The religious ceremony had been so grand in scale that at times the bride seemed overwhelmed, hardly daring to express her joy.
There were no sign of tears - they came later. And when they came, at the traditional laying of her bouquet in the church of Sainte Devote, she found it difficult to stop, repeatedly dabbing her eyes in the tiny chapel.
The affectionate reception Monaco's sovereign couple had received along the processional route had clearly sparked an emotional reaction.
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Having left the palace under a hail of white petals and with bells pealing out, husband and wife were borne along the picturesque streets of the principality in a dark convertible Lexus.
It had been specially customised for the occasion and had the number plate 001M.
As well as the red and white flag of Monaco, many greeted the new princess by waving the South African colours.
The historic journey from the palace to Sainte Devote was last made 55 years earlier by Albert's parents Prince Rainier and his wife Grace Kelly.
Traditionally the bride of the sovereign prince places her bouquet in the chapel of Monaco's patron saint.
After listening to a beautiful duet sung in French, Charlene followed in the footsteps of the mother-in-law she never met and laid her wedding flowers down.
The gesture was met by more applause and cheering from outside.
Leaving the church to the sound of zampogna - Italian bagpipes - the smiling bride blew a kiss before embracing her new husband.