Princess Charlene of Monaco returned to Monaco on Sunday evening after an extended and challenging stay in South Africa that saw her undergo multiple surgeries to fix an ear, nose and throat infection.
Charlene arrived in South Africa earlier this year to work and raise public awareness around various humanitarian causes, and attend the memorial service of the late Zulu King, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
Unfortunately, during her stay, the former Olympic swimmer and founder of The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa, fell ill and was hospitalised many times after contracting an ENT infection.
Due to the medical procedures, she was prohibited from travelling by air which resulted in her extended stay in the country.
Now, more than eight months later, the princess boarded her family’s Falcon 7X private jet which flew from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.
The royal was seen off by the new Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.
Dressed in a black dress with black, white and gold Zulu beads, Charlene thanked the doctors who looked after her.
“It has been obviously a very challenging time to be here, but at the same time, it has been wonderful being back in South Africa. I’d like to thank the doctors in South Africa who did a tremendous job in helping me. I am looking forward to getting back to my children, thank you South Africa, God bless you,” she said.
Charlene approached the jet with Misuzulu and bodyguards at her side. Before boarding the jet, the Zulu monarch presented the princess with a gift.
Last month a very excited Prince Albert made the announcement that his wife would be returning to Monaco before November 19.
His announcement came after he told the French publication Point De Vue that Charlene was "much better".
“I can tell you that she will be in Monaco long before the national holiday,” he added.
"It is not possible for me to give you the exact date, but I promise you will know when the time comes."
Monaco's National Day will fall on November 19 this year. The date marks Prince Albert’s ascension to the throne 16 years ago.
While recovering from her final surgery in KwaZulu-Natal, Princess Charlene who has very close ties with the Zulu Royal Family met King Misuzulu.
In March, the Princessl had social media buzzing thanks to her prominent seating with members of the Zulu royal family and other VIPs at King Zwelithini’s memorial service.
Those watching the memorial praised the princess for the way she had carried herself throughout the service, noting that she was accustomed to Zulu traditions because she had stood up and bowed down for elders including Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Many also noted how emotional she was throughout the service.