Princess Charlene on Her Wedding DayJuly 1, 2011 | Former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock became a princess when she married Prince Albert II of Monaco in a civil ceremony at the prince's palace. Charlene wore a blue Chanel jacket over palazzo pants and accessorized her ensemble with a pair of diamond stud earrings.
A day later the couple repeated their vows in a religious ceremony in front of 900 guests, with thousands more watching the service on large screens in the palace plaza. Princess Charlene wore a silk Armani wedding gown embellished with thousands of mother of pearl teardrops and Swarovski crystals. The gown took over 2,500 hours to construct -- 700 to embroider floral designs with platinum-coated embroidery thread.
The bride opted to hold her long hair back in a low bun surrounded by a jeweled headpiece, visible here through her flowing silk veil. The couple exchanged platinum wedding bands by Cartier.
Shortly before the wedding, a portion of the media called Ms. Wittstock a 'Runaway Bride,' reporting that she tried to flee to her home in South Africa after learning that Albert had recently fathered a child with another woman. The Prince has (at least) two children from former relationships, but people close to the couple denied that a third child (or relationship) exists. But a day after the religious ceremony, palace insiders revealed that an 18 month old may be Prince Albert's child. If that's true, his relationship with the child's mother would overlap the time of Albert and Charlene's courtship.
No wonder both the bride and groom seemed distant and less-than-affectionate on their wedding day.
Learn about Princess Charlene's life in Vogue's, Fit For a Princess: Charlene Wittstock