Written by Staff Writer by Elizabeth Dee, CNN
A year after Princess Charlene returned to duty at Monaco in the guise of their “commoner” wife, the future princess is suffering with acute obstructive pulmonary disease (IPD), something experts say they believe is related to her strenuous fitness regime.
Once a poster child for fitness — running marathons in Sydney and Boston in 2012 — the 42-year-old has been hospitalized several times in the past few years and has missed several public appearances.
Not surprisingly, she has attracted a great deal of media attention — mostly negative — in recent months, although royal watchers are expecting her to make her next public appearance this week, in particular in relation to the release of this year’s budget.
Since stepping down as president of the principality in 2015, and being thrust into the public eye, the princess has been quite outspoken about the difficult decisions she has had to make in an effort to balance her personal and royal life.
She has revealed previously, “I was under a lot of stress from young so I decided to rest and take some months off and realize that I wasn’t able to cope with it all.
“Every now and then I feel it, I breathe in, and my body goes numb.”
When it was speculated by media outlets last year that Charlene had decided to forgo her role as commoner wife, she responded by saying, “It is without a doubt my privilege to be here as a royal but I do not have the strength to travel to civil and military ceremonies.”
Following last September’s People’s Challenge, a push for people to take steps toward helping protect the environment (she and Prince Albert launched an initiative in 2015 to help conserve monarchical artworks and monuments in the former royal residence of St. James Palace), the following month, the princess appeared graciously on the slopes at the Mont Blanc Arenal in France.
Her last time in public during which she did not announce her absence was at the second Formula 1 race of the season in Bahrain last April. At the race she donned a glittering rainbow gown and headpiece and did not comment on her whereabouts, other than to say the dress was her “cup of tea.”
At the time, she was expected to debut her tennis skills and be head coach of her husband’s El Nino Tennis Academy.
On May 15 of this year, she had to miss another sporting event, returning home for a medical checkup.
The following day the royal announced that she and Albert would be taking the month of June off to focus on Charlene’s health.
Monaco is hosting the world famous Mont Ventoux cycling race on June 16. At the Giro d’Italia on May 26, Charlene will compete in the Princess Grace Memorial Ride.