Charlene of Monaco's final operation 'went well', palace source says

Princess Charlene’s final operation for ENT issues in South Africa ‘went very well’, palace source says, after her return to Monaco was delayed AGAIN

  • Princess Charlene’s final operation to deal with ENT infection ‘went very well’ 
  • Palace source said surgery in South Africa on Friday was ‘last she had to’ have 
  • Charlene has been living in home country of South Africa for much of this year

Princess Charlene of Monaco’s final operation to deal with an ear, nose and throat infection she contracted in May ‘went very well’, according to a palace source.

The operation in South Africa on Friday was performed under general anaesthetic, and ‘is the last she had to undergo following her ENT infection. She will be under observation for 48 hours,’ the source told French news agency AFP. 

Zimbabwean-born Charlene, 43, who wed Prince Albert II in 2011, has been living in her home country of South Africa for much of this year, and the extended stay has stoked speculation that the royal couple may be headed for divorce.

However they have denied rumours of a rift and said Charlene’s absence from the principality is due to her contracting the ‘serious sinus infection’ making her unable to travel and forcing her to miss key events, including her 10-year wedding anniversary and her children’s first day of school.

Earlier this month Albert insisted that his wife is likely to return to Monaco by the end of the month, telling RMC Radio: ‘She will be back very soon, we have to talk to the doctors in a few days.’

It comes amid reports that Albert ‘applied for sovereign immunity’ in his court battle to fight claims he fathered a third love child before marrying Charlene. 

Princess Charlene of Monaco’s (pictured) final operation to deal with an ear, nose and throat infection she contracted in May ‘went very well’, according to a palace source

It comes amid reports that Prince Albert (pictured) ‘applied for sovereign immunity’ in his court battle to fight claims he fathered a third love child before marrying Charlene

The 63-year-old prince, who already supports two illegitimate children, is alleged to have had a relationship with a Brazilian woman which resulted in a daughter in 2005.

The claim, which his lawyers dismissed as a ‘hoax’, is particularly painful as he was dating Charlene at the time, having met the former Olympic swimmer in 2000.

It was reported last year that the case would go to court in Milan in February, however according to Town&Country, the prince’s lawyers pleaded sovereign immunity and the case has been delayed.    

Lawyer Erich Grimaldi, who is acting on behalf of the woman, said he hopes the judge will reject Albert’s plea and he is waiting for the case to come back to court, which he believes will happen ‘imminently’. 

Grimaldi said he is not intimidated by his royal adversary, telling the magazine: ‘As far as I’m concerned, it makes no difference if my counterpart is a prince, a king, a president of state, a politician, or an entrepreneur.’ 

In a statement from his Paris office, Albert’s lawyer Thierry Lacoste said ‘the claims before the Italian courts are totally unfounded’ and sovereign immunity was ‘perfectly classic for a head of state as part of the defense package.’ 

Zimbabwean-born Charlene, 43, who wed Prince Albert II in 2011, has been living in her home country of South Africa for much of this year, and the extended stay has stoked speculation that the royal couple (pictured) may be headed for divorce 

The 34-year-old claimant – who cannot be named for legal reasons – says she had a passionate affair with Albert, leading to the birth of their daughter – whose name is also classified – on July 4, 2005. 

Albert received a handwritten letter from the child, who is now 16, in September last year reading: ‘I don’t understand why I grew up without a father, and now that I have found you, you don’t want to see me.’

Last December, legal papers were also filed, as lawyers for the claimant called on Albert to undergo a DNA test – just as he did before finally being identified as the father of two illegitimate children born in the 1990s and early 2000s.

‘This was before Charlene and Albert were an item, but the latest case covers a time when she was already in love with him,’ a source who works closely with the Monaco Royal household revealed at the time.

‘Charlene has had a terrible year, with one family crisis after another including Albert going down with coronavirus, and now she’s gearing herself up for this hell.’ 

However they have denied rumours of a rift and said Charlene’s absence from the principality is due to her contracting the ‘serious sinus infection’ making her unable to travel and forcing her to miss key events, including her 10-year wedding anniversary and her children’s first day of school.  Pictured, the family together

The princess, whose maiden name was Charlene Wittstock, was an Olympic swimmer for South Africa when she first met Albert at a Monaco aquatic competition in 2000.

They began dating soon afterwards, before Charlene married into the House of Grimaldi at a star-studded wedding in July 2011.

How Charlene and Albert made solo outings in South Africa and Monaco during nine months apart 

January 27 – Charlene is pictured with Albert for the Sainte Devote Ceremony in Monaco.  

March 18 – Charlene is pictured at the  memorial for the late Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, South Africa 

April 2 – Charlene posts an Instagram picture of herself, Albert and their twins Jacques and Gabriella for Easter.

It is unknown where the image was taken.

May 8 – Albert, Jacques and Gabriella attend a Grand Prix event in Monaco without Charlene

May 10 – Albert attends Monaco Gala Awards in Monaco without Charlene

May 18 – Charlene shares her first picture from her conservation trip in South Africa  

June 1 – Prince Albert II, Jacques and Gabriella attend event at Oceanic Museum in Monaco 

June 3 – New photos emerge of Charlene on her conservation trip 

June 5- Charlene puts on a united front as she shares a photo with her family to mark her niece’s fifth birthday with her brother’s family and Albert and the twins in South Africa

June 7 – Albert and the twins attend the World Rugby Sevens without Charlene 

June 17 – Prince Albert attends Red Cross Summer concert in Monte Carlo with his sister Princess Caroline of Hanover 

June 18 – Prince Albert appears alone Monte Carlo TV Festival 

June 24  – Charlene’s foundation releases a statement saying the royal is unable to travel and is undergoing procedures for an ear, nose and throat infection   

July 2 – Charlene and Albert mark their 10th anniversary separately. ‘This year will be the first time that I’m not with my husband on our anniversary in July, which is difficult, and it saddens me,’ Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene said in a statement.

July 3 – Albert appears with glamorous niece Charlotte Casiraghi  at the 15th international Monte-Carlo Jumping event, which is part of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco,

July 27 – Prince Albert  attends Olympics alone in Tokyo

August 13 – Charlene undergoes a four-hour operation. The reason is not announced 

August 25 – Charlene shares photos of Prince Albert, Gabriella and Jacques visiting her in South Africa 

September 1 – Charlene is admitted under an alias to the Netcare Alberlito Hospital after suddenly ‘collapsing’

September 2 – She is discharged, with a statement from the Palais Princier reading: ‘Her Highness is closely monitored by Her medical team who said that Her condition was not worrying’

September 23 – Prince Albert attends the 2021 Monte Carlo Gala for Planetary Health

September 29 – Prince Albert is joined on the red carpet by actress Sharon Stone for a first look at the eagerly anticipated James Bond release 

September 30 – Charlene releases a stylish video promoting her anti-poaching campaign from her South African bolthole 

October 3 – Princess Charlene shares a photograph of herself smiling in front of a bible in her first snap since being discharged from hospital following her health scare

October 5 – Prince Albert attends  Sportel Awards Ceremony in Monte Carlo with nephew Louis Ducruet

October 6 – Albert tells RMC radio Charlene is ‘ready to come home’ 

October 8 – Princess undergoes surgery in South Africa. The reason is not announced.

Their twins – daughter Gabriella and son Jacques – were born three years later and are seen as the family’s official heirs.

By this time, Charlene had come to terms with Albert’s hard fought legal battles with women who eventually won financial settlements over children they had with Albert – even though he originally denied their claims.

In May 2005, just before he was enthroned as Prince of Monaco, Albert confirmed he was the biological father of Alexandre, whose mother was Nicole Coste, a former Air France flight attendant from Togo.

A DNA test in May 2006 also confirmed Albert was the father of Jazmine Grace, the result of an affair with Tamara Rotolo, an American estate agent he met while she was on holiday in the South of France.

Jazmine was born in the 1990s and Alexandre in 2003. The Brazilian woman says she travelled around the world with the Prince in the 2000s.

Lawyer Grimaldi said he had filed papers with specific details of his client’s love affair with Albert, including trips to Brazil, the USA, France and Russia.

While in Moscow, the lovers are even said to have had a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who gave the Brazilian ‘a warm hug’, according to court papers. 

Albert’s lawyer, Thierry Lacoste, has described the allegations as a ‘a hoax’, saying: ‘There are no intimate photos, no tangible facts surrounding a possible relationship.’

Neither Albert’s daughter Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, now 28, nor his son, Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste, 17, can claim the throne of Monaco, according to negotiated financial agreements.

The line of succession instead favours Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, six, and who frequently appear in their parents’ social media posts.

The latest revelations come days after it emerged Princess Charlene’s return to Monaco had been further delayed due to further surgery in South Africa.

The royal, who is originally from Cape Town, has been in her native South Africa for at least six months since contracting a ‘serious sinus infection’ making her unable to travel and forcing her to miss key events, including her 10-year wedding anniversary and her children’s first day of school. 

A statement from her foundation published on Friday read: ‘Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco will be placed under general anaesthetics for her final procedure taking place today. The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation wishes her the best with this final operation and her recovery process.’

The exact nature of the procedure was not revealed, and it remains unclear how long Charlene will remain in hospital. 

The former Olympian underwent a ‘four-hour operation under general anaesthesia’ in August – although it was not made clear whether this was linked to the sinus infection.

Charlene and Albert reunited shortly after for the first time in months after the monarch and their children – six year old twins Jacques and Gabriella – flew to South Africa, but photographs of the pair embracing were branded ‘awkward’ by a body language expert.

In the last few weeks, Prince Albert has hit back at rumours of marital woes insisting Charlene ‘didn’t leave in a huff’ and remains in South Africa only because of ‘medical complications’ following a ‘severe ear, nose and throat infection’.

The royal told People that the speculation over the state of his relationship with the Olympic swimmer has ‘affected’ them both, but that he didn’t address it early because he ‘was concentrating on taking care of the kids’.

In recent weeks, lifestyle magazines across Europe have speculated feverishly that the royal couple could be headed for divorce. French magazine Madame Figaro stated the images ‘failed to convince the Monegasques’ amid reports Charlene is looking for a house in Johannesburg.

The magazine asked: ‘How long can she remain away from her children, her duties?’ How long will the fight against rhinoceros poaching remain the Princess of Monaco’s top priority?

‘How long will Albert II of Monaco go on bearing this affront, which is becoming ridiculous?’

Historian Philippe Delorme said that ‘lots of people got the impression it was an arranged marriage’ between Charlene and Albert, adding: ‘Albert chose a wife who resembled his mother, and Charlene clearly felt very ill at ease in this Grace Kelly role they wanted her to play’.   

The mounting speculation about the couple’s marriage comes after Charlene shared professional photographs of her reunion with Prince Albert online, saying she was ‘thrilled’ to have her family back.

She shared a series of photos cuddled up with her kids in South Africa with the caption: ‘I am so thrilled to have my family back with me (Gabriella decided to give herself a haircut!!!) Sorry my Bella I tried my best to fix it,’ referring to her daughter’s choppy fringe.

However a body language expert told FEMAIL Charlene showed ‘no emotional bond’ towards her husband Prince Albert in the images.

Judi James said that rather than being the loved-up reunion photo one would expect of a couple surrounded by split rumours, the royals’ poses suggested ‘no signs of connection between awkward-looking Albert and Charlene’.

Charlene has been in South Africa since at least March, with media reports suggesting she is looking for a house there.

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