Wedding of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene Wittstock

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The wedding between Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene Wittstock took place on 1 and 2 July 2011 at the Prince's Palace of Monaco. It has been described as Monaco's "biggest party in 55 years", in other words, the biggest since the wedding of Albert's parents, Rainier III and Grace Kelly.[1] Prince Albert and Wittstock first met in 2000 at a swimming competition in Monaco in which she was participating. They announced their engagement on 23 June 2010.

Couple[edit]

Dual Cypher of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco

Prince Albert II is the current Sovereign Prince of Monaco, having succeeded his father Rainier III in April 2005.[2] Charlene Wittstock was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) but moved to South Africa with her family when she was 12.[2] She has represented South Africa in swimming, and participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.[2] She met Prince Albert at the 2000 Marenostrum International Swimming Meet in Monaco, which he presided over. She retired from swimming in 2007.[2][3] Prince Albert was also an athlete, competing in bobsleigh in five Olympics.[2]

The couple were first seen together in 2006. Speculation was rife that they were getting married in 2009,[4] and they finally announced their engagement on 23 June 2010.[5]

During the week before the wedding, the palace was forced to deny reports that Wittstock had been getting cold feet.[2][6] French weekly L'Express reported that Wittstock tried to leave Monaco on Tuesday, 28 June, after rumours surfaced that Albert had fathered a third illegitimate child.[7] The report claimed Monaco police intercepted her at Nice Côte d'Azur Airport and confiscated her passport,[8] and that it took "intense convincing" by Albert and palace officials for her to stay.[9] The palace called the stories "ugly rumours" born out of jealousy.[7]

Background[edit]

A two-day public holiday for the celebrations was declared.[10]

Commentators said that the wedding would be important for Monaco to survive as a tax haven.[6] Monegasque authorities believed that the event would increase tourism.[11]

Best man and maid of honour[edit]

Stamp of Monaco[edit]

On the occasion of Prince Albert II of Monaco’ marriage to Miss Charlene Wittstock, on July 1, 2011 the Stamp Issuing Office of Monaco issue the postage stamp (Block),[15] created by Georgy Shishkin (laureate of competition).

Wedding details[edit]

Monaco License Plate used for Mariage Princier (rear).png

The wedding dress of Wittstock was designed by Giorgio Armani.[1][2] Lexus was the official car supplier for the wedding.[16] The bride and groom traveled in a Lexus hybrid car to Sainte-Dévote Chapel, where Princess Charlene laid her bridal bouquet to Saint Devota, the patron saint of Monaco, in accordance with Monegasque tradition.[10]

Ceremonies[edit]

Civil[edit]

Festivities began on the night of 30 June with a concert at the Stade Louis II by American rock band the Eagles.[11] The concert was attended by 15,000 Monegasques and the couple.[6]

The civil ceremony took place on Friday 1 July 2011 in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace.[7][17][18] The ceremony was conducted by Philippe Narmino, Director of Judicial Services and president of the Council of State.[19] Wittstock wore a silken blue jacket with ankle-length pants by Chanel.[7] After the confirmation by Narmino, the newlywed couple signed the marriage register with a specially created pen made by Montblanc in gold and precious stones and adorned with their monogram .[7] In connection with the civil ceremony, Wittstock received the formal style Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco.[20] The 20-minute ceremony was also attended by Prince Albert's sisters Caroline, Princess of Hanover, and Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.[21][22]

After the ceremony, the couple appeared on the balcony of the Salon des Glaces to salute the crowds.[7][23] They waved and kissed each other shyly, prompting another round of cheers from the crowd.[22] The couple were also joined by Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie with their children as well as Charlene's parents and brothers.[24][25]

They joined other Monegasques in the Palace Square for a specially prepared buffet with Mediterranean and South African dishes by Chefs from South Africa and Monaco, headlined by multiple Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse.[18][23][26]

A free concert was performed by French composer Jean-Michel Jarre and his group at 22:00 hours on the Port Hercules, with an attendance of 100,000. It included a display of lights, lasers and fireworks.[23][27] The new couple appeared on stage with the Princess adorned in a bespoke necklace made of 18K rose gold set with diamonds and pearls designed by the jewellery house Tabbah.[28]

Religious[edit]

The religious ceremony took place the following day in the courtyard of the palace.[10] Unlike other recent royal weddings and the wedding of Rainier and Grace, the religious ceremony was not held in a cathedral.[10] The ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Monaco, Bernard Barsi.[19] The palace gates were open so that up to 3,500 visitors could follow the ceremony on giant screens in the palace square. Screens were also set up throughout the tiny principality.[10] The couple then left for Sainte-Dévote Chapel to place the bride's bouquet, during which voyage they were greeted by the public along the procession route.[23] Part of the ceremony was in Afrikaans, a language of Dutch origin, which is spoken in Charlene's home country of South Africa.

The dinner reception took place on the terraces of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, followed by fireworks and the opening of the Opéra Ball.[23] The Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Opéra Choir performed under the direction of Lawrence Foster.[29] Other performers included Andrea Bocelli, Renée Fleming, Pumeza Matshikiza accompanied by French guitarist Eric Sempe and percussionist Patrick Mendez, Juan Diego Flórez, Lisa Larsson, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, Kenneth Tarver, and Alexander Vinogradov.[29]

Guests[edit]

The guest list consists of reigning and non-reigning royalty, other heads of state and government, ambassadors to Monaco from various countries, businessmen, entertainers, fashion designers, models, and sportspersons.[30][31] The following is a list of notable guests who attended the religious ceremony:[31][32]

Grimaldi family[edit]

Wittstock family[edit]

  • Michael and Lynette Wittstock (father and mother of the bride)
    • Gareth Wittstock (younger brother of the bride)
    • Sean Wittstock (youngest brother of the bride)

Royalty from reigning dynasties[edit]

Royalty from non-reigning dynasties[edit]

Government and diplomacy[edit]

Sports personalities[edit]

Fashion industry[edit]

Celebrities and others[edit]

Honeymoon[edit]

Their honeymoon started out at the International Olympic Committee meeting, in Durban, South Africa, where they stayed in the £4600 a night Presidential Suite of the five star The Oyster Box hotel in Umhlanga, just north of Durban, South Africa.[40] After the meeting was over, they flew to a paparazzi-free honeymoon in Mozambique.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The other royal wedding – Prince Albert and Charlene". Deutsche Presse-Agentur (The Times (South Africa)). 5 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Monaco Prince Albert to wed Olympian Charlene Wittstock". BBC News. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Biographical details for Ms. Charlene Lynette Wittstock". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Charlene Wittstock". YourMonaco. 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Prince Albert of Monaco engaged to Charlene Wittstock". BBC News. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Monaco's three-day royal wedding kicks off". Nine News. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Prince Albert of Monaco weds Charlene Wittstock". Associated Press. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Prince Albert Reportedly Had Charlene Wittstock's Passport Confiscated: Monaco's Runaway Bride Going Nowhere Fast". International Business Times. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Monaco prince marries South African swimmer". Reuters. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Bart, Katharina (2011-04-27). "Monaco Hopes for Tourism Boost From 'Other' Royal Wedding". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  11. ^ a b "Prince Albert's wedding festivities begin". CBS News. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "Monaco royal wedding: Will Caroline's husband make an appearance?". Hello!. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Heads of State and official personalities". Princely Wedding Monaco 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  14. ^ Livingstone, Natalie. "Fit For a Princess: Charlene Wittstock". Variety. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  15. ^ The Stamp Issuing Office of Monaco, Block of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco' marriage to Miss Charlene Wittstock
  16. ^ "Lexus receives royal appointment from Monaco". Carmony. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Additional information". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  18. ^ a b AFP (1 July 2011). "Monaco toasts royal couple as Albert finally ties the knot". Vancouver Sun (Canada). Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "Information on the civil and religious wedding of HSH Prince Albert II and Ms Charlene Wittstock.". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  20. ^ "Biography". Prince's Palace of Monaco. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  21. ^ "Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock Are Married". People. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Monaco royal wedding: Prince Albert II marries Charlene Wittstock". Los Angeles Times. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  23. ^ a b c d e "The program". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "Grace Kelly Remembered, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock Wed". ABC News. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  25. ^ "Monaco’s royal wedding". MSNBC. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  26. ^ Celeb Chef Alain Ducasse Prepares to Cook for Monaco's Royal Wedding. 11 June 2011. Foxnews.com
  27. ^ "Monaco celebrates a royal wedding". CNN. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  28. ^ "HSH Princess Charlene Wears Tabbah’s Infinite Cascade Necklace". Haute Living. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  29. ^ a b "The Religious ceremony and The Musical Programme". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i Barchfield, Jenny (30 June 2011). "Monaco palace releases wedding guest list". Forbes. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  31. ^ a b "Biographical Information of Heads of State and Other Official Personalities Present at the Religious Wedding Ceremony". Princely Wedding Monaco 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  32. ^ "Find out the personalities present at the Royal wedding". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  33. ^ "Monaco palace releases guest list for royal wedding". today.msnbc.com. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  34. ^ Royal guests present – Glittering Royal Events Message Board
  35. ^ Field, Catherine (30 June 2011). "Royal wedding aims to revive glamour days". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  36. ^ Photograph of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent during the wedding
  37. ^ a b MCO: Monaco Royal Wedding – Guest Sightings – website gettyimages.nl
  38. ^ "Matrimonio Alberto di Monaco". Oggi TV. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  39. ^ a b Ritz, Carly (29 June 2011). "Who’s who at the do". The New Age. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  40. ^ Allen, Peter (5 July 2011). "The £4,600-a-night hotel where Prince Albert is 'trying to persuade Charlene to stay in marriage'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 

External links[edit]