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24-06-2010
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Great news then! Congratulations to the happy couple! Charlene will make a beautiful bride.

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24-06-2011
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Quote:
The Quiet Royal Wedding

Vincent Damourette/European Pressphoto Agency
THE COUPLE Charlene Wittstock and Prince Albert II of Monaco at a charity fashion show last month.

By ELAINE SCIOLINO

Published: June 22, 201
PARIS

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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

KEEPSAKES Memorabilia for the July 2 royal wedding is prominent in stores.

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Charlene Wittstock competing in the South African national championships in 2004.


FOR four years, Charlene Wittstock lived mostly in the shadows, waiting for Prince Albert II of Monaco to propose.
With no job, no college degree and no knowledge of French, she was installed by him in a small apartment in the center of the tiny Mediterranean principality, far away from home in South Africa. With no official status, she appeared at the side of the prince when summoned, to smile a lot but to say little.
She endured the nastiness of the locals, who gossiped about Prince Albert’s love affairs and predicted that he would never marry her. She stayed silent as stories were embellished about his siring of two children, one with an airline hostess from Togo, the other with an American tourist from California. She bided her time by swimming, gardening, lunching, playing golf and reading in a cafe.
But Ms. Wittstock, a South African national swimming champion who competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics, applied to her love life the same determination, perseverance and stamina that had inspired her backstroke.
“There was meanness, there were jealousies,” said Stéphane Bern, a celebrity French journalist who has known her for four years. “There was the indecision of the prince. Her every move was watched and judged. But she is very strong, very natural and very direct. And it worked.”
The payoff comes July 2 with this summer’s “other” royal wedding. This time, Ms. Wittstock will be the princess stepping down the aisle (in a dress designed by Giorgio Armani). Though the event won’t come close to inspiring the global fascination of William and Kate’s nuptials almost two months ago (or even that of Albert’s own parents, Prince Ranier III and the American movie star Grace Kelly, in 1956), the three-day celebration will nonetheless be quite a party. The event will include an open-air Mass on the Place du Palais; oceans of Perrier-Jouët Champagne; a multicourse dinner by the three-star French chef Alain Ducasse; a concert by the Eagles; a sound-and-light show and fireworks. When it is over, Ms. Wittstock, the daughter of a salesman father and a swim coach mother, will become Her Serene Highness, Princess Charlene of Monaco.
There are familiar elements of Ms. Wittstock’s experience in the story not only of Kate Middleton (pretty and patient commoner who endured snippy tabloid gossip and in the end got her prince), but also in the sadder tale of another princess: Like Diana Spencer three decades ago, she is a much younger bride of a prince with other love interests, who has been painstakingly choreographed by a palace apparatus intent on managing her image. A new episode of the soap opera will begin after the wedding. Will her royal marriage end up being a happy union based on mutual love and respect, as Kate’s seems to be so far, or a melancholy charade like Diana’s?
As with many princesses, Ms. Wittstock’s main responsibility from the outset will be to produce an heir. Although she is only 33, Prince Albert is 53, and his subjects do not want him to die before a successor is old enough to reign. (Because Prince Albert’s two children were born out of wedlock, they are barred by the Constitution from acceding to the throne.)
Ms. Wittstock has been reluctant to talk about the baby issue. Asked during an interview by the veteran French television journalist Patrick Poivre d’Arvor whether she wanted to have children who will one day succeed Prince Albert, she broke with protocol and said to the prince, “Hey, won’t he just give us a break!”
The savvy prince smoothed things over, saying, “We have the intention to start a family.”
Asked in the same interview whether she was afraid of protocol and the relentless glare of the press, she choked. “No, I am not nervous, or ... I’m quite excited actually, so ...” she said. She then turned to Prince Albert, asking, “What do you want me to say?”
“No, it’s fine!” he assured her.
Stumbles not withstanding, ever since their engagement last year, Ms. Wittstock has been preparing feverishly for her new role, with intensive lessons in French and palace protocol. Tutored, watched and corrected by an unforgiving palace guard, she has said little during her public appearances. She has granted few interviews. In at least some cases, journalists have been required to submit both written questions in advance and then the text of the interview before publication. The palace declined a request to interview her for this article.
“I thought she was one of the most anxious people I have ever met,” said Jenny Crwys-Williams, who interviewed Ms. Wittstock for South Africa’s popular Talk Radio 702 in February. “She was absolutely terrified of saying the wrong thing and falling foul of the terrible women in the palace.
“There was a fascinating moment when I asked her to tell me about an amazing blue room in the palace, and she said, ‘I don’t know if I can talk about it.’ I wanted to put my arms around her and tell her it would be all right.”
Ms. Wittstock has been both praised and vilified for appearing to imitate the style of Albert’s mother, who died in a car crash in 1982. Ms. Wittstock sometimes wears the same blond chignon, muted colors, and elegant, tailored dresses as did Princess Grace.
Before-and-after style photos of Ms. Wittstock have appeared on the Internet, with speculation about whether she has changed her teeth, breasts, eyes and nose. A recent post, under “new lips Charlene,” shows her on the cover of the German tabloid magazine Bunte with what appears to be a fuller upper lip than is evident in previous photos.
No strangers to tabloid snipes, Prince Albert’s sisters, Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie, have taken Ms. Wittstock under their wings. In an interview with Paris Match, Princess Stéphanie described Ms. Wittstock as “strong” but “very sensitive.” She added, “I try to reassure her. To help her.”
In a moment of candor in an interview with Tatler magazine last year, Ms. Wittstock acknowledged the difficulty of living in a fishbowl like Monaco, which is about half the size of Central Park. “The people I mixed with in Monaco didn’t relate to my South African mentality or humor,” she said. “Of course, I’ve been subject to jealousy, but that comes with the territory. Although I have met some wonderful people since I’ve been living in Monaco, I regard them all as acquaintances. I only have two people I consider friends here.”
In private, she is said to be blunt and direct. “She speaks very frankly to people,” Mr. Bern said. “She tells Albert, ‘I want this, I don’t want that.’ ”
Even after four years living in the principality, she seems uncomfortable speaking French, a shortcoming that has limited her social circle. (Prince Albert, who spent time with his mother’s family in the United States while growing up and studied at Amherst College, speaks flawless English.)
“Her inability to speak French is going to be a real handicap,” said Joe Little, managing editor of the London-based Majesty magazine. “Princess Maxima of the Netherlands came from the Argentine, picked up Dutch and became very popular. The former Mary Donaldson, who became crown princess of Denmark, came to grips with the Danish language quickly.”
Ms. Wittstock’s effort to try a few phrases in French in the interview with Mr. Poivre d’Arvor backfired. When he asked her whether the fact that she was not a Catholic was an obstacle to marriage in the Roman Catholic principality, she replied, “Je suis Christian.”
“Chrétienne, voilà, chrétienne,” he replied, correcting her. (She has since converted to Catholicism, the official religion of Monaco.)
Ms. Wittstock first met Albert in 2000 at a swimming competition in Monaco. A sportsman who for years occupied a spot on Monaco’s Olympic bobsled team, the prince was obviously taken with her.
She has said that as princess, she will devote herself to charitable causes, perhaps involving children and sports. She also has expressed the hope that she can help modernize the 900-year-old principality. She says would like to see Monaco have a Manolo Blahnik boutique and a Starbucks, for example. “She’s a girl in a gilded cage,” Ms. Crwys-Williams said. “Albert looks at her with great affection. She’s going to look beautiful in her Armani dress. But where the real girl is? That I really don’t know.”

A version of this article appeared in print on June 23, 2011, on page E1 of the New York edition with the headline: The Quiet Royal Wedding.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/fa...pagewanted=all


Last edited by miche; 24-06-2011 at 11:49 AM.
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24-06-2011
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They gave an Interview in English about their July 1st and 2nd wedding to Euronews


euronews interview: Royal romance on the Riviera


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5GSr2qEwXc

http://www.euronews.net/2011/06/22/p...ock-interview/

OT: How to embed a video?


Last edited by miche; 24-06-2011 at 04:36 PM.
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27-06-2011
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More royal weddings

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28-06-2011
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Quote:
There’s only one few days left for the second royal wedding of the year, the much-awaited one between Albert of Monaco and the beautiful Charlene Wittstock. And while we wonder if on July 2nd the bride will wear a tiara like Grace, if her Armani gown will be more or less beautiful than Kate Middleton’s and if she has indulged into having her lips done while waiting for the big day, there are other speculations that are making people worry. In fact, word has spread that the blond Charlene, who comes from South Africa and was previously swimmer, and who after the wedding will obtain the title of Her Serene Highness, is in a position that is simply not enviable.


It’s enough to read some of her statements and look into her commitments and official appearances to get an idea that her life in Monte Carlo, an extremely rich principality but also extremely small and, thus, somewhat boring, is not quite the party. Accustomed to a very informal style and to a joyful atmosphere during her South African days, the 33-year-old has faced several sacrifices and all for the love of her absent-minded prince. Albert, who is 53-years-old and that took his time to make his mind up in taking the big step, is often kept busy by his responsibilities, but he should have treated his consort in a less disrespectful way.


Let’s take look at which are the difficulties of this almost-princess. Breaking her hip three years ago stopped her from perusing her career as a professional swimmer, so Charlene decided to focus on her image as the future first lady of the principality. Albert made her move into a small apartment (they certainly can’t live together in court) in Monaco, neglecting his fiancée’s social life. And she, by the way, didn’t speak a word of French at the time and made little friends. And language continues to be a problem for Wittstock who, despite everyday lessons, is not getting noticeably better. At least according to the criticism from the Monaco subjects…


Many go on to say that Charlene will not resist a life in court, whose pressure on her is already quite strong. She has been banned from giving interviews without the permission of the principality, and those that she does give are carefully reviewed. It seems that the frequent etiquette mistakes and the following mockery from the not-so-forgiving press with the Ranieri offspring make her fall everyday deeper and deeper into depression and anxiety. And there are some pictures, which are making the rounds of internet, that show that the girl has undergone plastic surgery to make her long-limed and toned body more harmonious and princess-like. After all, it won’t be easy for her to be compared to the beautiful and self-confident sisters-in-law Caroline and Stéphanie, and much less to the very elegant mother-in-law Grace.


And what about the prince’s two illegitimate children, which he had from previous relationships with a hostess and a Californian tourist? Charlene has always avoided mentioning the matter, and has talked about it, uncomfortably, during some interviews, but she has surely heard malicious rumors that say that Albert has a certain tendency to have little affairs around the world.


Some go on to even compare them with Diana and Charles, whose age difference and, especially, lack of common interest, quite contributed the married couple to opt, almost immediately, for almost separate lives, except for official commitments. A premise that surely doesn’t help.


Who knows, though, if Charlene’s friendly and humorous disposition won’t have the better part on this negativity. The girl, after all, an ex-athlete, she’s used to challenges, and despite having sometimes stated of being overwhelmed by the many rules to follow (especially on a matter of image), she has valuable allies by her side. Karl Lagerfeld, for example, has taken her under his protective wing, inviting her often to his Parisian atelier and making himself her patron during her days in Paris. And also Caroline and Stéphanie, who know well how hard it is to always behave in the right way when you’re a public persona, try to reassure her everyday, filling her with love and care. After all, who’s ever said that being a princess is a job for all women?
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28-06-2011
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I don't understand all the "he took his time" commment..I mean The Duke of Cambridge waited 10 years..The Duchess was even called "waity Katie". In 5 years or so Prince Albert knew he wanted Charlene I think and I believe the courtship was so long to actually give her time to prepare for her role. She has been doing a lots of official duties since her engagements and tons of interview. She doesn't seem as protected as the Duchess of Cambridge and people expects a lot more from her than from The Duchess. 2 very different situations.

Oh and btw she doesn't seem unhappy to me at all. It may not be fireworks everyday but it seems like it works for them. Anyway no one knows what is happening behind closed door and unlike Prince Charles, Charlene seems to have a lots of support from Prince Albert family.


Last edited by dennab216; 28-06-2011 at 04:31 AM.
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28-06-2011
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I think the "he took his time" comment as to do with the fact that he is 53 years. That a lot different than getting married at the age of 29

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28-06-2011
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Quote:
Charlene Wittstock Not a Runaway Bride, Says Palace

By Peter Mikelbank and Dana Kennedy
Update Tuesday June 28, 2011 10:00 AM EDT Originally posted Tuesday June 28, 2011 08:20 AM EDT
Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock
Amedeo M. Turello/Principality of Monaco



Forget the story that just days before her wedding to Prince Albert of Monaco this weekend, bride-to-be Charlene Wittstock attempted to escape the impending nuptials, as French news sources have been claiming.

According to the website of the news magazine L'Express, last week Albert's fiancée sought to return home to South Africa "only hours after learning that Albert had not been leading the exemplary life she thought."

Only Christiane Stahl, a chief advisor to Prince Albert at the Monaco Palace, told PEOPLE on Tuesday morning that these rumors – and the printed story – are "completely, completely crazy."

"Please believe me, none of this is true, and we think it comes from utter jealousy," Stahl said. "Charlene never left to go to the airport, nothing like that ever happened. She was never upset and never wanted to stop the wedding."

Stahl said both Charlene and Albert were "very disappointed" when they heard the rumors but are "very calm."

Albert's longtime lawyer, Maitre Thierry Lacoste, also addressed the printed rumor, and told the newspaper Le Figaro, "It's madness, everything is false. It's been three weeks these rumors have been running."

Lacoste said he intends to seek an injunction against L'Express.

He also said, "I was with the Prince and Charlene Wittstock in Paris three days ago, and I can promise you that all is well."
http://www.people.com/people/article...506072,00.html

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28-06-2011
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Quote:
Monaco banking on a moment's grace



Charlene Wittstock, a former swimming champion from South Africa, and Prince Albert wave from the palace balcony in Monaco. Picture: AFP Source: AFP



WHEN Prince Albert marries Charlene Wittstock, the former Olympic swimmer from South Africa, in Monaco this week his subjects will pray not only for a happy union but also for a revival of the fairytale glamour that attended his father's 1956 wedding to movie star Grace Kelly.

The early signs are not auspicious for the tiny Riviera principality described by Somerset Maugham as "a sunny place for shady people" and more recently reported to be a haven for fast Russian money and tax cheats.
The lavish celebrations, spread over Friday and Saturday, are expected to cost $68 million and critics are asking how much of the cost will come from the public purse. Guests are expected to include the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
But many residents compare Ms Wittstock, 33, unfavourably - and unfairly - with the screen goddess Kelly. One told the French magazine VSD that Wittstock was "a future Princess Barbie, as cold as an ice-cube".
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Ms Wittstock has hinted at her own lack of affection for the cramped principality. "Although I have met some wonderful people since I've been living in Monaco, I regard them all as acquaintances," she said. "I only have two people I consider friends here."
She has grown tired of constant comparisons with Kelly, who died in a car crash in 1982. Asked about the blonde hair and natural elegance the two women had in common, she burst out: "You can't compare two individuals because they're unique!"
Albert has not escaped the sneers with his attempt to give the wedding a "green" tinge. The prince - shown in an advertisement last year being towed in a dog sled at the North Pole to draw attention to climate change -- and his bride are due to cross their realm in an open-topped Lexus hybrid after the ceremony.
But sceptics have contrasted the drive with Albert's order for 200 specially made BMW 7-series models to ferry guests around. Observers also point to the sizeable carbon imprint that will be left when the newlyweds and their entourage fly to Ms Wittstock's homeland for a party in Durban. The couple will stay in a $6800-a-night suite.
This week's events will include an open-air mass in Albert's palace, a gala dinner for 500 guests cooked by celebrity chef Alain Ducasse, a free concert by The Eagles, a ball and fireworks.
The principality has been hard hit by the recession and locals hope the celebrations will boost tourism, which has fallen by 9 per cent in two years. Takings at the casinos are down by 14 per cent.
Bernard Lambert, head of the Societe des Bains de Mer, which runs four hotels and five casinos, is optimistic the wedding will stimulate the economy. "The number of cruise ships docking has gone up and our hotels are full," he said.
Bernard Vatrican, a Monaco-born sociologist, was less hopeful. "The people who think they can recapture the lost glamour are deluding themselves. Albert isn't his father and Wittstock is a good girl, but she isn't Kelly," he said. "A wedding isn't enough to change things."
The Sunday Times
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1226082370444

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28-06-2011
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A unique full hybrid Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet featuring a one-piece, transparent polycarbonate roof will serve as the official Royal Wedding car on the occasion of the marriage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco to Ms. Charlene Wittstock on Saturday 2nd July 2011.

Equipped with Lexus Hybrid Drive, Prince Albert's LS 600h L offers all the performance and comfort expected from a Lexus flagship, and generates significantly lower CO2, NOx and particulate emissions than any comparable car.

'Lexus is very proud to present this exceptional full hybrid vehicle to H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince of Monaco', said Andy Pfeiffenberger, Vice President of Lexus Europe. 'Our commitment to innovation and sustainable mobility at Lexus matches well with His Serene Highness' keen interest in promoting sustainable development and environmental protection.'

The state-of-the-art conversion was undertaken by renowned Belgian coachbuilders Carat Duchatelet in close collaboration with Lexus engineers based in Brussels. It took over 2000 hours to complete. The fundamental objective of the project was to ensure that the finished car maintained the levels of quality and technological sophistication inherent in every Lexus, whilst preserving all the performance, safety and dynamic attributes of the original LS 600h L.

'We have 40 years experience in making armoured and extended vehicles for Heads of State, Royal Families and VVIPs around the world', explained Benoit Ceulemans, Executive Director Corporate Development, Carat Duchatelet. 'However, this will be a milestone project for us. It is the first time we are publicly associated to such a prestigious project and memorable event.'

The conversion process began with extensive computer-aided design calculations, simulations and 3-D modelling. The reinforcement of the bodyshell required extensive applications of the very latest in honeycomb structures, Kevlar and carbon fibre technology, in order to maintain the vehicle's chassis stiffness and torsional rigidity following the removal of the roof and pillars.

Parts fabricated from composites require very high temperatures for curing. These components were literally 'cooked' onto the bare chassis in a specially prepared oven. As a result, much of the vehicle first had to be completely dismantled, involving the stripping out of some 20,000 mechanical parts, electronic components and interior features and upholstery. Re-assembly occurred under the close supervision of the Lexus engineering team, to ensure consistency with the original vehicle specifications and performance.

Painting and polishing was a key phase before re-assembly. The Royal Wedding LS 600h L is finished in a particularly elegant Midnight Blue livery, which was applied manually using several coats of a bespoke, environmentally-friendly water-based paint.

The transparent roof was a challenge both in its design, as a large single piece with no reinforcements and no pillars, and in its manufacturing, for which Lexus sought the cooperation of a supplier specialising in similar elements for the aerospace industry. The demountable roof has been built in France by one of the world's leading transparent component-production companies. This highly specialised company mainly supplies complex components of an exceptionally high specification such as helicopter windshields and jet fighter canopies.

The roof is a single, lightweight polycarbonate shell, just 8 mm thick and weighing only 26 kg. Fixed to the body of the Lexus through two intermediary parts, it will allow perfect visibility from both inside and outside the vehicle.

Before production of the transparent roof itself, a template in honeycomb structure and carbon fibre was used to validate shape, structural integrity and a perfect fit to the body of the vehicle within tolerances of less than 1 mm. With the design complete, the extreme precision of production was carried out by robotic tools, which machined the final canopy in a completely automated process.

The final conversion stage of this unique LS 600h L, re-assembly and finishing, involved a team of 10 people in conjunction with Lexus engineers, working full time for over two weeks to ensure that every aspect of the vehicle meets the highest levels of quality and sophistication.

On the day of the wedding, the Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet will be used by the royal couple to tour the Principality after the ceremony. The tour will bring them from the Palace on the Rocher down to the harbour, and then along Boulevard Albert I up to the Sainte-Devote Church where, as is the tradition, the princess will leave her bridal bouquet to the waiting Monegasques. For most of this tour, the vehicle will operate in full zero-emission mode, driving under electric-motor power alone, hereby reaffirming Lexus Hybrid Drive's environmental credentials.

With the end of the celebrations, the unique Lexus Landaulet will be displayed first at the Media Centre and subsequently at the Oceanographic Museum, where visitors will be able to view a remarkable reminder of an exceptional occasion.




http://youtu.be/LI7xb9Dym68
http://youtu.be/N-i0VMMbLfM
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Last edited by Hermes1922; 28-06-2011 at 06:02 PM.
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30-06-2011
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Okay, I just ready the NY Times expose on Charlene and all I have to say is...RUN CHARLENE! RUN!

OMG, I had no idea how she was living...dreadful. It appears she may be trapped to lead a deeply unhappy life like her deceased mother-in-law.

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30-06-2011
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i love prince albert news! my aunt, who worked as a buyer for Laura Ashley in the 80's, dated him for some time, and she still receives invites and mail from him.

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30-06-2011
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Tiara for the wedding?
http://www.olycom.it/news_zoomair.do?c=3561431&i=0


Last edited by miche; 30-06-2011 at 11:51 PM.
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01-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LUXXX View Post
Okay, I just ready the NY Times expose on Charlene and all I have to say is...RUN CHARLENE! RUN!

OMG, I had no idea how she was living...dreadful. It appears she may be trapped to lead a deeply unhappy life like her deceased mother-in-law.
So agree with you !
According to some rumours she tried to escape to South Africa but was stopped to do so by police officer and her passport was confiscated. Probably just a rumour though.
Still, she looks unhappy and uncomfortable.
Princess Grace was so unhappy with her marriage too. Just look at the wedding image back then. They argue her sad face was due to the press but I don't buy that. And now Charlene taking the same path.
Anyway, most people in France think that the Grimaldis are just a big mafia company


Last edited by Lola Montès; 01-07-2011 at 04:49 AM.
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01-07-2011
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Originally Posted by Lola Montès View Post
So agree with you !
According to some rumours she tried to escape to South Africa but was stopped to do so by police officer and her passport was confiscated. Probably just a rumour though.
Still, she looks unhappy and uncomfortable.
Princess Grace was so unhappy with her marriage too. Just look at the wedding image back then. They argue her sad face was due to the press but I don't buy that. And now Charlene taking the same path.
Anyway, most people in France think that the Grimaldis are just a big mafia company
I have to admit that I don´t feel sorry for her ! She is a grown-up - over 30 years old with a normal background and hopefully some brains so she is entering knowing what is expecting her - if she felt uncomfortable until now she won´t feel much better with even more responsibility.

If she didn´t want to eventually become a "princess" than she should have thought about education and getting a job...I feel way more sorry for people who are working at a supermarket and have kids and have to get by on a daily basis especially today when so many countries are in a financial crisis or young people with degrees who are trying to find a job that would be "appropiate" in their field of interest but have to take on jobs like in the construction business etc. for a few bucks because times are hard...

becoming a "princess" nowadays is a free choice and not a Diana-naive-19-year-old-in-love-melodrama-story.

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