Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene has been admitted to a treatment centre outside Monaco, her husband Prince Albert has confirmed.
This follows a week of high drama in which the palace announced the royal mom of two would not be attending Monaco Day on 19 November as a result of suffering extreme fatigue.
Albert attended the principality's national day alone with six-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella and the children tugged at the heartstrings by holding up messages that read “We miss you Mummy” from a palace balcony.
Albert says he staged an intervention-style meeting with Charlene's brothers and sister-in-law shortly after her arrival in Monaco from South Africa a week ago, revealing the extent of her illness became clear “within hours” of her arrival.
He admits his wife “was overwhelmed and is suffering from exhaustion, both emotional and physical”.
He added she couldn't “face official duties, life in general or even family life”.
Speaking to People magazine, the prince says while the family reunion in Monaco initially went “pretty well” in the first few hours, it became “pretty evident” in the first few hours that she was unwell.
“I sat her down with her brothers and a sister-in-law. She had already made her decision, and we only wanted her to confirm it in front of us. She wanted this.”
He says the twins will visit Charlene once they had the “medical go-ahead”, saying they knew their mom was “tired and not quite herself”.
Reports suggest Charlene may be receiving treatment in Switzerland. “Switzerland has superb medical facilities and Charlene will be well looked after there,” a source told the Daily Mail.
Charlene's medical woes have been well documented. She has endured several complicated surgical operations in the last few months stemming from an ear, nose and throat infection she picked up in SA in May.
Her condition meant she could not fly back home to Monaco and she was only cleared to fly by her medical team in early November.
Despite her current situation, she did share a video on Monaco Day of a choir singing part of Monaco’s national anthem alongside a flag billowing in the breeze.
On her arrival back in Monaco a week ago, Charlene posted an image of herself hugging her family at the Pink Palace, captioning it, “Happy day today. Thank you all for keeping me strong.”
On her departure for Monaco from Durban's King Shaka International Airport, she thanked the people of SA and her doctors in a moving video.
Charlene, once a robust Olympic swimmer, continues to spark concern because of her increasingly frail appearance.
READ MORE | A closer look at why the rumours surrounding Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco won't go away
The ongoing drama has done little to quell rumblings over the state of her 10-year marriage to Albert as they seemingly continue to live separate lives.
A statement from the Monaco palace earlier this week announced that, while Charlene is convalescing, her “location will remain strictly confidential” so as to protect her “comfort and privacy”.
She will continue her royal duties “as soon as her health permits”, it concluded.
In an interview with French magazine Monaco-Matin this week, Albert (63) hinted that his wife’s health woes are more than physical tiredness.
“She is better but she still needs rest and peace. She is not in the principality but we will be able to visit her very soon.”
He added that their twins had “suffered from the absence of their mother”, but that he’d stepped up with the help of his family.
“For me, it's pretty simple – my priority is my family,” he said when asked how he juggles the busy role of head of state with being a father.
“This is an extremely important time in [the children's] life – the way they grow up helps them see the world.
“And if one of the parents is away for medical reasons, the other parent has to be there. I have heard too many friends and acquaintances telling me that they wish they had been there for their children, at a certain age, taken up by their work or their professional life. I don't want to have these regrets.”
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, hellomagazine.com, Instagram