The guest list at the religious ceremony included the kings of Spain, Sweden, Lesotho, and Belgium, the presidents of France, Iceland, Ireland, Lebanon, Malta, Germany, and Hungary, France’s richest man, celebrated opera singers, top models, and racing car divers. Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and supermodel Naomi Campbell also attended. The UK was represented by Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II. All the ingredients for the lavish celebratory meal, created by Alain Ducasse -himself a Monaco citizen – will come from within a 10km (6-mile) radius of Monaco. More than 1,000 journalists from around the world have been accredited to cover the festivities in the principality, whose citizens number just 7,618. Princess Charlene represented South Africa in the swimming competitions at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The tiny principality, which covers about 2 sq km (less than one square mile), is the world’s smallest independent state after Vatican City. Prince Albert II has been the ruler of Monaco since the death of his father, Prince Rainier III, in 2005.
Friday’s event was clouded by press reports suggesting that Ms. Wittstock had come close to returning to South Africa, after learning secrets about Prince Albert’s private life. The royal family dismissed the claims, as well as suggestions she had only turned back after royal aides persuaded her to stay as “jealous rumors”.