A prince, a palace, a royal life

By admin
02 July 2010

Not in their wildest dreams could Mike and Lynette Wittstock have foreseen how glamorous their only daughter’s life would become. Who would have imagined Charlene Wittstock would become a royal princess?

When Prince Albert of Monaco (52) phoned Mike recently he wasn’t at all surprised. In fact he’d been expecting the prince’s call for a while.

And how do they feel about the prince finally proposing after all these years? “What kind of question is that?” Michael, the owner of a company that sells office equipment, says. “Of course we’re happy!”

There were times when South Africans wondered whether the prince was simply toying with her. After all Albert was known as the world’s foremost royal playboy.

His teenage daughter, Jazmin, lives with her mother, former waitress Tamara Motolo, in California, America. And his six-year-old son, Alexandre, lives with his mom, Togolese air hostess Nicole Coste. Because the children were born out of wedlock they can make no claim to the Monaco throne.

Residents of the rich principality on the Mediterranean coast have been concerned for years the prince would never tie the knot and therefore not provide an heir to the throne for the Grimaldi dynasty, which has controlled Monaco since 1297.

These fears are something of the past. With her blonde hair, blue eyes, slim figure and stylish

elegance, perhaps Charlene reminds them of Grace Kelly, Albert’s mother, the former Hollywood actress. Princess Grace was killed in a car crash near the capital, Monte Carlo, in 1982 and the principality’s people spent years mourning her death.

Charlene was born in Zimbabwe and her family moved to South Africa when she was 10. She was six when she told her parents she wanted to swim at the Olympic Games one day, although they had no idea her dream would become a reality.

She became a South African backstroke champion, did well in the African and Commonwealth Games and was a member of the 2000 Olympic swimming squad that represented SA in Sydney.

When she met Prince Albert a year later at a gala in Monte Carlo where presented her with a medal he immediately asked the beautiful blonde on a date.

Charlene had a long, patient wait for her engagement ring but in the interim life was one big party. During that time the royal house was preparing Charlene for what was expected of her if she married the prince. Rumours are it will be a summer wedding in Monaco Cathedral where Princess Grace is buried.

Read the full article in the YOU of 8 July 2010

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