Monaco’s Princess Charlene, wife of Prince Albert II of Monaco, was absent from a gala dinner in her husband’s honor Friday, as palace officials confirmed that she will step away from public duties to deal with poor health.
Speculation about her ailment has risen in recent weeks, though she has not taken to social media to respond to the gossip.
“We can confirm that Her Royal Highness Princess Charlene will take some time off from public duties in order to address her health problems,” royal spokesman Albert Lippert told Agence France-Presse, adding that the princess would resume her engagements “as soon as possible.”
The pair have three children together — Princess Gabriella, 6, and twins Gabriel and Manon, 4 — and Charlene became Monaco’s first-ever female sovereign in 2011. The couple was married in a lavish ceremony in South Africa in July 2008 and was introduced as the “Baby of the Year.”
Charlene has pursued a career as a fashion model in recent years, and has made appearances on the arm of Prince Albert. Earlier this month, she traveled to Los Angeles for a children’s fashion line she designed for H&M, after the royals shot a commercial for the retailer.
With a native South African and French-American father, it seems the couple has put on their own royal romance from the start, and maintained a steady relationship as Prince Albert, 65, wrestles with the death of his father, the late Rainier III, in January 2016.
Monaco’s chief executive Jean-Claude Bouillon described Charlene as an “extraordinary, very calming person.”
“I don’t see her being sick,” he told AFP. “We have not reached the point yet where she cannot continue. But it is better to take rest to ensure [her] recovery and regain health.”
Charlene, 36, met Albert on a skiing trip in South Africa with her future father-in-law in 1997, and officially joined the principality’s royal household just over a decade later. She now lives with her family at their royal residence at Arouville Palace.
The gala dinner at Monaco’s Grands Boulevards venue on Friday evening raised funds for the Monte Carlo Children’s Hospital.
Charlene and Albert have reportedly taken steps to head off any potential conflicts of interest that could arise from her continued high-profile public life.
Monaco’s former attorney general, Jean-Louis Brugière, who served under King Albert until 2014, told AFP that the palace makes “an active decision, which often involves the minister of foreign affairs” to avoid any diplomatic incursions.
Brugière noted that the marriage between the young royals is “quite good,” and “our union is unusual.”
Read the full story at AFP.
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