Monaco Denies Prince Albert's Fiance Charlene Wittstock Is 'Runaway Bride'
Officials in Monaco declated Thursday that Prince Albert, 53, who has reigned as the soverign of the small principality since 2005, is on schedule to marry former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, 33, this weekend, despite reports that she tried to runaway.
Evidence to the contrary came with reports on Tuesday that a "shaken" Wittstock, who has been engaged to Albert for just over a year, had attempted to flee Monaco, and the impending wedding, to her native South Africa after discovering that her esteemed fiance's private life was "not as exemplary as she imagined," reported French magazine L'Express. Officials at the Nice Airport reportedly stopped Wittstock before she actually borded the plane, allowing Albert and his advisers the opportunity to convince her to stay.
The couple seemed relaxed, however, when they were spotted walking arm-in-arm along Monaco's Port Hercule Tuesday afternoon, reports CNN. "Ther Royal Palace formally denies the false allegations published on the site www.lexpress.fr," representatives said in a statement. "The sole intention of these rumors is to seriously damage the image of the Soverign, as a result of damaging that of Miss Wittstock, and bear down on this happy event."
The "happy event" will kick off on Friday and span three days of celebrations. Giorgio Armani, Naomi Campbell and billionaire Richard Branson are expected to attend. If the couple can make it down the aisle, this will be the first marraige of a reigning prince since Albert's mother, Grace Kelly, wed his father, Prince Rainier III, in 1956.