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

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Wedding of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene Wittstock
Wedding of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene Wittstock.PNG
Albert II and Charlene Wittstock on their wedding day
Date 1 July 2011 (civil ceremony)
2 July 2011 (religious ceremony)
VenuePrince's Palace of Monaco
LocationMonaco-Ville, Monaco
ParticipantsAlbert II, Prince of Monaco
Charlene Wittstock

The wedding of Prince Albert, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene Wittstock took place on 1 and 2 July 2011 at the Prince's Palace of Monaco. The groom, Albert II, Prince of Monaco, is the Sovereign Prince of the Principality of Monaco. The bride, Charlene Wittstock, was a South African Olympic swimmer. A two-day public holiday for the celebrations was declared.[1]

Commentators said that the wedding would be important for Monaco to survive as a tax haven.[2] Monegasque authorities believed that the event would increase tourism.[3] The civil ceremony was held in the Throne Room, conducted by Philippe Narmino, president of the Council of State, while the religious ceremony took place in the courtyard of the palace, and was presided over by Archbishop Bernard Barsi.[4]

Engagement announcement[edit]

Prince Albert and Wittstock at the "Cinema Against AIDS" Gala with Karl Lagerfeld

Prince Albert II is the current Sovereign Prince of Monaco, having succeeded his father Rainier III in April 2005.[4] Charlene Wittstock was born in Rhodesia, but moved to South Africa with her family when she was 11.[4] She has represented South Africa in swimming, and participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.[4] She met Prince Albert at the 2000 Marenostrum International Swimming Meet in Monaco, which he presided over.[5][6] She retired from swimming in 2007.[4][7] Prince Albert was also an athlete, competing in bobsleigh in five Olympics.[4] They made their public debut as a couple at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics.[4] The Palace announced their engagement on 23 June 2010.[8] The engagement ring featuring a pear-shaped three-carat diamond at the center and surrounding diamond brilliants.

The wedding was originally scheduled for 8 and 9 July 2011, but was moved forward to prevent a conflict with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Durban on 5–9 July, which they both attended. The couple had invited members of the IOC, including president Jacques Rogge, to their wedding.[9] A week before the wedding, the palace denied reports that Wittstock had been getting cold feet.[4][2]L'Express reported that Wittstock tried to leave Monaco on 28 June, after rumours surfaced that Albert had fathered a third illegitimate child.[10] The palace called the stories "ugly rumours" born out of jealousy.[11]

On the occasion of Prince Albert II of Monaco' marriage to Wittstock, on 1 July 2011 the Stamp Issuing Office of Monaco issue the postage stamp (Block),[12] created by Georgy Shishkin (laureate of competition).


The Prince's Palace, lit up in celebration of the royal wedding


Dual Cypher of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco


Festivities began on the night of 30 June, with a concert at the Stade Louis II by American rock band the Eagles.[3] The concert was attended by 15,000 Monegasques and the couple themselves.[2]

The civil ceremony took place on Friday, 1 July 2011, in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace.[11][13][14] The ceremony was conducted by Philippe Narmino, Director of Judicial Services and president of the Council of State.[15] After the confirmation by Narmino, the newlywed couple signed the marriage register with a specially created pen made by Montblanc in gold and precious stone adorned with their monogram .[11] Following the civil ceremony, Wittstock received the formal style Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco.[16] The 20-minute ceremony was also attended by Prince Albert's sisters Caroline, Princess of Hanover, and Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.[17][18] After the ceremony, the couple appeared on the balcony of the Salon des Glaces to salute the crowds.[11][19] They waved and kissed each other, prompting another round of cheers from the crowd.[18] The couple were also joined by Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie with their children, as well as Charlene's parents and brothers.[20][21]

They joined the public in the Palace Square for a specially prepared buffet by chefs from South Africa and Monaco, headlined by multiple Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse.[14][19][22] 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 guests. It included a display of lights, lasers and fireworks.[19][23]


The religious ceremony took place the following day in the courtyard of the Palace.[1] Unlike the wedding of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, the religious ceremony was not held in a cathedral.[1] The ceremony was presided over by the Archbishop of Monaco, Bernard Barsi.[15] The palace gates were open so that up to 3,500 visitors could follow the ceremony on giant screens in the palace square. Additional display screens were set up throughout the principality.[1] Part of the ceremony was in Afrikaans, a language of Dutch origin, which is spoken in Charlene's home country of South Africa. After the ceremony, the bride and groom traveled in a bespoke landaulet converted Lexus hybrid car[24] to Sainte-Dévote Chapel, where Princess Charlene laid her bridal bouquet to Saint Devota, the patron saint of Monaco, in accordance with Monegasque tradition.[1]

The dinner reception took place on the terraces of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, followed by fireworks and the opening of the Opéra Ball.[19] The Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Opéra Choir performed under the direction of Lawrence Foster.[25] 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.[25]

Wedding attire[edit]

Wittstock wore a silken blue jacket with ankle-length pants by Chanel to the civil ceremony.[11] While her wedding dress was designed by Giorgio Armani.[26][4] Lexus was the official car supplier for the wedding.[27] The bride wore diamond earrings by Tabbah at the civil ceremony, while at the religious ceremony, she wore the "Infinite Cascade" necklace designed by Nagib Tabbah, commissioned and made of 18k rose gold set with 1,237 diamonds and 6 pear shaped white pearls.[28][29]

The bridesmaids were children dressed in the national dress of Monaco.[30] The dresses were designed by Princess Caroline and Jean-Christophe Maillot, the director of the Les Ballets de Monte Carlo The dresses featured personal touches, such as silk stockings embroidered with the couple's monogram, and aprons that featured both the couple's monogram and the name of the area of Monaco that each girl was from. Each outfit took more than 120 hours to create. The girls were also wearing necklaces of black velvet ribbon with gold crosses given to them by Prince Albert.

Wedding party[edit]

Christopher Levine, cousin of the groom, son of Princess Grace's sister Elizabeth Anne served as the best man,[31] while Donatella Knecht de Massy, the wife of the groom's first cousin once removed, was appointed maid of honour.[32][33]


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.[34][35] The following is a list of notable guests who attended the religious ceremony:[35][36]

Grimaldi family[edit]

Wittstock family[edit]

  • Michael Wittstock and Lynette Wittstock, the bride's parents
    • Gareth Wittstock, the bride's younger brother
    • Sean Wittstock, the bride's younger brother

Foreign royalty[edit]

Royalty from non-reigning dynasties[edit]

Government and diplomacy[edit]

Sports personalities[edit]

Fashion industry[edit]

Celebrities and others[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.[citation needed] After the meeting was over, they flew to a paparazzi-free honeymoon in Mozambique.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bart, Katharina (27 April 2011). "Monaco Hopes for Tourism Boost From 'Other' Royal Wedding". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Monaco's three-day royal wedding kicks off". Nine News. 1 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Prince Albert's wedding festivities begin". CBS News. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Monaco Prince Albert to wed Olympian Charlene Wittstock". BBC News. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Biographical details for Ms. Charlene Wittstock". Princely Wedding Monaco 2011. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Monaco's Prince Albert to marry Charlene Wittstock". Associated Press. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Biographical details for Ms. Charlene Lynette Wittstock". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Prince Albert of Monaco's engaged to Charlene Wittstock". BBC News. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  9. ^ "Prince Albert and Charlene change wedding date". Hello!. 2 August 2010. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Prince Albert of Monaco weds Charlene Wittstock". Associated Press. 1 July 2011. Archived from the original on 4 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  12. ^ The Stamp Issuing Office of Monaco, Block of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco' marriage to Miss Charlene Wittstock
  13. ^ "Additional information". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  14. ^ a b AFP (1 July 2011). "Monaco toasts royal couple as Albert finally ties the knot". Vancouver Sun. Canada. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "Biography". Prince's Palace of Monaco. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  17. ^ "Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock Are Married". People. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  18. ^ a b "Monaco royal wedding: Prince Albert II marries Charlene Wittstock". Los Angeles Times. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  19. ^ a b c d "The program". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  20. ^ "Grace Kelly Remembered, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock Wed". ABC News. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  21. ^ "Monaco's royal wedding". Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  22. ^ Celeb Chef Alain Ducasse Prepares to Cook for Monaco's Royal Wedding. 11 June 2011.
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  24. ^ Ewing, Steven (24 June 2011). "Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet for Monaco Royal Wedding blows our minds". Autoblog. Retrieved 7 September 2011. Duchatelet
  25. ^ a b "The Religious ceremony and The Musical Programme". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  26. ^ "The other royal wedding – Prince Albert and Charlene". Deutsche Presse-Agentur. The Times (South Africa). 5 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  27. ^ "Lexus receives royal appointment from Monaco". Carmony. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  28. ^ Morgan, Philippa. "Maison Tabbah Launches New Looks Primed for Millennials". Vogue Arabia. Vogue. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  29. ^ Rebecca Anne Proctor (10 July 2011). "HSH Princess Charlene Wears Tabbah's Infinite Cascade Necklace". Haute Living. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  30. ^ "Monaco royal weddings: Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene". 24 August 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  31. ^ "Monaco royal wedding: Will Caroline's husband make an appearance?". Hello!. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  32. ^ "Heads of State and official personalities". Princely Wedding Monaco 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  33. ^ Livingstone, Natalie. "Fit For a Princess: Charlene Wittstock". Variety. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ a b "Biographical Information of Heads of State and Other Official Personalities Present at the Religious Wedding Ceremony" (PDF). Princely Wedding Monaco 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  36. ^ "Find out the personalities present at the Royal wedding". Official website of the Royal Wedding. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  37. ^ a b "Palais Princier de Monaco". Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  38. ^ "Monaco palace releases guest list for royal wedding". Archived from the original on 2 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  39. ^ Field, Catherine (30 June 2011). "Royal wedding aims to revive glamour days". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  40. ^ Photograph of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent during the wedding
  41. ^ Royal guests present – Glittering Royal Events Message Board
  42. ^ a b MCO: Monaco Royal Wedding – Guest Sightings – website
  43. ^ "Matrimonio Alberto di Monaco". Oggi TV. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  44. ^ a b Ritz, Carly (29 June 2011). "Who's who at the do". The New Age. Retrieved 30 June 2011.

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