Prince Albert marries Charlene Wittstock

Monaco's Prince Albert II marries Charlene Wittstock.
Monaco's Prince Albert II marries Charlene Wittstock.

MONACO'S Prince Albert II has married Charlene Wittstock in a religious ceremony.

The couple - who wed in a civil ceremony on Friday afternoon - exchanged their vows in front of a star-studded congregation of 850 guests in the courtyard of the Prince's Palace.

With the likes of supermodel Naomi Campbell, actor Roger Moore and designers Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani looking on, Charlene - a former South African Olympic swimmer - sauntered down the aisle alongside her father, Michael Wittstock, in an off-white silk Duchesse Giorgio Armani Prive dress covered in 40,000 Swarovski crystals.

Complete with a five-metre train, the breathtaking dress took the Armani team a staggering 2,500 hours to prepare, with 700 hours spent on embroidering the garment alone.

The service - conducted by Archbishop of Monaco, Bernard Barsi - also saw the couple exchange 18-carat white gold platinum rings by Cartier, while Prince Albert's nieces Alexandra and Pauline, the daughters of Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie respectively, performed readings.

While the British royal family were represented by Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the couple were also joined by numerous of heads of states, European royals and world-class athletes from Charlene's swimming days.

Following the service, the couple went to the nearby Sainte Devote Church so Charlene - who will now be known as Charlene, Princess of Monaco - could lay down her bridal bouquet, with the blonde beauty seen wiping away a tear as she left the religious building.

French-born chef Alain Ducasse then went on to prepare a multi-course dinner reception for 450 guests within the grounds of the palace.

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