Princess Charlene of Monaco’s royal comeback: since her big family reunion, the former South African Olympic swimmer has stepped out with Prince Albert in Prada – and even visited the Pope

Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco attend the 73rd Monaco Red Cross Ball Gala on July 18, in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Photo: Getty Images
A lot can change in five months, just ask Princess Charlene of Monaco. After reuniting with her family in March, she told French publication Nice-Matin in May that she was determined to take her recovery slowly, describing herself as still being “fragile”. She had spent nearly a year apart from her family after a series of serious health complications left her being rushed to hospital, suffering a seizure and being grounded in South Africa while her family remained in Monaco. She only briefly returned to Monaco in November 2021.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with their children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. Photo: @royallfamilies/Instagram

Healthier, fitter and stronger, it seems Charlene is taking charge of royal life again and says it was her family members and their support that helped her through a painful journey. Here’s what you need to know about Charlene’s big royal comeback.

Comeback extravaganza

Princess Charlene is facing further speculation for her return to the public eye, with rumours that her husband Prince Albert is paying her. Photo: @hshprincesscharlene/Instagram
Princess Charlene returned to her home, family and children in March after spending nearly a year away from them. At first, eyebrows were raised as the former Olympic swimmer-turned-princess the world had come to love appeared very different from how they remembered her. She was gaunt and tired-looking when she appeared for the first time in public. But since March, remnants of a healthy Charlene have re-emerged.
Princess Charlene was at the Red Cross Gala alongside Prince Albert. Photo: @palaisprincierdemonaco/Instagram

The princess’ social diary has also been filled with multiple appearances, signalling a busy period in her calendar. In July, she was at the Red Cross Gala alongside Prince Albert wearing a blue Prada gown. She was later snapped posing with tourists at the palace, surprising those who were visiting the landmark.

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Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco travelled to the Vatican to have a private meeting with Pope Francis. Photo: @palaisprincierdemonaco/Instagram
Later that same month, the royal couple travelled to the Vatican to have a private meeting with Pope Francis. News24 reported that Charlene called the event a special moment she shared with her husband, saying “faith has loved me in difficult moments of my life”.

Family first

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert have twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques. Photo: @palaisprincierdemonaco/Instagram

Despite rumours plaguing her marriage after her ill health and her delayed return to the palace, Charlene herself has spoken about her relationship with Prince Albert, saying she draws “strength” from him and their twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, as per News24. In an interview with Monaco-Matin, Charlene admitted she had gone through a “long, difficult and very painful” recovery, but credited her family for their love and support.

Monaco’s Prince Albert and his wife, Princess Charlene kiss as they attend the Army Parade, as part of the official ceremonies for the Monaco National Day in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in November 2014. Photo: EPA
The comments contrast against the speculation about Prince Albert and his marriage with Charlene, with rumours circulating claiming his wife was not happy. With his repeated denials, the increased appearances and Charlene’s responses appear to be in line with what he has been saying all along.

She’s back! 4 things to know about Princess Charlene’s return to Monaco

Physical regroup

Princess Charlene is on the road to recovery after nearly a year away from her family due to health concerns. Photo: @fondationprincessecharlene/Instagram
Although her husband told Monaco-Matin newspaper she’s already “much better” physically, we expect it will still take a while for her full recovery. She spent months separated from her family while being grounded in South Africa after numerous operations related to an ENT (ear, nose and throat) infection kept her in the country. When she finally returned to Monaco, she spent four months at a clinic in Switzerland where she received additional treatment related to physical and emotional exhaustion, reports News24.
Princess Charlene returned to Monaco, where she was reunited with her husband Prince Albert and twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques. Photo: @hshprincesscharlene/Instagram

Since her return, she’s been working on getting physically and mentally stronger, with Huisgenoot reporting she was enjoying working out and had even returned to swimming.

Being a mum first

Princess Charlene is 44 years old and married Prince Albert in 2011. Photo: @hshprincesscharlene/Instagram

After spending so much time away from her family, including her seven-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, Charlene has made sure that her children are her focus. She told the weekly Huisgenoot that her daily life revolves around them and she has been helping them during their summer holidays with marine awareness and elementary water rescue courses.

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A happy moment between Princess Charlene and Prince Albert together with their children Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques. Photo: @hshprincesscharlene/Instagram

On social media, she has made an effort to portray herself as a doting mum who seems to be invested now more than ever in her children.

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  • Charlene returned to Monaco in March after nearly a year apart from her family, with health concerns that saw her undergo treatment for exhaustion at a specialist clinic in Switzerland
  • It’s been five months and she seems well on her way to recovery, attending events and spending time with her hubby and kids Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques