Princess Charlene of Monaco made her first public royal appearance since early 2021 on Saturday, following months of speculation about her health.
The princess was pictured with husband Prince Albert and their children at the FIA Formula E World Championship race, after a six-month absence from official engagements.
Princess Charlene, seen in a grey trouser suit sporting a very short blond hairdo, has spent long periods away from her family while she battles ill health, including what the palace has called a “state of profound general fatigue”.
Last May, the 44-year-old princess became ill during what was supposed to be a 10-day visit to her home country of South Africa.
Instead, complications from a previous ear, nose and throat procedure grounded Charlene, a former Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer, for six months.
After several corrective surgeries and a subsequent relapse, she returned to Monaco in November. But shortly after she landed, the princess experienced signs of emotional and physical exhaustion.
One of Albert’s most recent public outings was to attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey last month, which he attended without his wife.
The couple, along with their seven-year-old twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, were pictured celebrating Easter together on a greetings card a few weeks ago.
The last time she was heard from, in November 2021, she shared a video on Twitter as she left South Africa for Monaco.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
In an interview which took place in early October, which was shared on Charlene’s Instagram page, she said she “misses her children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, terribly”.
She added: “Any mother out there who has been separated from her children for months would feel the same way I feel.
“I came to South Africa to oversee some foundation projects. I was unwell at the time, unknowingly, with an infection. It was addressed immediately. Unfortunately, it grounded me for some months in South Africa.”