Princess Charlene Shares First Photo with Family in Months — and Jokes About Princess Bella's DIY Bangs!

Princess Charlene shared a series of playful family portraits on Instagram that show her cuddling with Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, who traveled to South Africa with Prince Albert

princess charlene
Photo: Christian Sperka

Princess Charlene has reunited with her family in South Africa after a "painful," months-long separation, and she couldn't be more overjoyed.

The princess, who underwent major corrective surgery 12 days ago, posted a series of playful family portraits on Instagram Wednesday showing her relaxing with Prince Albert and royal twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques at a safari resort. The family vacation in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region began August 20 and will last several days, sources have told PEOPLE.

"I am so thrilled to have my family back with me," the Princess posted with a heart emoji beside the photos of her family's traditional summer holiday.

The long-distance reunion, however, was not without its own unexpected (and adorable) hiccups — perhaps inspired by her mother's adoption of a dramatically shorter hairstyle, Princess Gabriella is modeling a strikingly similar end-of-summer look.

"Gabriella decided to give herself a haircut!!!" explained Charlene, 43. "Sorry my Bella I tried my best to fix it."

Charlene also shared two more casual, outdoor photos with Albert in a T-shirt supporting her efforts at rhinoceros conservation. In the pair of pictures, the royal couple hugs and smiles.

The weekend trip marks the first time the family has reunited since when Albert, 63, and the 6-year-old twins visited the princess in South Africa in early June.

Before that, Charlene arrived in May for what was intended to a brief trip to her home country. She was soon shocked to find herself under doctors orders and unable to return to Monaco due to an earlier ENT surgery becoming infected, prohibiting her from flying about 20,000 feet and requiring several repair operations.

Speaking last month to South African media recently, she expressed hope that she will be able to return to Monaco by mid-fall.

Describing herself in a "waiting game," the princess explained to Radio 702 that she was initially "supposed to be here for 10 to 12 days, unfortunately, I had a problem equalizing my ears, and I found out through the doctors that I had a sinus infection and quite a serious one. So, it's taking time to address this problem."

"For now," she said, "I cannot force healing, so I will be grounded in South Africa until the end of October."

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In addition to remaining in touch with her family daily via social media, the princess has used her time in South Africa to raise awareness for wildlife conservation. Two weeks ago her Foundation launched a new campaign for the protection of rhinos.

The prolonged separation led several European news outlets to spread stories concerning the royal couple's marriage, but the couple and friends have vehemently dismissed the rumors.

A source told PEOPLE in July: "She'll never leave her kids."

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