Princess Charlene of Monaco has said that she is still “fragile” and has walked a “long, difficult, and very painful path” as she has endured a variety of health struggles over the past year.
In a full-length interview with French language newspaper Monaco-Matin published Wednesday, Charlene spoke in detail about her recent difficulties.
Almost exactly a year ago, Charlene departed on what was intended to be a 10-day visit to her native South Africa, but was forced to extend her stay after being diagnosed with an ear, nose, and throat infection, believed to stem from her days as an Olympic swimmer.
In the end she did not return to Monaco for almost eight months, during which time she was hospitalized after collapsing. Occasional awkward photos of her and her husband posted to social media did little to assuage fears about her health and the strength of her marriage.
On her return to Monaco she almost immediately left the Mediterranean principality again, checking into a Swiss health clinic, finally returning to public life late last month.
In the interview, per a translation in the Daily Mail, Charlene said: “My state of health is still fragile and I don’t want to go too fast… The path has been long, difficult, and very painful.”
Charlene said she had “focused all my energy on my children, my husband, and my health because they are my priority,” and denied rumors of a divorce or separation, saying, “I am very happy to be back home in Monaco and with my family.”
She appeared to call out rumors she was intending to settle in Switzerland, telling the reporter: “You want to talk about rumors of divorce, or my new home in Switzerland? I still find it regrettable that certain media peddle such rumors about my life, my relationship.”
Charlene spoke of the difficulties of life in the limelight, saying: “Like everyone else, we are human beings, and like all human beings we have emotions, weaknesses, only our family is exposed to the media and the slightest weakness is relayed.”
There has been frequent speculation in the French press that the couple might divorce. Charlene shot down these allegations and said she and her husband had “discussed these malicious articles together and he did everything to protect me and our children.”
Albert has admitted to fathering two children before he married Charlene, but has denied another more recent paternity claim as a “hoax.”
The couple’s relationship has been the subject of almost continual speculation after Charlene reportedly tried to run away from Monaco three times before her marriage, and appeared tearful on the day of the wedding itself.