Prince Albert of Monaco is setting the record straight on why his wife Princess Charlene traveled to Africa, where she’s been since mid-May. “She didn’t leave Monaco in a huff!” he told PEOPLE magazine in an interview published on Sept. 8. “She didn’t leave because she was mad at me or at anybody else. She was going down to South Africa to reassess her Foundation’s work down there and to take a little time off with her brother and some friends.”
Charlene’s visit was “only supposed to be a weeklong, 10-day maximum stay,” but because of the infection she contracted in May and the subsequent “medical complications” that arose, she is still currently in Africa.
Albert stressed to PEOPLE that his wife “didn’t go into exile.” “It was absolutely just a medical problem which had to be treated,” he said.
The Prince also admitted that he probably should have addressed the marriage rift rumors surrounding him and Princess Charlene sooner, however he was “concentrating on taking care of” their six-year-old twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. “I thought it would just probably go [away],” he said. “You know if you try to answer everything that comes out then you‘re constantly [responding], you’re wasting your time.”
The rumors have affected both the Prince and Princess. Albert said, “Of course it affects her, Of course it affects me. Misreading events is always detrimental,” adding, “We’re an easy target, easily hit, because we’re in the public eye a lot.”
Charlene’s severe ear, nose, and throat infection forced the royal couple to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary apart this past July. The mom of two previously told South Africa’s Channel24 that it was “extremely difficult” for her when her medical team instructed that she not return home for her anniversary. Princess Charlene said, “Albert is my rock and strength and without his love and support I would not have been able to get through this painful time.”