01 July 2011

Congratulations Princess Charlene

Newlyweds Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene kiss on the Palace balcony after the civil wedding service in Monaco July 1, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (MONACO - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS) (MONACO ROYAL WEDDING)

At age 53, Prince Albert II of Monaco has finally married today in a civil ceremony. His bride, Charlene Wittstock, is a stunning blonde Olympic swimmer from South Africa. She is 20 years younger than he is. Charlene has lived in Monaco for several years and many thought she was just another one of Albert's long string of gorgeous girlfriends until last summer when they announced their engagement. For her prince, Charlene converted to Catholicism and has been trying to learn French. She also has grown increasingly elegant to suit her opulent little principality--and good thing too since her immediate predecessor as Princess of Monaco is Albert's late mother, Princess Grace, who died in a tragic car accident when Charlene was still a toddler.

Today's civil ceremony will be followed by an elaborate religious ceremony on July 2.

But Charlene is now officially Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco. (Read more about Charlene)

Newlyweds Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene pose on the Palace balcony after the civil wedding service in Monaco July 1, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (MONACO - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS) (MONACO ROYAL WEDDING)

Charlene Wittstock arrives to attend the Bal de la Rose in Monte Carlo, March 27, 2010. The Bal de la Rose is a traditional annual charity event in aid of Foundation Grace. REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier (MONACO - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

These flowerbeds at the Sainte Devote Church display the flags of Monaco and South Africa, in tribute to the new princess.

A man walks past Monaco's and South Africa's national flags fashioned from two flowerbeds outside the Sainte Devote church in Monaco June 30, 2011. Charlene Wittstock, the fiancee of Prince Albert II of Monaco, will place her bouquet of flowers at the Sainte Devote church after the religious wedding ceremony on July 2. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (MONACO - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS IMAGES OF THE DAY) MONACO ROYAL WEDDING

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