The summer of royal weddings continues this weekend with Albert of Monaco tying the knot with former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock.
It is the biggest event to hit the principality since Albert’s father Rainier married the American actress Grace Kelly, and even if the 30,000 or so inhabitants know Charlene is no Grace, they are eagerly looking forward to having a new princess.
Grace Kelly brought star-power to a then-impoverished nation, along with a handsome dowry. She raised Monaco’s profile, helping to attract the jet-set and their money. Charlene just brings Albert happiness.
“I’m sure she looked at every picture of Grace. I’m sure that even if Albert doesn’t really know, there is something with the blonde hair, with that sort of elegance, but Charlene is much stronger in a way. For me, I don’t see Grace at all when I see her, because Grace is unique,” says author and society magazine editor Colombe Pringle.
She was certainly different, a hot Hollywood property, having won an Oscar, with a face known around the world when she made her fairytale wedding, and much closer in age to Rainier. Charlene is Albert’s junior by 20 years.