In May of 2021, Princess Charlène of Monaco embarked on a trip to her native South Africa, to carry out work on conservation with her Foundation.
Little did she know, but that trip would be the last she was able to undertake in a very long time.
On the day she was supposed to attend a Formula 1 event in Monaco, the Princely Palace released a short statement saying that she had to stay in South Africa because of an ear, nose and throat infection.
In a later interview to a radio show, she revealed that her infection was due to a dental operation to implant a prosthesis. The Princess had to have her gums altered, and that surgery led to a serious infection, complicated by the aeroplane journey.
At some point in June, Prince Albert and their children, six-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, made the trip to South Africa to visit Charlène.
Towards the end of June, British newspaper The Daily Mail reported that Charlène had to be hospitalised in South Africa to undergo a surgical procedure to help with the infection and the Princely Palace confirmed that the Sovereign and his wife would not be able to spend their 10th wedding anniversary together.
Around the 1st of July, Princess Charlène gave an interview to Channel24, stating that spending their wedding anniversary apart for the first time was really hard and made her sad. She had nothing but loving words for her husband and her family, saying “Albert is my rock. Without his strength and love, I don’t think I could have gotten through this painful time”.
A few days after, she shared a few pictures on her Instagram account showing her on video chat with her family in Monaco. In two of them, her children can be seen on her phone screen sending virtual kisses.
On the 30th of July, during an interview with South Africa Radio 702, she shared that she might be able to return to Monaco in October when she gets the medical clearance to travel by air to return to Europe. During the interview, she also expressed her wish that her family may visit her again, although she said it will depend on South Africa’s political situation.
Thankfully, Her Serine Highness was treated to a visit from her husband and two children towards the end of August, with the trio flying to South Africa to visit the stranded Princess.
A few days later, Charlene’s medical situation took a turn for the worst when she collapsed and was taken to hospital.
She then underwent a third round of surgery for her illness, which the palace said was still related to the ear, nose and throat infection.
After six months in her native South Africa, Princess Charlene finally returned to Monaco on November 8th 2021.
On her return, the Princess was seen hugging Albert and their twins as they walked through the Prince’s Palace.
However, her return to Monaco was short-lived. Within a matter of days, she left the country and was taken to a clinic in an unspecified location.
The Princess of Monaco was able to finally return to Monaco the first full week of March 2022 with the Princely Palace saying she would continue her recovery with her family at her side.
Naturally, the exact circumstances regarding Princess Charlene’s medical situation remains a private matter.