The Royals

American model weds Aga Khan prince

Sep. 3, 2013 at 1:39 PM ET

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - AUGUST 31: In this handout photo provided by The Ismaili, Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Miss Kendra Salwa Spears pose together durin...
Gary Otte / The Ismaili via Getty Images
Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Kendra Salwa Spears, at their wedding ceremony on August 31, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Goodbye, Kendra Spears. Hello, Princess Salwa Aga Khan.

The 25-year-old American model married Prince Rahim Aga Khan, son of the spiritual leader of the world’s Shia Ismaili Muslim denomination, in Geneva, Switzerland over the weekend.

Spears grew up in Seattle and got a degree in sociology from the University of Washington. In 2008, she entered a modeling contest organized by the Ford model management company. Though she came in second, Spears — who still had braces on her teeth at the time — was so striking that the agency signed her as a client.

Since then, she has modeled for brands like Prada, Calvin Klein, Versace, and Gucci and has been on the cover of Vogue China and Elle France. Her long brown hair and a mole on her cheek drew comparisons to supermodel Cindy Crawford.

After the couple announced their engagement to Prince Rahim in April, they wed Saturday in an intimate ceremony. Spears converted to Islam and took on a new name, Salwa, which means “quail” in Arabic. 

The bride wore a traditional white-and-gold sari and beamed as she posed next to her groom, 42. Prince Rahim graduated from Brown University and works for his family’s charitable organization, the Aga Khan Development Network, which aims to reduce poverty, disease, and illiteracy in Africa and Asia. 

Marrying models seems to run in the Aga Khan family. Prince Rahim's mother, Princess Salimah, was a British model known as Sarah Croker-Poole before her marriage.

Prince Rahim’s younger brother Prince Hussain married American model Kristin White in 2006, at which point she took the name Kalimah, and his sister Princess Zahra married and divorced British male model Mark Boyden, with whom she has two children. Perhaps most famously, Prince Rahim’s grandfather Prince Aly Khan was married to movie star Rita Hayworth.

The Aga Khan Foundation’s offices in Washington, D.C. would not comment on the wedding. Spears’ modeling agency, NEXT, still lists her as an active client. 

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