Princess Charlene has entered a treatment facility outside of Monaco to seek further medical care just days after returning to the country, and her husband, Prince Albert, made it clear that his wife’s health is paramount while dispelling rumors that this has anything to do with the state of their marriage.

In an exclusive interview with People, the prince explained that Charlene is suffering from severe exhaustion that is “both emotional and physical” in nature, and together they made the tough decision that she’s not quite ready to return to the normal duties of royal life. Albert explained that after his wife’s return to Monaco eleven days ago following her six month stay in South Africa due to complications from a sinus surgery, things “went pretty well in the first few hours, and then it became pretty evident that she was unwell.” Her current state, he added, is the result “of several factors which are private matters,” but, “she was clearly exhausted, physically and emotionally. She was overwhelmed and couldn’t face official duties, life in general, or even family life.”

The royal also took the opportunity to dispel any lingering rumors that their long separation is actually about the breakdown of their relationship after her illness caused Charlene to miss their tenth wedding anniversary in July. “I’m probably going to say this several times, but this has nothing to do with our relationship,” Albert stated. “I want to make that very clear. These are not problems within our relationship; not with the relationship between a husband and wife. It’s of a different nature.”

Albert also said, regarding the princess’s time spend in South Africa, “Obviously there were consequences of her different surgeries and the procedures she underwent in the last few months. That certainly was a factor, but at this point I prefer not to comment further. I can say she was suffering incredible fatigue. She hadn’t slept well in a number of days and she wasn’t eating at all well. She has lost a lot of weight, which made her vulnerable to other potential ailments. A cold or the flu or, God help us, COVID.” He added that, on a positive note, Charlene’s extended departure has pushed him to focus more of his attention on the couple’s six-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques. Those twins are definitely feeling their mother’s absence, however, as on Friday they held up some heartbreaking, handmade signs that said they love and miss her during an appearance at the Monaco Palace for the National Day of Monaco.

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