Princess Charlene Returns to Monaco After Six-Month Separation from Prince Albert and Their Twins

Medical complications following surgery extended Charlene's stay in South Africa by months

Monaco's Princess Charlene is back home.

Sources tell PEOPLE that the royal, 43, arrived in France early Monday morning after an overnight flight from Durban, South Africa.

The mother of two landed at 8:30 a.m. local time, when she stepped off her husband Prince Albert's private plane in Nice. Her return ends months of speculation concerning her sudden and prolonged disappearance from Monaco.

According to Nice Matin, she reunited with husband Prince Albert and their their 6-year-old twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella — who greeted her with a large bouquet of flowers — before they all helicoptered on to Monaco, according to eyewitnesses.

The princess had been "grounded," as she put it, in South Africa since early May due to an ENT infection which necessitated a number of corrective surgeries over her six-month absence. The prolonged separation was subject to numerous tabloid allegations concerning troubles in the couple's marriage.

Princess Charlene of Monaco and Prince Albert II of Monaco
SC Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

Both Charlene and Albert have vehemently denounced the stories.

Last month, Albert, 63, told PEOPLE exclusively that the Princess had completed her surgeries, "was in good form and much better spirits" and would be returning "very shortly" to Monaco. In a conversation with PEOPLE before he left for the COP26 environmental summit in Glasgow, Scotland with the couple's children, the Prince confided he was only waiting for the final clearance from Charlene's medical team before "sending the jet."

Princess Charlene of Monaco
Princess Charlene. Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Also in October, Charlene said in an interview that she couldn't wait to her see children. Speaking before her "final surgery," she explained that her health was continuing to improve.

"I came to South Africa to oversee some foundation projects," she said. "I was unwell at the time. I had an infection which was addressed immediately. Unfortunately, it grounded me for some months here in South Africa."

The palace has not commented on her return.

Related Articles