Monaco's Runaway Bride Rumors
June 30, 2011
The wedding of Monaco's Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock is set to take place this weekend despite rumors that the bride-to-be tried to flee the country after allegedly discovering that the private life of the prince was "not as exemplary as she imagined."
A statement by palace officials formally denied "false allegations" stemming from a French news report that alleged Wittstock had recently discovered new information about the prince and was so upset that she attempted to go back home to her native South Africa. "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," the statement said.
Prince Albert, 53, the son of Hollywood actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III, has never married. He has ruled the tiny European principality on the French Riviera since his father's death in 2005 and at one point publicly acknowledged that he fathered a son and a daughter with different women out of wedlock.
A concert by the legendary Eagles rock band will kick off Royal Wedding activities in Monaco tonight. A civil marriage ceremony will take place Friday in the palace's throne room and a religious ceremony will follow the next day in a marble courtyard before about 3,500 seated guests. World famous chef Alain Ducasse will also be serving up a multi-course gala dinner.
Prince Albert's long-awaited marriage to 33-year-old Wittstock -- a former Olympic swimmer -- comes on the heels of this year's Royal Wedding in Britain of Prince William and Kate Middleton.