Charlene Wittstock, the South African former Olympic swimmer, married her long-time love Prince Albert II in Monaco on Friday (1st July 2011). Wittstock became the first Princess of the principality since the movie star Grace Kelly, who walked down the aisle with Albert's father Prince Rainer Iii in 1956, reports US Weekly Magazine.
Although the couple tied the knot today, they have more lavish plans for a religious ceremony and celebration on Saturday. The high-profile couple first met in 2000 when Wittstock travelled to Monaco for a swimming competition. They went public with their relationship at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in February 2006. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Palace slammed tabloid rumours that Charlene had attempted to call off the ceremony and flee to South Africa, saying, "The sole intention of these rumors is to seriously damage the image of the Sovereign, as a result of damaging that of Miss Wittstock, and bear down on this happy event". Guests reported to have attended today's ceremony include designers Karl Largerfeld and Giorgio Armani, supermodels Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova and U.S. soprano Renee Fleming.
Charlene Wittstock and her husband were amongst the star-studded invitees at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in April.