Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella holding message which read
Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella holding message which read "We miss you mommy" and "We love you mommy", stand on the palace balcony during the celebrations marking Monaco's National Day in Monaco, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

MONACO (Reuters) – Princess Charlene of Monaco’s two young children held up drawings from a palace balcony during celebrations to mark the principality’s national holiday on Friday, telling their unwell mother that they missed her… writes¬†Eric Gaillard.

Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella stand on the palace balcony during the celebrations marking Monaco's National Day in Monaco, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella stand on the palace balcony during the celebrations marking Monaco’s National Day in Monaco, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Charlene (nee Wittstock), a former Olympian, has halted her public duties while she convalesces in a secret location after returning to Monaco from her homeland – South Africa – earlier this month following a months-long stay abroad.

“We miss you mommy,” Princess Gabriella, 6, wrote in her drawing with two large red hearts. Her twin brother, Hereditary Prince Jacques, told Charlene: “We love you mommy”.

The two children had been watching a parade from the balcony with their father Prince Albert in the Place du Palais below, before they went inside to fetch their messages.


Charlene is suffering from deep fatigue and will need several weeks to recover away from the public eye, the palace said on Tuesday.

Prince Albert told PEOPLE magazine that Charlene was receiving treatment in a facility outside of Monaco to protect her privacy.

In an interview published on Friday, PEOPLE quoted the Prince as saying Charlene “couldn’t face official duties, life in general or even family life” upon her return to Monaco.

Charlene missed her 10th wedding anniversary while in South Africa, stirring rumours of a troubled marriage – a claim the family denied.

“Because I know there are rumours out there, let me say: this is not COVID,” Albert told PEOPLE. “It’s not cancer-related. It’s not a personal relationship issue. And if you want to discuss another speculation, it isn’t related to plastic surgery or facial work at all.”

Celebrations marking Monaco's National Day
Charlotte Casiraghi, Pierre Casiraghi, his wife Beatrice Borromeo and their children, Andrea Casiraghi, wife Tatiana Santo Domingo and their children attend celebrations marking Monaco’s National Day at the Palace in Monaco, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Pool
Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella stand on the palace balcony during the celebrations marking Monaco's National Day in Monaco, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Hanover, Princess Stephanie, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella attend celebrations marking Monaco’s National Day at the Palace in Monaco, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Pool
Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella stand on the palace balcony during the celebrations marking Monaco's National Day in Monaco, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Hanover and Princess Stephanie wave as they stand on the palace balcony during the celebrations marking Monaco’s National Day in Monaco, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A palace spokesperson confirmed that the interview was genuine and had no further comment to make.

Albert said Gabriella and Jacques would be able to visit their mother once doctors gave the go-ahead, but added that this would not be in the next few days.

“They know that she’s going to talk to them very soon. They miss her, of course, but they understand. Kids at that age they understand,” Albert was quoted as saying.

According to some reports, Princess Charlene is being treated at a clinic in Switzerland.

Charlene swam for South Africa at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

(Reporting by Eric Gaillard; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

Monaco National Holiday Today, 19 November 2021

Monaco was adorned with red and white flags today, marking the National Holiday.

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The Monaco Palace (Palais de Monaco) is seen on the hill in the background, as Monaco residents celebrate below.
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The Christmas Fair for the children of Monaco, with the palace seen on the hill in the background.
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As is custom, photos of the royal couple are seen in Monaco shop windows. Without Princess Charlene in attendance today, the atmosphere of the National Holiday felt dampened, and the photos served only as a reminder of her absence.
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The Sainte Devote church in the heart of Monaco, where Princess Charlene and Prince Albert II were married in 2011, was quiet this afternoon.

Princess Charlene this morning posted a video of the Monaco red and white flag to celebrate National Day: