Some thought it would never happen, but despite rumours that the bride made three attempts to do a runner, Charlene Wittstock married Prince Albert of Monaco in spectacular fashion this weekend.
Just as Kate Middleton did earlier this year, Charlene said goodbye to her ‘commoner’ status in a grandiose ceremony, watched by millions of people around the globe.
Left:Prince Albert and Charlene WittstockRight:Kate Middleton and Prince William
An intimate civil ceremony on Friday turned the South African swimmer into a princess in front of a few dozen guests. Like Kate, who insisted on doing her own makeup at her wedding, Charlene wanted to put her own stamp on her image and wore a formal powder blue outfit she designed herself, with the help of Chanel boss Karl Lagerfield.
But it was the religious ceremony the following day that was the main event as thousands of locals flocked to the palace to watch the ceremony, and that’s when all eyes were on what she was wearing.
Left:Charlene in ArmaniRight:Kate in Alexander McQueen
Her Armani dress was every bit as elegant as Kate’s but was very different in style. Whilst the now Duchess of Cambridge opted for a modern replica of the wedding dress worn by Grace Kelly (Prince Albert’s mother) in 1956 – lacy, with long sleeves and a belted waistline - designed by Sarah Burton, the new Princess Charlene of Monaco chose an off-the-shoulder silk ivory wedding dress, embroidered with Swarovski crystals and thousands of pearls in the shape of flowers. She changed into a more lightweight Armani creation for the evening do.
Not to be upstaged Pippa Middleton-style, Charlene’s bridesmaids accompanied her down the aisle wearing traditional taffeta red and white outfits and straw hats. However, there were some that felt she was upstaged by Albert’s supermodel ex-girlfriend Naomi Campbell. Breaking the unwritten rule that guests shouldn't wear white, she changed for the reception into a long white dress with a plunging neckline, side cut-outs and train.
In a similar vein to Princess Beatrice’s hat at the UK Royal wedding, some of the guests fashion choices are getting bad PR, including the large straw hat and sandals sported by the groom's sister Princess Caroline, which may have worked better at a beach rather than a family wedding, but overall the fashion credentials were high. Unsurprising when the guests were the likes of models Victoria Silvstedt and Karolina Kurkova, as well as Naomi Campbell, plus designers Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli and Giorgio Armani.
Left:Princess BeatriceRight:Princess Caroline
There were plenty more famous faces at Saturday's ceremony, which was conducted in three languages, from 007 actor Roger Moore to famous Royals (including Prince Edward and Sophie flying the flag for the UK) and state heads, including French president Nicolas Sarcozy.
Not quite on a par with the vintage Aston Martin DB6 convertible the William and Kate drove after their wedding but still fairly stylish was the Lexus LS 600h that carried Prince Albert and his new wife around the principality after their wedding.
Like the UK affair, the well-planned event ran smoothly and despite initially seeming more nervous than Kate was back in April, Charlene broke into a broad smile when her new husband gave her a cheeky wink during the ceremony, and was laughing as she placed the ring on her husband's finger.
She was more tearful than our own princess, we can only hope that whatever is going on in their personal lives that they were tears of joy on her wedding day.