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Prince Charlene’s return to Monaco is delayed AGAIN as she undergoes ‘final’ surgery

Princess Charlene’s return to Monaco has been further delayed after it emerged that the royal is undergoing surgery in South Africa today. 

The royal, 43, who is originally from Cape Town, has been in her native South Africa for at least six months since contracting a ‘serious sinus infection’ making her unable to travel and forcing her to miss key events, including her 10-year wedding anniversary and her children’s first day of school.

A statement from her foundation read: ‘Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco will be placed under general anaesthetics for her final procedure taking place today. The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation wishes her the best with this final operation and her recovery process.’ 

The exact nature of today’s procedure has not been revealed, and it’s not clear how long she will remain in hospital. 

Today’s news comes despite Prince Albert’s assertion earlier this week that she is likely to be back in the principality by the end of the month, telling RMC Radio: ‘She will be back very soon, we have to talk to the doctors in a few days.’ 

Princess Charlene will return to Monaco, ‘very soon’ her husband Prince Albert has claimed. The couple are pictured together in South Africa

He added: ‘She is better, although it has been very complicated for her because she has suffered different problems.’

Charlene has not been seen in Monaco since January. The couple have denied rumours of a rift and said Charlene’s absence from the country is due to her health. 

The former Olympian underwent  a ‘four-hour operation under general anaesthesia’ in August – although it was not made clear whether this was linked to the sinus infection.

Charlene and Albert reunited shortly after for the first time in months after the monarch and their children  – six year old twins Jacques and Gabriella – flew to South Africa, but photographs of the pair embracing were branded ‘awkward’ by a body language expert.

The royal, 43, who is originally from Cape Town, has been in her native South Africa for several months since after contracting a 'serious sinus infection' making her unable to travel

The royal, 43, who is originally from Cape Town, has been in her native South Africa for several months since after contracting a ‘serious sinus infection’ making her unable to travel

How Charlene and Albert made solo outings in South Africa and Monaco during nine 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 

August 31 – Speculation mounts in the media about couple’s relationship

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. The reason is not announced.

After returning from the trip, Albert told People magazine Charlene was ‘ready to come home.’

Despite Charlene being admitted to hospital after a ‘sudden collapse’ rumours are rife that a rift with Prince Albert, rather than health issues, is what’s keeping her away from Monaco.

Last week, Prince Albert was joined on the red carpet by actress Sharon Stone, 63, for a first look at the eagerly anticipated James Bond release – Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as the cult classic secret agent.

It was their second joint appearance in less than a week, with both having previously attended the 2021 Monte Carlo Gala for Planetary Health on 23rd September. Charlene was noticeably absent from the event.

It comes just weeks after Prince Albert hit back at rumours marital woes insisting Charlene ‘didn’t leave in a huff’ and remains in South Africa only because of ‘medical complications’ following a ‘severe ear, nose and throat infection’.

The royal told People that the speculation over the state of his relationship with the Olympic swimmer has ‘affected’ them both, but that he didn’t address it early because he ‘was concentrating on taking care of the kids’ 

This week, she  shared a photograph of herself smiling in front of a bible in her first snap since being discharged from hospital following her health scare.

In the snap, which was shared to Instagram on Sunday, the former Olympian can be seen putting on a casual display in a black jumper and rosary bead necklace as she sits at a wooden table. 

The royal, who was born and raised Protestant but converted to Roman-Catholicism ‘of her own free will and choice’ in April 2011, simply captioned the post, ‘God Bless,’ followed by a heart emoji.    

In recent weeks, lifestyle magazines across Europe have speculated feverishly that the royal couple could be headed for divorce. French magazine Madame Figaro stated the images ‘failed to convince the Monegasques’ amid reports Charlene is looking for a house in Johannesburg.

The magazine asked: ‘How long can she remain away from her children, her duties?’

‘How long will the fight against rhinoceros poaching remain the Princess of Monaco’s top priority?

‘How long will Albert II of Monaco go on bearing this affront, which is becoming ridiculous?’

Historian Philippe Delorme said that ‘lots of people got the impression it was an arranged marriage’ between Charlene and Albert, adding: ‘Albert chose a wife who resembled his mother, and Charlene clearly felt very ill at ease in this Grace Kelly role they wanted her to play’

The mounting speculation about the couple’s marriage comes after Charlene shared professional photographs of her reunion with Prince Albert online, saying she was ‘thrilled’ to have her family back.

She shared a series of photos cuddled up with her kids in South Africa with the caption: ‘I am so thrilled to have my family back with me (Gabriella decided to give herself a haircut!!!) Sorry my Bella I tried my best to fix it,’ referring to her daughter’s choppy fringe.

However a body language expert told FEMAIL Charlene showed ‘no emotional bond’ towards her husband Prince Albert in the images.

Judi James said that rather than being the loved-up reunion photo one would expect of a couple surrounded by split rumours, the royals’ poses suggested ‘no signs of connection between awkward-looking Albert and Charlene’.

Charlene has been in South Africa since at least March, with media reports suggesting she is looking for a house there.

The prince, who already supports two illegitimate children, 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 publicly supported her husband, and the palace have reiterated she is only in South Africa because she’s unable to fly.