Princess Charlene Makes Second Public Outing Alongside Her Family After Year-Long Illness

The royal attended a rugby match with husband Prince Albert and their twins in Monaco

Monaco family at rugby tourney
Photo: Eric Mathon / Courtesy of Prince's Palace

Princess Charlene made another rare public appearance over the weekend as she joined her family for a rugby match in Monaco.

The principality's Saint Devote Rugby Tournament returned on Saturday after a two-year hiatus amid the pandemic. Sponsored by Charlene and her foundation, the annual day-long youth athletics competition welcomes 100 under-12-year-olds for seven-side rugby and has been described by some within her entourage as "perhaps the event closest to her heart."

The outing is Charlene's second public outing since the 44-year-old former Olympian returned to Monaco after her year-long illness.

Charlene shared photos from the event on her Instagram, captioning the post: "Great day at St Devote Rugby. God bless you all."

Monaco family at rugby tourney
Eric Mathon / Courtesy of Prince's Palace

Coming just six days after her Monaco E-Prix race appearance, the Princess looked in her element alongside her husband Prince Albert, and their twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.

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Charlene looked relaxed in a '50s-style, midnight blue belted cocktail dress with an open button collar (from Swiss designer Akris). She paired the look with sling-backs and was "so wonderfully Grace Kelly" one observer observed.

Smiling serenely while welcoming the crowd, she then walked her 7-year-old twins around the track of the Stade Louis II, mingling informally with the 100 pre-teen athletes from 14 nations.

Monaco family at rugby tourney
Eric Mathon / Courtesy of Prince's Palace

The young players from countries as far away as Ecuador and Mauritius are now able to return home boasting they were personally encouraged — even fist-bumped — by a princess during her welcoming walkabout.

Charlene returned to Monaco in March after a four-month stay in a Swiss clinic, where she received treatment for profound emotional and physical exhaustion. In early November, Charlene voluntarily entered treatment in a professional facility. The choice of a clinic outside of Monaco, her husband Prince Albert told PEOPLE exclusively at that time, was her personal decision supported by family members.

She first became ill while in South Africa last May for what was planned as a brief 10-day visit to her home country. However, complications from a previous ENT procedure grounded her for six months. A series of painful corrective surgeries and a subsequent relapse delayed her return to Monaco until late 2021.

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