Princess Charlene, 43, was rushed to hospital in South Africa over the weekend when she collapsed due to a “severe” infection, an aide said. The princess was said to be in a “stable” condition after the incident, but the hospital would not confirm the details of her treatment for confidential reasons.
The Zimbabwe-born Charlene was admitted to the Netcare Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, near Durban, under a fake name for a “medical emergency”.
A statement on her condition said: “Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco was rushed to hospital by ambulance late on Wednesday night after collapsing due to complications from the severe ear, nose and throat infection she contracted in May.
“Her medical team is currently evaluating her but have confirmed the princess is stable.”
The details of the infection and why it has hit her so hard have not been revealed, but Prince Albert of Monaco has finally spoken out about his wife’s extended stay in South Africa as rumours swirled of marital woes.
Charlene was last seen in Monaco in January, with many speculating the Monegasque royals were splitting up.
She told South African radio that she was remaining in her home country for medical reasons, saying in July that she “cannot force healing” – though this did little to quell the rumours.
Now, however, her husband Prince Albert has sought to set the record straight.
Speaking to People Magazine, he insisted that his wife left Monaco to visit family, not due to a fight.
He said: “She didn’t leave Monaco in a huff! She didn’t leave because she was mad at me or at 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.”
He said the trip was “only supposed to be a weeklong, 10-day maximum stay,” and is not due to Princess Charlene going “into exile”.
He insisted it is “absolutely just a medical problem”.
However, the royal did acknowledge that he should have addressed the rumours about marriage issues sooner, but explained that he had been “concentrating on taking care of the kids” and had assumed the speculation would pass.
He said: “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.”
While he insisted the rumours of marital strife weren’t true, he did admit they had been difficult on the family.
He said: “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.”
Prince Albert added that his wife was “ready” to head back to Europe, though no date was mentioned for her return.
The comments come as Princess Charlene was forced to miss their children’s first day of the new school year.
Six-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella were instead accompanied to their private Catholic school, François d’Assise–Nicolas Barré, by their father.
The family did, however, manage a trip to visit Charlene in South Africa in August.
The royals holidayed at a safari resort in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region, with Charlene sharing happy snaps on her Instagram.
She wrote in a caption: “I am so thrilled to have my family back with me”