Obviously the kids are confused and this is not Al's fault (IMO). They see their mom and she looks "normal" to them, yet she can't reach out. They are way too young to understand the concept of mental illnesses and their impact on people. They surely hoped that she would come back and things would be back to normal (whatever normal looks like for them). Now she is back and yet the distance is still there. It is a very difficult situation.
By telling the truth Al prevented nasty articles and reports about his wife that would have worsened the pressure on her. He was well aware that she would not show up at the National Day (because of her illness) and that this would be the start of hunting season.
We don't have background information about the signs, so it seems strange and cruel to us. But maybe it was Al's desperate attempt to let the public now: there are small kids involved and they are suffering immensly because they miss their mum. Whatever you do and report, respect this.
I agree wholeheartedly, and you articulated this beautifully. My mind goes back to all of the Russian history books I’ve read, and how the secrecy around the hemophilia of the Heir, Alexey, was a contributing factor to the downfall of the Russian Empire. While there were many other co-factors, they all coalesced at the time that the Empress was hysterically searching for a cure that would never come. It led her and her family to welcome charlatans and building a wall of secrecy.
Monaco is not in that dire of a political situation, but Albert has done well to bring this forward. I don’t think it will do anything toward de-stigmatizing mental illness within Monaco, because my opinion is that the Monaco population doesn’t necessarily consider Charlene to be much of a leader or role model. But for their children, it was the right thing to do.
As an aside: I think many of Stephanie’s life choices were driven by untreated mental illness. The crash that killed her mother was IMO a triggering event but not the root cause.