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How the Monaco royal family rallied to support Jacques and Gabriella in Princess Charlene’s absence

Prince Albert of Monaco’s sisters Princess Caroline of Hanover and Princess Stephanie have rallied around to support his children Jacques and Gabriella in wife Princess Charlene’s absence – after admitting they had ‘suffered.’ 

The royal, 63, revealed on Friday that his wife Charlene, 43, has been admitted to a ‘treatment facility’ where she will remain for ‘at least several’ weeks after it became ‘evident she was unwell’ within hours of her return to Monaco following 10 months in South Africa. 

Albert, who earlier this year said his wife was suffering from a sinus infection, did not reveal details of her illness but ruled out cancer and Covid. He hinted at mental health struggles, saying she ‘was overwhelmed and couldn’t face official duties, life in general or even family life’ and is suffering from ‘exhaustion, both emotional and physical’.   

Discussing the impact their mother’s absence has had on the children, the Monaco royal spoke to French news outlet Monaco Matin and admitted that they had ‘suffered’, but that that they had ‘a family environment that made sure they weren’t lacking in affection’.  

But it seems like they’re being well-looked after by Prince Albert’s sisters Princess Caroline of Hanover, 63, and Princess Stephanie, 56, who were seen holding their hands during celebrations for Monaco National Day on Friday.

Family members including Princess Caroline of Hanover (left) and Princess Stephanie (right, pictured on Monaco Day) are helping to care for Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques

Princess Gabriella (left) and Prince Jacques (right) with their father Prince Albert hold signs saying 'We love you Mommy' during celebrations marking Monaco's National Day

Princess Gabriella (left) and Prince Jacques (right) with their father Prince Albert hold signs saying ‘We love you Mommy’ during celebrations marking Monaco’s National Day

Princess Charlene (pictured in October) has appeared increasingly frail in recent months. She is currently being treated for 'exhaustion, both emotional and physical'

Princess Charlene (pictured in October) has appeared increasingly frail in recent months. She is currently being treated for ‘exhaustion, both emotional and physical’

Princess Caroline of Hanover, dressed in a sparkly tweed jacket and skirt co-ord, could be seen bending down and reaching for the hand of Prince Jacques, before averting his eyes to something which caught her attention. 

Meanwhile Princess Stephanie, who looked chic in a smart grey coat, walked closely alongside Gabriella before clutching the youngster’s hands firmly in front of hers.

During the big event, Prince Albert stood on the balcony of Monaco Palace with his children, who held signs that said: ‘We miss you Mommy’. 

Speaking to Monaco Matin, Prince Albert said: ‘I cannot tell you more out of discretion. There is tiredness, not just physical, which can only be treated with a period of rest and monitoring.’

He continued: For me, it’s pretty simple – my priority is my family. This is an extremely important time in [the children’s] life – the way they grow up helps them see the world.

‘And if one of the parents is away for medical reasons, the other parent has to be there. 

‘I have heard too many friends and acquaintances telling me that they wish they had been there for their children, at a certain age, taken up by their work or their professional life. I don’t want to have these regrets.’     

Gabriella was spotted holding her aunt Princess Stephanie's hand on Monaco Day, amid her father's claims 'a loving family environment' means the twins get enough affection

Gabriella was spotted holding her aunt Princess Stephanie’s hand on Monaco Day, amid her father’s claims ‘a loving family environment’ means the twins get enough affection

Princess Caroline of Hanover was snapped chatting to Prince Jacques during the celebrations, which mark one of the biggest events in the royal calendar

Princess Caroline of Hanover was snapped chatting to Prince Jacques during the celebrations, which mark one of the biggest events in the royal calendar

Princess Gabriella sent out a message to her mother who was unable to attend the Monaco Day event, via a sweet, handwritten sign

Princess Gabriella sent out a message to her mother who was unable to attend the Monaco Day event, via a sweet, handwritten sign

Speaking to People magazine, Prince Albert said his 43-year-old wife is suffering profound ‘exhaustion, both emotional and physical’ and will require clinical care lasting several weeks at a minimum following her return from a 10-month stay in South Africa.  

The palace confirmed that Charlene would be recovering for the foreseeable future, releasing a statement on Tuesday that said: ‘The Princess is currently convalescing and will continue to do so for the coming weeks, allowing Her time to recover from a state of profound general fatigue.’ 

The statement said the couple have ‘both decided that a period of calm and rest is necessary to ensure the very best recovery for Princess Charlene’s health.’

It continued: ‘In order to protect the comfort and privacy essential to Her recovery, the Princess’ location will remain strictly confidential. 

‘As soon as her health permits, the Princess looks forward to once again carrying out her Princely duties and spending time with the Monegasques.’ 

On Thursday, the mother-of-two shared an Instagram post from the ‘secret location’ where she is recovering from a ‘fatigue that’s not just physical.’ 

Princess Charlene was reunited with her family on November 8, with images from a staged photo call shared on the palace's official Instagram page

Princess Charlene was reunited with her family on November 8, with images from a staged photo call shared on the palace’s official Instagram page

Despite persistent rumours about the state of their marriage, Prince Albert (pictured during his November 8 reunion with his wife) said her issues are not related to the relationship

Despite persistent rumours about the state of their marriage, Prince Albert (pictured during his November 8 reunion with his wife) said her issues are not related to the relationship

Princess Charlene - whose frail appearance has sparked concerns - shared controversial photos of the couple hugging in South Africa earlier this year

The couple continue to face speculation over their relationship - despite Prince Albert's claims to the contrary

Princess Charlene – whose frail appearance has sparked concerns – shared controversial photos of the couple hugging in South Africa earlier this year

Timeline: Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s 10 months’ apart

January 27 – Charlene is pictured with Albert for the Sainte Devote Ceremony in Monaco.

March 18 – Charlene is pictured at the memorial for the late Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, South Africa

April 2 – Charlene posts an Instagram picture of herself, Albert and their twins Jacques and Gabriella for Easter.

It is unknown where the image was taken.

May 8 – Albert, Jacques and Gabriella attend a Grand Prix event in Monaco without Charlene

May 10 – Albert attends Monaco Gala Awards in Monaco without Charlene

May 18 – Charlene shares her first picture from her conservation trip in South Africa

June 1 – Prince Albert II, Jacques and Gabriella attend event at Oceanic Museum in Monaco

June 3 – New photos emerge of Charlene on her conservation trip

June 5- Charlene puts on a united front as she shares a photo with her family to mark her niece’s fifth birthday with her brother’s family and Albert and the twins in South Africa

June 7 – Albert and the twins attend the World Rugby Sevens without Charlene

June 17 – Prince Albert attends Red Cross Summer concert in Monte Carlo with his sister Princess Caroline of Hanover

June 18 – Prince Albert appears alone Monte Carlo TV Festival

June 24 – Charlene’s foundation releases a statement saying the royal is unable to travel and is undergoing procedures for an ear, nose and throat infection

July 2 – Charlene and Albert mark their 10th anniversary separately. ‘This year will be the first time that I’m not with my husband on our anniversary in July, which is difficult, and it saddens me,’ Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene said in a statement.

July 3 – Albert appears with glamorous niece Charlotte Casiraghi at the 15th international Monte-Carlo Jumping event, which is part of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco,

July 27 – Prince Albert attends Olympics alone in Tokyo

August 13 – Charlene undergoes a four-hour operation. The reason is not announced

August 25 – Charlene shares photos of Prince Albert, Gabriella and Jacques visiting her in South Africa

September 1 – Charlene is admitted under an alias to the Netcare Alberlito Hospital after suddenly ‘collapsing’

September 2 – She is discharged, with a statement from the Palais Princier reading: ‘Her Highness is closely monitored by Her medical team who said that Her condition was not worrying’

September 23 – Prince Albert attends the 2021 Monte Carlo Gala for Planetary Health

September 29 – Prince Albert is joined on the red carpet by actress Sharon Stone for a first look at the eagerly anticipated James Bond release

September 30 – Charlene releases a stylish video promoting her anti-poaching campaign from her South African bolthole

October 3 – Princess Charlene shares a photograph of herself smiling in front of a bible in her first snap since being discharged from hospital following her health scare

October 5 – Prince Albert attends Sportel Awards Ceremony in Monte Carlo with nephew Louis Ducruet

October 6 – Albert tells RMC radio Charlene is ‘ready to come home’

October 8 – Princess undergoes surgery in South Africa

November 8 – Charlene arrives back in Monaco. Prince Albert said within hours it became clear she was ‘unwell’

November 13 – Prince Albert attends Expo 2020 in Dubai without Princess Charlene

Following his return from the trip, Prince Albert holds an intervention with Charlene’s brothers and a sister-in-law in which Charlene ‘confirmed’ she would seek ‘real medically framed treatment’ outside of Monaco

November 16 – Royal household confirms Princess Charlene will not attend National Day celebrations on November 19

– Prince Albert attends a Monaco Red Cross event without Princess Charlene

November 17 – Prince Albert reveals Princess Charlene has left Monaco and is recovering in a secret location

November 19 – Prince Albert reveals Charlene is in a treatment facility ‘elsewhere in Europe’ after a family intervention

 

The family were all spotted together in South Africa at the start of June, and official photos of the family shared on social media in August showing another visit had taken place after three months apart. 

The royal couple have faced rumours about the state of their marriage for many years, but the prince stressed in the interview this week that the separation is not due to relationship issues. 

He said: ‘I’m probably going to say this several times, but this has nothing to do with our relationship. 

‘I want to make that very clear. 

‘These are not problems within our relationship; not with the relationship between a husband and wife. It’s of a different nature.’ 

He also said her absence is not due to cancer, Covid, or plastic surgery. 

However, the couple’s reunion photos were met with scepticism, with body language Judi James telling FEMAIL that Charlene was using exaggerated gestures of closeness with Albert and appeared ‘needy’ in the images – while Prince Albert did ‘not reflect’ his wife’s body language. 

She added that in the family image, the princess was  ‘clinging’ to her husband, saying: ‘Charlene’s announcement rituals here suggest she wants to send out a very emphatic message that she is now back with her family and that her love for her husband is stronger than ever.

‘Just as in South Africa when Prince Albert came to visit, Charlene performs what look rather like over-kill signals to make her message clear to the rest of the world, putting in much more effort than her husband to look excitedly re-united and joyous.’

The reunion was also met with scepticism by the French media, with respected French celebrity outlet Gala publishing an article with the headline: ‘Reunion of Albert and Charlene of Monaco: but where exactly do they sleep?’ 

And Voici – another popular magazine read widely across Monaco and France – ran with: ‘Charlene of Monaco back: the Princess breaks the silence and forgets to mention her husband’.

This was a reference to Charlene using a social media video to thank everybody who had helped her through months of ill-health, without name-checking Albert at all.

The video was shared by her foundation on Twitter as she returned to Monaco.

In it, she said: ‘It has been, obviously, a very challenging time to be here but at the same time it has been wonderful being back in South Africa.

‘I’d like to thank the doctors in South Africa who have done a fantastic job of helping me and I’m so looking forward to getting back to my children.

‘Thank you South Africa, and thank you everyone and god bless you.’    

Speculation over the relationship dates back to the couple’s 2011 wedding, where Charlene was snapped crying. 

The former Olympic swimmer even reportedly tried to flee Monaco for her native South Africa on three separate occasions before the royal wedding.

This was after she discovered Albert had fathered a love child while they were together.

In the years following his wedding, Albert reportedly rarely saw his love child – a son named Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, whose mother is Nicole Coste, a former Air France flight attendant from Togo.

In 2014, Nicole told the Mail On Sunday: ‘The truth is that, I’m sorry to say, Albert hasn’t seen Alexandre since a brief visit last September.

‘It has become impossible since he married that girl.

‘I suppose as a new wife, how would one feel? But she should think about my innocent child.

‘I don’t want to attack her but I think it is just jealousy and I don’t know why.

‘I have been through hell in my fight for my son’s name and future.’ 

Additionally, while Prince Albert is already supporting two illegitimate children he fathered, he is alleged to have been in a relationship with a Brazilian woman which resulted in a daughter in 2005.

The claim, which his lawyers dismissed as a ‘hoax’, is particularly painful as he was dating Charlene at the time, having met in 2000.

However, Charlene has continued to publicly support her husband. 

The former swimmer, who represented the country at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, spoke out on their relationship in January.

She told Point de Vue: ‘When my husband has problems, he tells me about it. 

‘I often tell him, “No matter what, no matter what, I’m a thousand percent behind you. I’ll stand by you whatever you do, in good times or in bad”.’

The mother-of-two went on to say she also often tells her husband she will ‘protect him’ and will ‘always be by his side.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk