Princess Charlene details 'painful' year of ill health for the first time

Princess Charlene of Monaco is back in the public eye

Princess Charlene of Monaco spent much of 2021 in South Africa due to an ear, nose and throat infection. She was unable to return home to Monaco, but this month saw her finally return to the public eye.

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Following one of her first appearances in almost a year, Princess Charlene opened up about the ill health that has plagued her. "My state of health is still fragile, and I don't want to go too fast," the royal told Monaco Matin. "The road has been long, difficult and so painful. Today I feel calmer."

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Commenting on her return to the public eye, which included appearances at Monaco Fashion Week and the Grand Prix weekend, the royal said: "When I returned to the Principality, I focused all my energy on my children, my husband and my health because they are my priority."

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What happened to Princess Charlene?

After staying in her native South Africa until November 2021, Charlene returned to Monaco in early November, but continued to battle with her health.

Princess Charlene retired from the public eye for almost a year

The Palais Princier released a statement at the time confirming that she would not be attending Monaco's National Day with Prince Albert, to allow her "time to recover" from her recent "poor health", while Prince Albert revealed that she was resting at a confidential location, confirming that she was receiving treatment in a facility "outside of Monaco".

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Prince Albert confirmed that Princess Charlene was dealing with "exhaustion, both emotional and physical", after collapsing on 1 September due to complications following one of several surgeries for a severe and ongoing ear, nose and throat (ENT) infection.

Princess Charlene attended Fashion Week with daughter Princess Gabriella

She was rushed to Netcare Alberlito Hospital, and the Palace released the following statement to People: "On the night of September 1, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco was taken to hospital after becoming ill due to complications from a serious ENT infection. Her Highness is being closely followed by her medical team, who say her condition is reassuring." Charlene was reportedly scheduled to undergo another surgery to treat the illness that day, but it was pushed back.

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She reportedly went in for surgery in mid-May, before a second operation in June, and a "final" surgery in October. Prince Albert confirmed in late October that she would be heading home to Monaco and their two children soon.

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