Why Princess Charlene's illness forced her to leave Monaco for treatment

Princess Charlene left Monaco just days after returning from South Africa to seek medical treatment

Why Princess Charlene's illness forced her to leave Monaco
(Image credit: Getty)

Princess Charlene's recent admission to a treatment center outside of Monaco has shaken her adoring fans, prompting many to wonder why the royal chose not to seek medical services closer to home. 

The Monaco Royal Family saga continues, with Princess Charlene checking into a treatment center for her mysterious medical issues earlier this week. 

The South African native's hiatus from public duties due to poor health has done little to quash the stigma of royal marriages to so-called 'commoners', with many now questioning the stability of her relationship with her husband Prince Albert. 

The speculation of marital problems grew so intense that Monaco's future king was forced to respond, telling PEOPLE magazine that "she didn't leave because she was mad at me or at anybody else."

Rumors about Charlene have continued to flourish, however, and this time, they're focused on her admission to a treatment center outside of Monaco. 

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

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco

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

The 43-year-old's ongoing illness dates back to May 2021, when she took a trip to South Africa to reconnect with friends and family. Charlene had only intended to stay in the country for 10 or 12 days, but became unexpectedly grounded after contracting a serious sinus infection whilst recovering from a mysterious surgery. Unable to travel in her fragile condition, she was forced to stay put for several months and only managed to return to Monaco in early November. 

However, within days of reuniting with Prince Albert and their six-year-old twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, Charlene was forced to pack her bags and up sticks once again. Despite showing promising signs of recovery upon arriving home, it soon became evident that the former Olympic swimmer required further medical attention. 

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert January 2021

(Image credit: Getty)

Speaking to PEOPLE magazine, Prince Albert explained that Charlene was "clearly exhausted, physically and emotionally" and could no longer "face official duties, life in general or even family life." While the 63-year-old has refused to disclose details of his wife's condition, he did share a tentative timeline on the duration of her treatment stay. 

"You know these kind of treatments, these rest periods, are usually several weeks. I cannot give you any set period at this time, we will see," he said. 

Why did Princess Charlene leave Monaco to seek treatment for her illness? 

With its world-class healthcare, it may come as a surprise to some that Princess Charlene would leave Monaco to seek treatment for her illness. The affluent sovereign state is known for its exemplary medical services, granting all residents who contribute to its public health fund access to top-class doctors, clinics, and hospitals. 

For Charlene, who holds an estimated net worth of $150 million and almost definitely enjoys private health insurance, remaining in Monaco for medical treatment might seem like the most logical decision. Not only would she receive five-star standard care, but she would also be able to see her husband and children more frequently—a privilege she has been desperately missing after six months apart. 

These advantages haven't been enough to convince Charlene to stay local, however. Smaller than New York's Central Park and with a population of just 39,000, Monaco isn't exactly the best spot for avoiding prying eyes. 

In his interview with PEOPLE, Prince Albert explained that he and Charlene had chosen a treatment center outside of the French Riveria city-state "for privacy reasons," adding, "it would have to be someplace outside of Monaco." 

It's also likely that Princess Charlene will have more options for treatment by going abroad. While Monaco undeniably has excellent medical practitioners and hospitals, it doesn't have the suitable treatment facilities to cater to a long-term illness. It's understood that most patients seeking such services head to Spain or Tunisia, where they can find a wide variety of clinics with specialized treatment plans. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.