Friday was just the aperitif. After the civil wedding which united Albert and Charlene – now officially Prince and Princess of Monaco – comes Saturday’s more spectacular event which is expected to attract thousands of well-wishers to the principality.
Some 3,500 guests are expected to assemble in the palace courtyard to attend the formal union between the couple.
Friday’s modest ceremony saw Albert and Charlene tie the knot in the crimson-clad throne room of the Pink Palace – watched by their close family and friends.
Afterwards the couple appeared on a palace balcony for the cameras. Albert thanked the crowd for the warm welcome they had shown his princess.
Nicole Manzone of Monaco’s National Council said:
“Princess Grace gave three beautiful children to Monaco, and we affectionately called them ‘the little ones’. We’re marrying the prince. It’s not the prince who’s getting marrried, rather we are marrying the prince.”
Monaco is hoping the marriage will usher in a new age of old-style glamour in the principality.
“You must know that it’s an entire people who are celebrating and who make up one big family. Long live the Prince! Long live the Princess!” said Georges Marsan, the mayor of Monaco.
The wedding is one Monaco thought it would never see. It is the most spectacular since Albert’s mother Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier in 1956.
The food is as lavish as the surroundings.
World-renowned celebrity chef Alain Ducasse has been commissioned by the couple to create a fitting grand finale dinner on Saturday night.
euronews correspondent Laurence Alexandrowicz summed up the event from on board a yacht in Monaco harbour:
“While the royal wedding still has an international impact, we can see here in this beautiful bay that it’s first of all a family affair – for the Monegasques who are deeply attached to the Grimaldi family.”
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