Princess Charlene of Monaco’s father is speaking out as the ailing royal recovers from her health woes.
Michael Wittstock recently told South Africa’s You magazine that the 43-year-old will rely on her sense of perseverance as a former Olympic swimmer to heal in the coming months.
“Based on the way she used to train, I know she’s tough and will get through this and come out much stronger,” said the patriarch.
It was May when Charlene traveled to her family’s home country in South Africa. Soon after, the mother of twins developed ear, nose and throat complications from a previous medical procedure. She was grounded in South Africa for the last six months away from her family as she underwent several corrective surgeries.
Wittstock said that he and Charlene’s mother, Lynette, were unable to visit the “vulnerable” princess around that time out of caution due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, he said they kept in touch.
“We spoke regularly on the phone, and I speak to the twins,” Wittstock told the outlet. “We have a great relationship.”
On Nov. 8, a spokesperson for the royal confirmed to Fox News that Charlene had arrived in France after an overnight flight from South Africa. She was greeted by her husband Prince Albert, as well as their twins and Albert’s younger sister, Princess Stephanie.
But just days after her arrival, Albert, 63, and several members of Charlene’s family agreed with her decision to seek medical care. At the time, the prince told People magazine that Charlene was experiencing “exhaustion, both emotional and physical” and was advised several weeks of clinical care.
According to the outlet, after Charlene made the difficult decision to separate from her family once more, her twins made an appearance on Monaco’s National Day, Nov. 19, to wave homemade signs that read: “We Miss You Mommy” and “We Love You Mommy” with hearts.
The outdoor ceremony was intended to be a welcome home celebration for Charlene, the outlet noted. It featured several elements commemorating the couple’s 10th anniversary.
In late June, Charlene announced she was being forced to miss her anniversary with Albert due to additional surgery required. It didn’t take long for the separation to spark rumors of an impending split.
Those rumors intensified when Albert attended the Tokyo Olympics solo. The prince is a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Regarding the rumors, Albert told People magazine in September he was “appalled” by the gossip, noting that Charlene was “ready to stow away on a ship to come back to Europe” if necessary.
The celebrated athlete married the prince on July 1, 2011. The wedding was a spectacle, costing an estimated $70 million for the four-day event. They welcomed twins in 2014.
Their planned public anniversary celebration was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.