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The Monaco Grand Prix is undoubtedly one of the most important events on this small principality's calendar. This annual event gives the royal family the chance to showcase what they've got to offer, and it's usually a big drawcard for celebs.

This year, Princess Charlene was unable to attend. The former Olympic swimmer was stuck in South Africa because she fell ill while she was in the country as part of a campaign to raise awareness around the fight against rhino poaching.

The Monaco Tribune has reported that rhinos are an incredibly threatened species in Africa, which is home to 80% of this mammal's entire population.

During her trip, she contracted an ear, nose and throat infection which led her to being unable to fly back to Monaco. The Palace had to release a statement to explain why the Princess wouldn't be attending the Grand Prix, as she has done every year since she married Prince Albert of Monaco in 2011.

"Unfortunately, she will not be able to attend the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. Princess Charlene sends her best wishes to the Automobile Club of Monaco, organiser of the event, as well as to the drivers and teams involved in this great automobile competition."

Days before the statement was released, the Princess posted photos of her rhino campaign efforts on social media.

Princess Charlene was born in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa in 1989. She and Prince Albert are the parents of 6-year-old twins Jacques and Gabriella.

Image credit: Times Live 

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