Princess Charlene of Monaco apparently "almost died" of bizarre post-surgery complications, which preceded her recent admission to a treatment facility following an intervention led by her husband, Prince Albert.
Sources close to the royal family feel Albert, 63, is underplaying the seriousness of his 43-year-old wife's condition and making statements so general that they've led to misleading insinuations.
"It is unfair that she is being portrayed as having some kind of mental or emotional issue," one insider told Page Six. "We don't know why the palace is downplaying that she almost died in South Africa."
Earlier this month, Albert revealed that Charlene had gone to a rehab center "outside of Monaco" less than two weeks after she returned home following a six-month stay in South Africa, where she had been "grounded" – as she previously put it – since early May due to an ear, nose and throat infection that required a number of corrective surgeries.
The Page Six source elaborated, saying Charlene had "severe sinus and swallowing issues stemming back from an earlier surgery."
"She has not been able to eat solid food in over six months because of all the surgeries she has since gone through," they said. "She has only been able to take in liquids through a straw, so she lost nearly half her body weight."
According to the insider, the sovereign princess is "definitely not losing her mind, or suffering from severe mental health issues."
"She is exhausted by six months of surgeries and an inability to eat properly as a result of it," they explained. "And she desperately missed her children and her husband while she was stuck in South Africa, because she couldn't travel home."
Albert had previously told People that his wife's current state was the result "of several factors which are private matters." He said that "she was clearly exhausted, physically and emotionally. She was overwhelmed and couldn't face official duties, life in general or even family life."
"Obviously there were consequences of her different surgeries and the procedures she underwent in the last few months," he added. "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 dismissed the "rumors" that Charlene's time away was in any way related to the coronavirus, cancer, marital woes or even plastic surgery. No "facial work at all," he insisted.
Albert and Charlene share 6-year-old twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques.
At the time, the prince did not specify how long his wife would be away; however, he "begged" the public and the media to respect their "privacy" and "leave my family alone for the coming weeks."