Princess Charlene of Monaco 'didn't leave in a huff,' says husband Prince Albert

Princess Charlene of Monaco has been in South Africa for several months, sparking rumors of a royal rift—here's everything we know

Princess Charlene of Monaco and Prince Albert of Monaco waving at a crowd.
(Image credit: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis / Contributor/Getty Images)

Princess Charlene of Monaco has spent a prolonged amount of time in her native South Africa amid an ongoing illness. However, the length of her absence and lack of clarity has sparked rumors that all's not well in the principality of Monaco. 

There's been a long-held suspicion that royal marriages to so-called 'commoners are always destined to fail. As Princess Charlene wasn't born into an aristocratic family, these unsolicited opinions regarding her relationship have unfortunately been offered from time to time. 

Fed up of the most recent speculation surrounding their relationship, her husband Prince Albert of Monaco has spoken out about the matter.

Princess Charlene of Monaco and Prince Albert—are they still married?

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco smiling and applauding at an event.

(Image credit: Marc Piasecki / Contributor/Getty Images)

Addressing any suggestion of a royal rift the 63-year-old told PEOPLE, "She didn't leave Monaco in a huff! She didn't leave because she was mad at me or at anybody else." 

Prince Albert explained further, "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." 

He added, "It was only supposed to be a weeklong, 10-day maximum stay, and [she is still there now] because she had this infection all these medical complications arose."

Underlining his wife's desire to get back home to him and their kids he said, "She's ready to come home. She's jokingly said that she's ready to stow away on a ship to come back to Europe."

Princess Charlene of Monaco—who is she?

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert, alongside their twin children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella of Monaco wave together from a balcony.

(Image credit: SC Pool - Corbis / Contributor/Getty Images)

Princess Charlene is the wife of Prince Albert II, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco and head of the Princely House of Grimaldi. Prince Albert is the son of iconic film star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III.

The 43-year-old royal was born in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa aged 12. Before her marriage Princess Charlene, who was born Charlene Wittstock, was an accomplished competitive swimmer. 

In 1996, aged 18, She won the South African Championship.

A notable victory for the talented athlete—who competed at, ranked in, and won many international competitions—was in 2000 when she won the gold medal for the 200m backstroke event at the "Marenostrum" international swimming meeting in Monaco. This is where she first met her now husband.

The couple went public with their relationship in 2006 and after qualifying for the Beijing Olympics in 2007, she stepped down from her professional career. 

In 2010 the couple announced their engagement and on July 1 2011 they were married in the throne room in the Prince's Palace. 

Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, the couple's twins, were born on December 10, 2014.

Princess Charlene of Monaco—what's wrong with her?

Princess Charlene wearing a blue dress and a striking black hat.

(Image credit: SC Pool - Corbis / Contributor/Getty Images)

In mid-May 2021, Princess Charlene travelled to South Africa in order to see family and friends, as well as check in with a foundation that she supports in the country.

PEOPLE reports that unfortunately, the mom-of-two soon began to experience complications that came following a "sinus lift and bone graft procedure she'd undergone prior to her arrival in preparation for dental implants."

In the months since, there's been many unfair reports suggesting that the couple have less than a healthy relationship. According to Prince Albert, the added stress has been incredibly stressful. He told the publication, "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."

Subsequently, she's undergone several corrective procedures and her ongoing treatment means that she missed her 10th wedding anniversary. Most recently it was revealed that on August 13, 2021, she had a four-hour-long surgery relating to her condition.

Many fans were worried when the Palais Princier released a statement that read, "On the evening of September 1, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco was taken to hospital after fainting due to complications from a serious ORL infection."

However, they were keen to emphasize that, "Her Highness is closely monitored by Her medical team who said that Her condition was not worrying."

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.