Princess Charlene of Monaco has been battling ill health since the beginning of 2021. Earlier in the spring, she was affectively grounded in South Africa during a visit for one of her charities, following complications from a sinus infection. Several months later, she underwent surgery, and eventually, in early November, she made her long-awaited return to her adopted homeland – only to then leave again for further treatment, according to a statement at the time from her husband, Prince Albert.
Now, her father, Mike Wittstock, has spoken to the news site News24 about his daughter’s health woes, explaining that during her extended stay in South Africa, he was too afraid to visit her due to the risks of Covid-19. ‘I didn’t want to infect her either because she had so many medical interventions, she is very vulnerable,’ he said.
Speaking to You magazine, he added that he believed his daughter could overcome her recent health issues, saying: ‘Based on the way she used to train, I know she’s tough and will get through this and come out much stronger.’
He added that he spoke to his daughter on the phone regularly throughout her illness, and that he was also in touch with his grandchildren, six-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.
Charlene’s sister-in-law and de facto spokeswoman, Chantall, also spoke to the magazine about reports in Page Six last month that the princess had ‘nearly died’. ‘This is simply not true,’ she said. ‘She had difficulty eating after all the procedures and so yes, she lost a lot of weight, but it was because she could only have soft foods and liquids.’
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She went on to discuss the mental impact of Charlene’s illness, explaining: ‘She had a lot of procedures in a short space of time. She was under a lot of stress at the time. It was extremely traumatic for her to go through all the pain, procedures, and scrutiny from the media while being away from her family and children. She missed them terribly and it wasn’t easy for her.’