Princess Charlene of Monaco’s 2022 royal return: after months of health struggles and rumours about her marriage to Prince Albert, the former Olympic swimmer got back in the pool and even met the pope

After a tough two years, Princess Charlene of Monaco was spotted looking serene at the traditional Christmas tree ceremony at the Monaco Palace, on December 14. Photo: AP

At the beginning of 2022, a year after she fell ill in South Africa, Princess Charlene of Monaco was still receiving specialised treatment at a rehab facility in Switzerland. Photos of her at the time show her looking drawn and subdued – a shadow of the healthy person she once was.

Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco with their children Prince Jacques, left, and Princess Gabriella at the traditional Christmas tree ceremony at the Monaco Palace, on December 14. Photo: AP

But Charlene, a former Olympic swimmer, has managed to turn her year into one of success. The princess, armed by her faith and family, has reportedly ended 2022 with a renewed focus on her mental and physical health.

Here’s how the Monaco princess got her life back again …

Charlene’s health scares

Princess Charlene of Monaco has endured a difficult year after reportedly suffering a seizure during a trip to South Africa. Photo: @princess_charlene_fanpage/Instagram

In May 2021, Charlene arrived in South Africa for a wildlife conservation trip. But after a series of medical complications, she was forced to spend the next seven months in the country. South Africa’s You magazine reported that the princess had a seizure after suffering complications from a previous sinus lift and bone graft surgery for dental implants.

Rumours swirled throughout 2021 about the state of Princess Charlene’s health and marriage, but now things seem to be looking up. Photo: @hshprincesscharlene/Instagram

Images released during her stay in the country showed a frail and sickly looking princess. The pictures sparked fears around her health and, at the same time, rumours about the state of her marriage to Prince Albert grew stronger. That November, she returned to Monaco, but her husband said she would be at a treatment facility in Switzerland to help continue her recovery.

The price of royalty: new details about Princess Charlene’s health scare revealed

The turnaround

Princess Charlene before her health scare. Photo: @onlyvaleriebee/Instagram

In March this year, Charlene told French publication Nice-Matin she was on the road to recovery but still felt fragile: “The road has been long, difficult and so painful. I don’t want to go too fast, but today I feel calmer,” she said.

Princess Charlene with Prince Albert and their children at the Formula E Championship in Monaco. Photo: @palaisprincierdemonaco/Instagram

During that same month, the princess made her first public appearance since the ordeal with her husband Prince Albert and their children Jacques and Gabriella at the sixth round of the 2022 Formula E championship being Monaco, Hello! magazine reported. The move signalled a new chapter for a royal family that seemed to be united for the first time in over a year.

Princess Charlene of Monaco’s royal return: is she finally on the road to recovery?

Charlene’s public comeback

Princess Charlene travelled to Italy to meet Pope Francis this year. Photo: @palaisprincierdemonaco/Instagram

As the year progressed, Charlene showed the world she was getting stronger. Just a few months after making her first public appearance with her family, she attended a Red Cross Gala. She also walked the palace grounds speaking to guests about the history of the palace and travelled to the Vatican with her husband for a private meeting with Pope Francis. Speaking about the meeting with the pope, Charlene told You magazine that “faith has loved me in difficult moments of my life”.

After returning to public life and her royal duties, Princess Charlene has met with numerous members of the public and visited people’s homes. Photo: @palaisprincierdemonaco/Instagram

In a recent interview with People magazine, Prince Albert explained how much more Charlene had been engaging in public life since her health had improved, and was focusing on projects she was passionate about. He said she had been visiting establishments like The Red Cross regularly and also “visits people in their homes”.


The princess also seemed to enjoy some downtime attending glamorous events too, including Paris Fashion Week where she posted an image of herself en route to the Louis Vuitton show.

Princess Charlene of Monaco is the new president of the Animal Protection Society and visited a shelter earlier this year. Photo: @palaisprincierdemonaco/Instagram

Charlene also appealed to people to support their local animal shelters after visiting the Monaco SPA. According to the Monaco Tribune, she is the new president of the Société Protectrice des Animaux (Animal Protection Society) and was taking her role seriously, visiting the shelter and bringing along food, heated kennels, medication and blankets for the animals.

Fitter, healthier, happier? Princess Charlene of Monaco’s royal comeback

Enjoying swimming just like before

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco in the early days of their marriage. Photo: @trilussaparrucchiera/Instagram

While she was ill in South Africa, Prince Albert denied rumours that their relationship was in trouble. He told People magazine at the time that the speculation was “totally false”. In a final interview for the year, the prince gushed about his wife’s strength of character and how far she’s come in 2022, telling the publication that “2021 was a very tough year for her. And the beginning of this year. She’s really turned it around in an incredible way”.

Princess Charlene of Monaco, pictured with her husband Prince Albert, has said that she draws her strength from her family. Photo: @palaisprincierdemonaco/Instagram

He said that the year was “ending on a very, very high note. We’re truly thrilled about how things are,” he added.

In an interview with South Africa’s Huisgenoot magazine, Charlene said she “drew [her] strength” from her husband and family and that physically she was feeling strong too, having returned to her beloved swimming and finally being able to get back in the gym.

Then and now: Princess Charlene of Monaco, before royalty

Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
  • This time last year, things weren’t looking good for Princess Charlene of Monaco as she struggled to recover from a health scare in South Africa – and didn’t seem much better after returning home
  • But 2022 has been her year of recovery, with Prince Albert praising her for ‘turning it around in an incredible way’ and the princess even living it up at a Louis Vuitton show at Paris Fashion Week