"The road has been long, difficult and so painful. Today I feel calmer."
Princess Charlene of Monaco opens up about her road to recovery after a year-long battle with her health that she called "long, difficult and so painful."
While attending a Monte-Carlo Fashion Week Event on Tuesday, the royal spoke to the Monaco Matin and admitted that despite her return to her country, she remains "fragile" after receiving treatment for profound emotional and physical exhaustion for four months in a Swiss clinic.
"When I returned to the Principality, I focused all my energy on my children, my husband and my health because they are my priority," Princess Charlene told the local publication.
She continued, "My state of health is still fragile and I don't want to go too fast. The road has been long, difficult and so painful. Today I feel calmer."
The princess initially fell ill while visiting her home country of South Africa back in May 2021. Charlene then experienced complications from a previous ENT procedure which incapacitated her for six months. After a number of painful corrective surgeries and a relapse, she delayed her return to Monaco until November.
After her brief return to the country, the royal left for Switzerland to receive treatment. At the time, Prince Albert of Monaco spoke to People and confirmed the news of her departure in a statement made with the help of Charlene’s brothers.
Albert said it soon "became pretty evident that she was unwell." He added, "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 went on to call out further speculation -- "Because I know there are rumors out there" -- saying that "This is not COVID and it's not cancer-related. It's not a personal relationship issue. And if you want to discuss another speculation, it isn't related to plastic surgery or facial work at all."
Albert said the princess has been "clearly exhausted, physically and emotionally" and has been in no state for official duties, "life in general or even family life."