Monaco royal wedding: Palace denies 'runaway bride' stories as preparations continue

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"Completely, completely crazy": This is how the Monaco royal palace has described rumours that Charlene Wittstock tried to flee back to South Africa last week.

French magazine L'Express is claiming that Prince Albert's fiancée was stopped by police at Nice airport as she tried to board a flight home.



She was upset, said the publication, "after learning that Albert had not been leading the exemplary life she thought".

An official statement from the couple – pictured above at an equestrian event at the weekend with Charlotte Casiraghi – said: "The Prince’s Palace firmly denies the allegations."

"These rumours, spread a few days before the wedding ceremonies... have only one purpose – to seriously damage the sovereign’s image and by consequence that of Miss Wittstock and to cause serious prejudice to a happy event."

The highly-anticipated nuptials are still firmly on, and last minute preparations are in full swing.

Already, 200,000 tourists have descended on the principality for the wedding celebrations, which are estimated to be costing £45million.

The streets have already been turned into a sea of red and white – with Monaco flags and bunting adorned with the words 'Mariage Princier Monaco Juillet 2011'.


Shops in the centre of town have filled their displays with official wedding souvenirs, and many have plans to stay open well outside their usual opening hours to make the most of the extra number of visitors.

Over 12,000 flowers have been shipped in to decorate monuments, and the various venues where the royal couple will be celebrating over the weekend.

The palace has also taken delivery of the midnight blue sedan Lexus the couple will use to travel from their ceremony at the royal palace to the Sainte-Devote Church.

And more guests have confirmed they'll be present when the couple say "oui, je veux.

Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Princess Mary of Denmark will be there, as will Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit of Norway.


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