlene is in a treatment facility in an undisclosed location that is close to the principality. The sovereign disclosed that Charlene was clearly unwell upon her return to Monaco; she had trouble sleeping and eating and had lost a lot of weight. The family, including her brothers Gareth and Sean, sat down with her and supported her through her decision to check herself into the facility during the weekend. Prince Albert also underlined the fact that this has nothing to do with any serious illness like cancer or COVID, nor does it mean anything negative about their marriage.
The National Day celebrations were held with the Princess constantly in mind: from the Archbishop’s sermon, in which he wished the Princess a speedy recovery, to the Carabinieri (military police) posing in the shape of a ten, to celebrate the Sovereign Princely couple’s 10th wedding anniversary which fell in July, to, most importantly, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella’s heartfelt cards.