Prince Albert Weds Charlene Wittstock!
Make way for a new royal couple!
Prince Albert II wed longtime love Charlene Wittstock in a civil ceremony inside the palace in Monaco on Friday afternoon, the Associated Press has confirmed. The newlyweds sealed their union with a kiss on the palace's balcony.
Monaco's citizens -- a.k.a. Monegasques -- flanked the palace to get a gander at the newlyweds. Zimbabwe-born, South Africa-bred Wittstock, 33, a former Olympic swimmer, is now officially the Princess of Monaco. The last reigning Princess of Monaco was movie star turned royal Grace Kelly, Albert's mother, who married Prince Rainier III in 1956 and died in a 1982 car crash.
Wittstock and Prince Albert, 53, have more lavish plans for a religious ceremony and gala on Saturday. See more pics from Friday's civil ceremony.
The duo met in 2000 when Wittstock traveled to Monaco for a swimming competition. Their first official appearance together as a couple was in February 2006 at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
On Thursday, the Palace slammed rumors on a French website that Wittstock had attempted to bail the wedding and flee to South Africa.
"The Royal Palace formally denies the false allegations published on the site www.lexpress.fr," the statement said, as excerpted by CNN. "The sole intention of these rumors is to seriously damage the image of the Sovereign, as a result of damaging that of Miss Wittstock, and bear down on this happy event."