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Monaco awaits its princess-to-be Charlene

The high-flying Riviera principality of Monaco is preparing to embrace its soon-to-be princess, South African ex-swimmer Charlene Wittstock, who will become Princess of Monaco when she weds the tiny country's reigning prince, Albert II, later Friday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The high-flying Riviera principality of Monaco is preparing to embrace its soon-to-be princess, South African ex-swimmer Charlene Wittstock, who will become Princess of Monaco when she weds the tiny country's reigning prince, Albert II, later Friday.

The civil ceremony, which will see 33-year-old Wittstock transformed from commoner to royalty, is to take place in the throne room where Hollywood beauty Grace Kelly married Albert's father, Prince Rainier III, 55 years ago.

Wittstock is to wear a Chanel ensemble when she weds 53-year-old Albert.

The civil wedding will be followed a day later by a religious ceremony that's expected to draw hundreds of VIP guests including heads of state, European royalty and the creme de la creme of the fashion and sporting worlds.