Monaco royal wedding: Why Europe's charismatic bachelor prince fell for a natural African beauty

When Prince Albert of Monaco first began squiring Zimbabwe-born Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock around the principality people were intrigued.

After all, some of the most dazzling women in the world have fallen at his feet. 

Glamazons such as Naomi Campbell (pictured in black) and Claudia Schiffer were among those who had succumbed to his charms in the past.

Throw into the mix that the heir to the fascinating Grimaldi legacy is also, say those who meet him, magnetic, big-hearted and athletic, having competed in five Olympics with his bobsled team.

Not to mention bilingual in French and English because of his mother Grace Kelly.

 

 

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So asked the gossips rather unkindly, what was he doing with a girl, who, though, undoubtedly talented and attractive, was little known outside sporting circles.

And how did their relationship lead to one of the most prized blue-bloods in Europe taking himself off the market. 

A second glance at this blonde beauty, who hails from the town of Bulawayo and was raised in South Africa, revealed a salt of the earth lady. Which is exactly what Albert found so appealing.

“I fell in love with her humour, her simplicity, and the natural way she relates to people,” he once said in an interview.

“To me, Charlene never looks more beautiful than when she is natural – without makeup and her hair pulled back.”

 

 

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Her down-to-earth attitude and their shared concern for the environment and humanitarian matters was exactly what the prince was looking for.

Onlookers noted that he seemed relaxed, natural and comfortable in her company. Whether they were giggling together at the winter Olmpyics, throwing some moves on the dancefloor at a society soiree, or entertaining Iggy Pop in Monaco, it was clear he'd found 'The One'.

Closer to home, Charlene is a real country girl. She loves to wander around tending garden and feeding the animals in denim cutoffs. The Monegasque sovereign is also a big fan of her home-cooking, too.

And the adoration is mutual.

Charlene once described her prince as “the most charming, generous person I’ve ever met,” she said.

“His patience knows no bounds and he is exceptionally caring. He has a unique ability to make everyone he comes into contact with feel special.”

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