As rumours continue to swirl around the health of Princess Charlene of Monaco and the state of her marriage to Prince Albert , more questions are being asked about palace life and how this could have an impact on her health. Last year, Charlene was in South Africa for more than eight months after a series of medical complications that apparently made her unable to return home to her family. When she did return to Monaco, she was put into a facility to help her regain her health, the palace claimed. The extended separation from her family, now close on a year, has again raised speculation about the pressures of royal life. Here’s what you need to know about the place Charlene has called home for more than 10 years. The history The oldest parts of the historic palace were built in 1215, though there was an older fortress on the site, too. It has been the residence of the Grimaldi family since 1297, sat commandingly on top of the Rock of Monaco (the Rocher), from where it overlooks the Mediterranean. Princess Fadzilah of Brunei’s 10-day royal wedding celebration, wrapped The design The palace has undergone much change over the centuries. Built originally as a border fortress for the Republic of Genoa, the palace has evolved on those foundations and retains some militaristic elements. Monaco Now reports that the palace still shows its Italian influences with four imposing towers linked by an eight-metre-tall curtain wall. Today, the palace is known as the Pink Palace, because of the soft hues of lighting that play across it in the early morning and early evening. The famous courtyard The famous double helix staircase, the centrepiece of the courtyard, is made from Carrara marble and was inspired by the architecture of the Chateau de Fontainebleau. The palace was famously filled with artworks but much of this was looted during the French Revolution. The courtyard hosts special events, with the royal couple holding their engagement shoot there. Albert and Charlene’s wedding in 2011 was also at the palace, which gave fans a glimpse inside the historic venue. Certain state rooms in the palace are also open to the public. Princess Sofia of Sweden’s 4 most dazzling tiaras and jewellery Renovation discoveries During renovations in 2015, frescoes from the 16th century were found hidden behind a false ceiling. Previously it was believed the decor in the Hercules Gallery was from the 19th century, but the discovery showed it was from an earlier century, with signs of Mannerist art. The royal balcony Most fans of the royals know the palace because of the balcony on which the family makes appearances. Last year, Charlene and Albert’s twins – Gabriella and Jacques , now seven – held up messages to their sickly mum from there on the National Day of Monaco, November 19. Remembering Grace Kelly In a 2017 interview with CBS , Albert spoke about how his mother’s memory is highlighted throughout the palace. From childhood photos, letters, passports, clothing and jewels, the Hollywood legend who turned her back on the movie business to marry Prince Rainier in 1956 is not forgotten. The gown Princess Grace wore to accept her Oscar for her role in the 1954 film The Country Girl, and her engagement ring , are the most famous preserved items in the house. Who is Jenna Norodom, Cambodia’s little influencer princess? Glamour isn’t everything In a 2010 interview with Tatler ahead of her July 2011 wedding to Albert, Charlene admitted to being lonely in Monaco. She said she found it difficult to form genuine friendships and the people she met were just acquaintances. The princess also said that she had been the victim of jealousy, but felt it “came with the territory”. Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .