Monaco’s Royal Couple

Mimi ON Jun 28, 2011 AT 4:52 pm

Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock

Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock

Prince Albert is known as a one-time playboy and the son of Hollywood star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer of Monaco. He is also father to two children – one, from a brief fling, and another is the son of an Air France air hostess from Togo. But at the end, this 53-year old prince chose to settle with Charlene and make her, Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco.

Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimming champion and a daughter of a photocoper salesman, was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 1978. She was spotted by Prince Albert at a swimming competition in Monaco in 2001. But they didn’t emerge as a couple until the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006. After an ankle injury in 2008, Charlene withdrew from competitive swimming and, at Albert’s invitation, moved to Monaco.

Charlene Wittstock

Charlene Wittstock in Monaco

As a former Olympic athlete who competed in four Winter Olympics, Prince Albert shared the enthusiasm of sports with Charlene. The fact he has found a fun-loving eco-minded sportswoman and humanitarian seems something of a miracle. No wonder it took so long for him to find his Serene Highness.

From a girl who first arrived Monaco with a suitcase full of swimsuits and cut-off jeans, Charlene developed her love of labels and is becoming a fashion icon after being spotted by Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Karl Lagerfeld.

“I think she could turn out to be very influential to European designers,” says Michael Kors. “Young, stylish women in Europe often have a much more decadent point of view in the way they get dressed. Charlene has the opportunity to show that you can be athletic, elegant, and youthful; you don’t have to give one thing up.”

Charlene said she would like Stella McCartney and Manolo Blahnik to open stores in Monaco. She even told Natalie Livingstone at U.S. Vogue that she wants to start a Monaco Fashion Week.

“Grace Kelly forged a link between Monaco and the movie world,” Charlene said, “and I would like to create a strong bond between Monaco and the fashion community.

Compared to Kate Middleton, Charlene is a girl who grew up in a working class, humble family background. As an outsider crashing into an old Europe Royal circle, Charlene will surely increase the attention of the fashion world. We look forward to seeing the pictures of their extravagant wedding this weekend!

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