Princess Charlene is finally being reunited with her husband Prince Albert and six-year-old children Prince Jaques and Princess Gabriella. The Monegasque princess was pictured today at approximately 7.45am GMT (8.45am local time) stepping off a private jet which had taken her from the South African city of Durban to Nice, in France.
There, she was pictured being welcomed by royal staff and a dog, which Charlene happily took for a brief walk.
According to French website Nice Matin, Prince Albert and the royal children were also at the airport to greet Charlene with a large bouquet of flowers.
They were then reportedly all whisked away to Monaco via helicopter.
Prior to her departure from her homeland, Princess Charlene recorded a video, shared by her foundation’s YouTube channel, in which she spoke about her “challenging” past months.
She said: “It has been obviously a very challenging time to be here, but at the same time it has been wonderful to be back in South Africa.
“I’d like to thank the doctors in South Africa who have done a tremendous job in helping me and I am so looking forward to getting back to my children.
“Thank you South Africa, thank you everyone and God bless you.”
Princess Charlene has returned to Monaco
Princess Charlene with her husband and children
Princess Charlene’s much-awaited return to Europe comes after the royal had remained stuck in her native South Africa since mid-May.
Charlene had originally meant to stay in South Africa for less than a fortnight to carry out conservation projects with her foundation and raise awareness on illegal poaching.
However, she remained grounded there until this month after developing an infection following a sinus lift and bone graft held prior to her departure from Monaco in preparation for dental implants.
During this long absence, she was forced to miss key family moments including celebrations of her 10th wedding anniversary with Prince Albert.
She also could not accompany her twin children Gabriella and Jaques to their first day of school in September.
Princess Charlene and Prince Albert got married ten years ago
In the run-up to their wedding anniversary in early July, Charlene professed her love and affection for Prince Albert as she explained she could not be with him due to her health.
She said: “Albert is my rock and strength and without his love and support I would not have been able to get through this painful time.”
Despite her heartfelt words, this prolonged absence sparked rumours of a rift between the royal husband and wife – tackled by Albert in September.
Speaking to People magazine, the Monegasque prince set the record straight on the real reason why Charlene left Monaco in the first place and why she had to remain in South Africa for so long.
He said: “She didn’t leave Monaco in a huff!
“She didn’t leave because she was mad at me or at anybody else.
Princess Charlene travelled to South Africa in May
Princess Charlene and Prince Albert on their wedding day
“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 continued: “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.”
Charlene’s return will silence once and for all speculation regarding her marriage.
While in South Africa, Charlene continued to work with her foundation and promoted its project, Chasing Zero, aiming at protecting rhinos from illegal poaching.
Monarchies in Europe
But she also underwent procedures to heal – including one in mid-August and one on October 8.
Prior to these operations, Charlene had said during a radio interview she was expecting to remain in South Africa until late October.
Her husband, who has kept the public updated about Charlene’s wellbeing over the past months, finally spoke with confidence about her return date last month.
He said: “She’s in good form and much better spirits.
“She will be here way before [Monaco’s] National Day, November 19. Way before.”
Prince Albert at COP26
The royal trio then travelled to Glasgow, where Prince Albert attended COP26.
Speaking about his children’s time in Scotland ahead of their trip, the royal said: “Obviously at that age, six or seven, you can’t take them everywhere because they’ll get bored if it’s too official.
“You have to bring them in slowly into public appearances and different ceremonies.
“If it’s a trip, that has an official side to it, but also [they’ll need] a private side and things to discover they can find it fun and amusing.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK