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Princess Charlene of Monaco’s husband, Prince Albert, is reflecting on the couple’s difficult year.
The son of late Hollywood star-turned-princess Grace Kelly spoke to Journal de Dimanche over the weekend, admitting that the events from the past year were “a test for my wife, especially, who suffered greatly and lived through difficult times, far from her family. A test also for our children and for myself.”
Charlene’s health deteriorated while she was visiting South Africa in May 2021. While the visit to her home country was meant to last just 10 days, complications from a previous ENT procedure grounded her for six months.
After several corrective surgeries and a subsequent relapse, Charlene, 44, returned to Monaco in November. But shortly after she landed, the princess experienced signs of emotional and physical exhaustion. After consulting her doctors and family, Charlene decided to seek medical treatment. It was ultimately determined that Charlene would seek treatment in a facility outside of Monaco.
PRINCESS CHARLENE OF MONACO OPENS UP ABOUT HER ‘PAINFUL’ RECOVERY: ‘MY STATE OF HEALTH IS STILL FRAGILE’
Throughout her health journey, Charlene kept closely connected with her family with the help of daily phone and video calls. At least one family visit was held during the holidays, and Albert privately visited his wife on several occasions. However, Charlene’s prolonged absence from Monaco sparked rumors concerning her marriage.
“We missed the princess a lot,” said Albert, 64. “And we were obviously hurt by the malicious rumors that were peddled. But we were able to stay united despite the distance. We spoke to each other often.”
“Today, Charlene is back with us and this is the most beautiful thing which could have happened,” he continued. “She’s better, we can finally spend time together. It is a relief and a joy for all of us.”
Albert’s interview occurred before the palace confirmed to Fox News Digital on Saturday that Charlene had tested positive for COVID-19.
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“Showing some symptoms, H.S.H. Princess Charlene tested positive for a COVID-19 screening test,” read the statement. “Complying with the health rules in force, Princess Charlene will observe a period of isolation of several days. Her state of health does not cause any concern.”
In September, Albert slammed the allegations spread by tabloids that their union was in trouble.
“She didn’t leave Monaco in a huff,” the prince told People magazine at the time. “She didn’t leave because she was mad at me or anybody else. She was going down to South Africa to reassess her foundation’s work down there and to take a little time off with her brother and some friends.
“It was only supposed to be a week-long, 10-day maximum stay, and [she is still there now] because she had this infection [and] all these medical complications arose. She didn’t go into exile. It was absolutely just a medical problem which had to be treated.”
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Albert admitted that he “probably should have addressed” the gossip sooner.
“But I was concentrating on taking care of the kids,” he said. “And I thought it would just probably go [away]. You know if you try to answer everything that comes out then you’re constantly [responding], you’re wasting your time. … Of course, it affects her, of course, it affects me. Misreading events is always detrimental. … We’re an easy target, easily hit, because we’re in the public eye a lot.”
The celebrated athlete married the royal on July 1, 2011. The wedding was a spectacle, costing an estimated $70 million for the four-day event. They welcomed twins in 2014.
Their planned public anniversary celebration was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press contribued to this report.