State Wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco

The newlyweds

The reigning ruler of the glamorous principality of Monaco, off the coast of Southeast France, has just married and his decision to settle down finally assured the continuation of the House of Grimaldi on the male-line succession.

The 52-year-old sovereign took Charlene Wittstock, a South African Olympian as his bride.

The two began forming a romantic relationship some years back and Charlene moved to Monaco to be with the prince.

As part of the custom of Monaco, the two got married twice, first at the civil ceremony on July 1, 2011, followed by a Roman Catholic wedding on July 2, 2011 at the Prince's Palace of Monaco.

The bride with her father, Michael Wittstock
Charlene wore an elegant Giorgio Armani creation

On July 1, 2011, Friday,  the two got married in a civil ceremony at the Throne room of the Palace.

Their Roman Catholic wedding followed on the following day, July 2, at the courtyard of the Palace.

The wedding was attended by international dignitaries because he is also a head of state. Other guests were royalty and celebrities.

The bride wore a gorgeous off the shoulder ivory satin wedding dress created by Italian fashion expert, Giorgio Armani.

The fabulous gown is adorned with 40,000 swarovski Crystals, embroidered with 20,000 mother of pearl tear drops and gold with a long train.

Her wedding dress is similar to Princess Victoria of Sweden's dress when she wed Daniel Westling in June 2010 where Albert and Charlene also attended.

Sealed with a Kiss 
The couple's public kiss after the ceremony

On behalf of the British royalty, the Queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex and the Queen's cousin, Prince Michael of Kent and his wife, Princess Michael of Kent, attended the affair.

The giant wedding cake

The most amazing view of the couple's wedding is the giant five-tier cake, it is decorated with Proteas, the South African national flower, as a tribute to the bride's roots.

There were fireworks after the ceremony which brightened this tiny principality in the Mediterranean.

Charlene changed into an Armani Prive cocktail white dress for the official dinner reception at the romantic  seaview terraces of the Opera house with 450 VIPs in attendance.

Paying tribute to his wife, Prince Albert called her as a wonderful woman and said "marrying you was the best decision I ever took".

At the wedding reception

Charlene assumed the title Princess Charlene of Monaco following the marriage.

Prince Albert has only two siblings: Older sister, Princess Caroline, and younger sister, Princess Stephanie.

Princess Stephanie and children 
Princess Caroline and daughter 
Princess Alexandra of Hanover 

Here are some royal guests spotted in the ceremony:

The Earl and Countess of Wessex 
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent 
The Duke and Duchess of Brabant 
Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium 
Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima, The Netherlands 
Siblings Prince Carl Philip 
and Princess Madeleine of Sweden 

Congratulations and best wishes to the Serene Highnesses of Monaco, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene!💕🎉 Godspeed! 👑

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