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Prince Albert celebrates birthday with Princess Charlene following her return to family home

The royal couple married in 2011

Prince Albert had the best possible birthday present this year. The Monegasque royal – who turned 64 on 14 March - was able to celebrate the occasion with his wife, Princess Charlene, following her long-awaited return home.

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It was confirmed at the weekend that former Olympic swimmer Charlene was back in Monaco after spending nearly a year away from her family while battling an ear-nose-throat (EMT) infection.

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The news was announced in a statement released by the Palace and confirmed that because of the royal's "encouraging recovery" and with her doctors' permission she has been able to return to her home - no doubt so she could be with her husband on his special day.

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The statement added: "The next few weeks should allow for Princess Charlene to further strengthen Her health before gradually resuming Her official duties and commitments.

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Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with their twins

"In order for Princess Charlene to achieve a full recovery and as She still needs peace and calm, The Princely Couple therefore asks that their private life and family environment continue to be respected."

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Albert, Charlene and their seven-year-old twins – Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques – are expected to spend the day quietly together at their home in the Prince's Palace of Monaco.

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The royal couple have been married since July 2011

Charlene, 44, was admitted to a treatment facility outside of Monaco in November, with her husband revealing in December that she was "recuperating in a satisfactory and reassuring manner".

The princess had only returned to Monaco in November after being grounded in South Africa for six months with an ENT infection.

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Princess Charlene has now returned to her family

It's understood that Prince Albert and the couple's children visited Princess Charlene at the treatment facility during the Christmas holidays.

The royal couple marked their tenth wedding anniversary last July but had to spend the day apart as the princess was still in her native South Africa, where she underwent multiple procedures for the ENT infection.

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