I’ve never been that interested in Prince Albert of Monaco. Not until a few days ago when on the eve of his wedding to former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Witstock, the bride-to-be tried to do the Harry Holt and escape from the tiny country. She reportedly bolted to the airport and tried to buy a one-way ticket back to South Africa.
The reason? She’d apparently just learned that her fiance had fathered yet another child. He already had two ‘illegitimate’ children (yuck, hate that term but it has relevance when you’re talking about royalty because there are massive implications for the monarchy) and now another woman is allegedly pregnant by his, er, hand. Or something.
Sheesh, I’d head for the airport too. But in a scene straight out of some warped fairy tale, Charlene was stopped at the airport by the police who confiscated her passport and allegedly talked her out of flying home to South Africa. She was delivered back to the palace and then as rumours began to circulate internationally about what had happened, Prince Albert and his reluctant bride took a ‘spontaneous’ tour of Monaco, stopping at half a dozen different locations to be photographed. Together. All happy like. Except not.
South African-born Charlene Wittstock, who is two decades younger than her husband, even “took refuge” in her country’s embassy before she was persuaded to walk down the aisle.
The couple’s glamorous and staggeringly expensive wedding attracted thousands of well-wishers to Monaco at the weekend. The guest list included dozens of royals, heads of state, fashion and sports stars and even James Bond.
But whether the bride wanted to be there is another question entirely.