Prince Albert of Monaco’s wife, Princess Charlene, underwent major surgery on Friday and will soon be joined by her family in South Africa.
“The operation went well, Princess Charlene is resting and we are thinking of her with tenderness,” said the 63-year-old, as quoted by People magazine.
A statement from the palace revealed that the surgery required general anesthetic and lasted four hours. It is a series of ear, nose and throat procedures the 43-year-old has undergone in recent months to address complications from a previous surgery performed last spring in Europe, the outlet noted.
The princess has experienced ongoing health woes after a sinus lift and bone graft in preparation for dental implants, which were performed prior to her May arrival in South Africa, became infected.
The royal told South Africa Radio 702’s host Mandy Wiener that she expects to leave South Africa around the end of October after another medical procedure, adding that she “cannot force healing.” (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Palace sources alleged to the outlet that Albert, along with their twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, are expected to be reunited with the matriarch “in the coming days.” The family previously visited South Africa in early June.
Charlene recently told South Africa Radio 702’s host Mandy Wiener that she’s “in a waiting game” to be alongside her family and is expected to leave the country around the end of October. The princess stressed she “cannot force healing,” as previously quoted by People magazine.
“I cannot force healing, so I will be grounded in South Africa until the end of October,” said Charlene, noting she is due for another medical procedure.
“I feel well, I feel good,” she added.
Still, Charlene admitted that being far away from her husband and their twins, 6, has made the ordeal more difficult.
Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco present twins Princess Gabriella of Monaco and Prince Jacques of Monaco at the Palace Balcony on January 7, 2015 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Villard/Niviere/PLS Pool/Getty Images)
“This is the longest period I’ve actually been away from Europe and my children,” she said. “As I say, it’s just a waiting game. I cannot predict how my healing process will go. But yeah, I’m very sad I can’t be with my children during this summer in Europe.”
The princess said that while in her native country, she has kept busy with the work of her foundation, as well as becoming personally involved with rhinoceros conservation. She also rooted for her country at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The separation between Charlene and Albert has sparked rumors of an impending split.
According to the outlet, Charlene traveled to her homeland in early May to participate in activities supporting her South Africa foundation. In late June, Charlene announced she was being forced to miss her 10th anniversary with Albert due to additional surgery required.
In mid-July, Charlene told South African outlet Channel24 that she was experiencing ear, nose and throat troubles.
Princess Charlene, a celebrated athlete, married the son of Grace Kelly on July 1, 2011. The wedding was a spectacle, costing an estimated $70 million for the four-day event. They welcomed twins in 2014. (Getty Images)
“I was instructed by the doctors that I can’t fly yet because I’m unable to equalize my ears and therefore cannot fly above 20,000 feet… due to the pressure,” Charlene explained, as quoted by the outlet. “I miss my husband, my babies – Jacqui and Bella – and my doggies terribly, [but] I can’t force a recovery of bone and membrane – it takes time.”
Still, European tabloids have insisted that the couple’s separation goes far deeper than health woes. Sources alleged to France’s Paris Match that Charlene has “no intention of returning” while Germany’s Bunte claimed Charlene was house-hunting near Johannesburg.
The rumors intensified when Albert attended the Tokyo Olympics solo despite the prince being a longtime member of the International Olympic Committee. Charlene is also a former Olympic swimmer.
In June, Charlene told People magazine in a statement that she’s hopeful for the future.
IOC member Prince Albert of Monaco attends day four of the swimming competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
“My daily conversations with Albert and my children help me keep my spirits up a lot, but I miss their presence very much,” she said. “I can’t wait for us to be together.”
The celebrated athlete married the son of Grace Kelly 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 contributed to this report.