Rich, famous and infamous party at Oyster Box

2011-07-08 00:00

AT the post-nuptial dinner hosted by the recently-wed Monaco’s Prince Albert II and his South African bride Charlene Wittstock, the spirit was high, but the security tight as a fleet of luxury vehicles lined up to disgorge the rich, famous and some infamous VIPs from Europe and South Africa at the Oyster Box Hotel.

Flashes from a phalanx of media, both foreign and local, competed with the hotel’s famous lighthouse as the European royalty who did not crack a nod to the Monaco wedding were welcomed at the door by president of the National Olympic Council of SA, Sam Ramsamy.

The guest list of more than 400 people included overseas VIPs Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Britain’s Princess Anne, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Fifa boss Sepp Blatter.

President Jacob Zuma and first lady Thobeka Madiba Zuma were also invited, along with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, as well as Durban businessman Vivian Reddy.

Prince Albert was among the first to arrive, clad in a formal black suit. Princess Charlene arrived separately a few minutes later.

Local sporting luminaries included Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe, Namibia’s first Olympic medallist, sprinter Frankie Fredericks, Olympic gold medal swimmer Penny Heyns, CEO of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Tubby Reddy.

Princess Charlene arrived dressed in a black, full-length evening dress of chiffon and lace with African detailing.

To humour the media, the prince asked her for a kiss, to which she smilingly obliged.

At the reception, the guests were treated to a Zulu war dance and African choir music.

Monaco’s flag is expected to flutter one more night above the Oyster Box Hotel before the royal couple’s return to Europe’s second smallest, but most densely populated and richest country, where Prince Albert heads both the tiny Monaco state and the fabulously wealthy, 700-year-old Grimaldi family dynasty, which incidentally, urgently needs a legitimate heir.

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