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Prince Albert of Monaco & Charlene Wittstock

The marriage of H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock – July 2, 2011

The engagement

albert_charlene_engagementPrince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock announced their engagement at the Palais de Monaco on June 24, 2010. The Prince dated the South African Olympic swimmer for four years before their engagement. Albert, who was 53 when he married in summer 2011, is 20 years older than Charlene. The couple met when Charlene visited Monaco for an international swimming meeting.

Their religious wedding was set for July 2, 2011. The date was originally planned for July 9, but was changed so that Charlene could attend the International Olympic Committee’s meeting in South Africa. On her marriage, Charlene Wittstock became Princess Charlene, the first crown princess of Monaco since Princess Grace died in 1982.

The engagement ring

Charlene Wittstock’s engagement ring was designed by French designer Maison Repossi.

Worth over $100,000, it is made of beautiful gray gold with a 3 carat heart shape diamond that Maison Repossi refers to as the "Tethys" design. The center stone is also adorned with round diamond brilliants.

engagement_ring

prince_albert_monacoBiography of the couple

Prince Albert of Monaco

H.S.H. Prince Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, Marquis of Baux, was born on March 14 1958.

His Highness is the son of Prince Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly who became Princess Grace, on her marriage.

H.S.H. Prince Albert II succeeded his father, Prince Rainier III who died in April 2005. On July 12, 2005, at the end of the period of official mourning, the Prince's accession to the throne was celebrated.

Since 1984, H.S.H. Prince Albert had assisted his father in conducting the affairs of State.

Charlene Wittstock

Charlene Lynette Wittstock was born on January 25, 1978 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Africa. When she was aged 12, her family emigrated to South Africa.

She developed a passion for swimming at a very early age.

In 1996, at the age of 18, she won the South African Championship.

charlene_wittstock

In 2000, her team came in fifth at the Sydney Olympic Games. That same year, she won the gold medal for the 200m backstroke event at the "Marenostrum" international swimming meeting in Monaco. This is when she met Prince Albert for the first time; he was presiding over the international competition.

Talking of his future bride during an interview, Prince Albert states that she is interested in humanitarian causes, particularly those concerning children, and that she has great sensibility and empathy. He says that she loves Monaco and already knows it well, and hopes that the Monegasque people welcome her favourably.

SOURCE: http://www.palais.mc/

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