Princess Caroline of Monaco’s estranged second-in-line to the throne is missing from family photos and has gone nearly eight months without public appearances.
Charlene, 38, was last seen in public in October, with Monaco’s deputy premier saying the elegant blonde monarch would miss the annual Christmas Fair. At the time, Monaco’s palace said her absence was “caused by a family matter.”
The mother of two was never identified, but it has since been reported she has been suffering from fatigue after giving birth to twins.
British tabloid The Sun first reported last summer that the former Olympic swimmer had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Her team didn’t confirm the diagnosis, but their comments pointed to her slowing down as a result of the disease.
It’s believed Charlene gave birth to her twins, Gabriella Rose and Jacques Honoré, by cesarean section in April.
Despite her struggles, Princess Charlene has insisted on remaining at the palace in Monaco, despite her husband’s new role as Monaco’s ambassador to France.
With Monaco lawmakers debating divorce law in the wake of the prince’s split with ex-wife Caroline, a palace spokesman told journalists earlier this month that Charlene had no intention of quitting her post.
“There is no constitutional need for a queen-in-waiting or even any other royal function. The public clearly wishes to see the children in public,” said Bernardo Bertolucci.
Charlene married Prince Albert II of Monaco in July 2011. The marriage was the first set of American royals to marry into the French-speaking kingdom, which some have dubbed “the gayest principality in the world.”
The pair are famous for their extravagant lifestyle — including their helicopter and private plane — and for their popular TV show “The Prince’s Wedding.”
Charlene has publicly admitted that going through a pregnancy while being described as a serious bank robber by several French magazines prompted her to “turn down” some high-profile roles in Hollywood.
‘She’s always smiling’
The couple were celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary last week, with Albert giving a special message on their balcony to their fans.
“She’s always smiling,” he said of his wife. “She even laughs in her sleep.”
The prince, who is currently a governor of Monaco, was criticized last week for not being there to oversee his daughter’s valedictory tour of the palace.
Officials said Albert was recovering from “exhaustion” at his residence in Monaco.
The royal palace said in a statement on Friday that Charlene was with Albert, “as she has always been with the family at various stages of the process.”