Princess Charlene of Monaco has opened up about "missing" her husband Prince Albert amid rumours of trouble in their marriage.
The former Olympian hasn't been able to return to Monaco since she travelled to her native land, South Africa, for a conservation trip in mid-March. She was due to return to Monaco for the principality's F1 Grand Prix in May, where she was guest of honor, but it was said that she was not allowed to travel as she is undergoing "multiple, complicated" procedures due to an "ear, nose, and throat infection."
The 43-year-old, who recently celebrated a decade of her marriage with Monaco's reigning monarch, spoke to Channel 24 about their prolonged period of separation and called it "trying times." Calling her husband her "rock and strength," she said, "What has been extremely difficult for me was when I was instructed by my medical team that I could not return home for my 10th wedding anniversary. Without his love and support I would not have been able to get through this painful time."
The royal couple had to celebrate their milestone 10th wedding anniversary on July 1 apart, marking the first time they were not together on the occasion. In a statement ahead of the anniversary, Charlene had said, "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. However, Albert and I had no choice but to follow the medical team's instructions even though it is extremely difficult. He has been the most incredible support to me."
Prince Albert had visited his wife last month with their two children, 6-year-old twins Gabriella and Jacques, but the Princess says that she still "misses her husband and children dearly." She had mentioned the trip in her previous statement, "My daily conversations with Albert and my children help immensely to keep my spirits up, but I miss being with them. It was special to have my family visit me in South Africa, and it was truly wonderful seeing them. I can't wait to be reunited with them."
A spokesperson has said that Prince Albert will visit Charlene with their children again very soon to be with her and support her.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene's marriage has been plagued with rumours from the beginning, with allegations that the bride had tried to flee home to South Africa three times before her "arranged marriage." It was reported that Monaco officials eventually convinced her by brokering a deal under which she was allowed to leave the marriage once she provides the monarch with a legitimate heir.
The speculations of troubles in the marriage have been on the rise once again after news broke earlier this year that the prince is facing a paternity suit over a love child born during the early days of their relationship. His wife also commented on the paternity suit in January this year, telling Point de Vue: "When my husband has problems, he tells me about it. I often tell him, 'No matter what, no matter what, I'm a thousand percent behind you. I'll stand by you whatever you do, in good times or in bad.'"