Princess Charlene and Prince Albert Beset by Split Rumors, but 'She'll Never Leave Her Kids,' Says Source

Prince Albert, Princess Charlene
PLS Pool / Getty Prince Albert, Prince Jacques, Princess Gabriella and Princess Charlene
While Princess Charlene stays in South Africa to recover from surgery, the months without her husband Prince Albert and her 6-year-old twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques have sparked threatening split rumors in the European press, but a source tells PEOPLE that it persists Hope that the family will be reunited soon.
"She will never leave her children," says a source close to Charlene, suggesting that the princess will return to Monaco once her health problems are resolved. The palace has confirmed to PEOPLE that the prince and twins - who visited South Africa in early June - plan to return in the near future, but they are currently monitoring the country's health, safety and political concerns before a fixed date is set.
The princess, 43, traveled to her home country in early May to support her South Africa Foundation, but announced in late June that she would be forced to miss her 10th wedding anniversary to Albert, 63, due to an additional operation required, after complications from a previous procedure.
In mid-July, she went into more detail on her ear, nose and throat problems on the South African broadcaster Channel24 and explained: "I was instructed by the doctors that I cannot fly yet because I cannot compensate my ears." and therefore cannot fly over 20,000 feet because of the pressure. "
The former Olympic swimmer added, "I miss my husband, my babies - Jacqui and Bella - and my dogs terribly, [but] I can't force bones and membranes to recover - it takes time."
Princess Charlene of Monaco
DAVID STOCKMAN / BELGA MAG / AFP via Getty Images Prince Albert and Princess Charlene
Meanwhile, European tabloids, including the German magazine Bunte and France's Paris Match, have dealt with the talk that the separation of Charlene and Albert goes much deeper than the Palast recognizes.
"The princess has 'really no intention of returning for the time being,'" Paris Match sources said, while Bunte wrote that Charlene was looking for an apartment near Johannesburg.
Paris Match also speculated about the changing appearance of the princess, attributing her move back to Monaco to greater tension within the court: "'She was benevolent, but she quickly felt judged and misunderstood," says one of her friends in the principality. 'So she closed up to protect herself.' "
Princess Charlene of Monaco, Prince Jacques of Monaco, Princess Gabriella of Monaco and Prince Albert II of Monaco attend the Sainte Devote ceremony
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis / Corbis via Getty Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella
Albert's appearance at the Tokyo Olympics also fueled rumors last week. Although the prince is a long-time member of the International Olympic Committee, some tabloids have asked why he went to Tokyo alone for 10 days when the Olympics have played a prominent role in the couple's history - both of which have attended past Olympics and the couple has had a regular presence at numerous ceremonies, including when they first made romance public at the 2004 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. (In 2016, citing concerns about the angry Zika virus, Albert told PEOPLE that he would be attending the Rio Games on his own while Charlene stayed home with her 19-month-old twins.)
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For the time being, Charlene hasn't painted a rosy picture of the past few months, describing it as "trying" and "painful," but she continues to offer occasional glimpses of this turbulent time - and a glimmer of hope for the family's future.
"My daily conversations with Albert and my children help me a lot in keeping my mood, but I really miss her presence," she told PEOPLE in June. "I can't wait for us to be together."
In this article:
Charlene, Princess of Monaco
Zimbabwe South African Former Olympic Swimmer; Wife of Albert II, Prince of Monaco
Albert II, Prince of Monaco
Prince of Monaco
Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco
Son of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene, Princess of Monaco
Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carlades
Daughter of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene, Princess of Monaco

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