Princess Charlene remains in South Africa after contracting infection

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Princess Charlene
Princess Charlene
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
  • Princess Charlene of Monaco was supposed to be the guest of honour at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix in Monte Carlo on Sunday.
  • The royal was unable to attend after contracting an ear, nose and throat (ENT) infection in South Africa.
  • The princess was in South Africa raising awareness around rhino poaching when she contracted the infection.

Princess Charlene of Monaco has been unable to leave South Africa after contracting an ear, nose and throat (ENT) infection, the Royal Palace of Monaco has confirmed.

The former Olympic swimmer, who is married to Prince Albert of Monaco, was in the country raising awareness around rhino poaching when she contracted an ear, nose and throat infection.

"During a trip to the African continent as part of a wildlife conservation mission, Princess Charlene contracted an ENT infection that does not allow her to travel," the palace said.

The royal, who hails from Zimbabwe but grew up in South Africa after her family relocated in 1989, was supposed to attend the Monaco F1 Grand Prix in Monte Carlo on Sunday but sent her "best wishes" to all involved instead.

Before contracting the infection, the princess was on the ground while rangers darted rhinos from a helicopter and dehorned so as to prevent poachers from killing rhinos for their horns.

"This crisis has stolen almost 10 000 African rhinos from our beautiful earth," Princess Charlene said in a press statement. "If we are to save these incredible animals from extinction, we have to do something. We cannot afford to lose anymore."

She added: "We have to protect our rhinos and their future by protecting and dehorning them, safely and as gently as possible. I'm passionate about playing a role in saving the rhino and championing their cause."

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