Wednesday 26 November 2014

Princess Charlene of Monaco announces she's pregnant with her first child

Published 30/05/2014 | 17:15

Princess Charlene of Monaco  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/French Select via Getty Images for Princess Grace Foundation)
Princess Charlene of Monaco (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/French Select via Getty Images for Princess Grace Foundation)
MONACO - JUNE 30: Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene attend the annual Monaco Red Cross Pique-Nique at Jardins Princesse Antoinette on June 30, 2012 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Princess Charlene of Monaco arrives at the opening of the Grace Kelly exhibition at Bendigo Museum on March 10, 2012 in Bendigo, Australia. Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Princess Charlene (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Prince Albert II of Monaco (R) and Princess Charlene of Monaco attend the Yorkshire Variety Club Golden Ball at Harewood House on September 4, 2011 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Princess Charlene of Monaco and Prince Albert II of Monaco leave the religious ceremony of the Royal Wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco to Princess Charlene of Monaco at the Prince's Palace on July 2, 2011 in Monaco. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Princess Charlene of Monaco and Prince Albert II of Monaco leave the religious ceremony of the Royal Wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco to Princess Charlene of Monaco at the Prince's Palace on July 2, 2011 in Monaco. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Princess Charlene of Monaco makes her journey to Sainte Devote church after their religious wedding ceremony at the Prince's Palace of Monaco on July 2, 2011 in Monaco. The Roman-Catholic ceremony followed the civil wedding which was held in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace of Monaco on July 1. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Princess Charlene of Monaco makes her journey to Sainte Devote church after their religious wedding ceremony at the Prince's Palace of Monaco on July 2, 2011 in Monaco. The Roman-Catholic ceremony followed the civil wedding which was held in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace of Monaco on July 1. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
In this handout image provided by the Palais Princier, Princess Charlene of Monaco and Prince Albert II of Monaco cut the cake during the religious ceremony of the Royal Wedding, in the main courtyard at Prince's Palace on July 2, 2011 in Monaco. (Photo by Eric Mathon - Palais Princier via Getty Images)

Princess Charlene of Monaco, who married Prince Albert II in 2011, has announced she is pregnant with the couple's first baby.

The 36-year-old South African former Olympic swimmer and her husband issued a statement expressing their "immense joy" at the news.

The short statement says that the birth is expected before the end of the year. Although it does not elaborate, this implies that the style-conscious princess is at least three months pregnant.

The news is sure to please the palace and end recent tabloid media speculation about why Charlene, after nearly three years of marriage with 56-year-old Albert, had not yet provided an heir to the jet-set European principality. Britain's Kate Middleton became pregnant with Prince George around a year and a half after she married Prince William in April, 2011.

Until the baby is born, the Monegasque heir remains Princess Caroline - Albert's older sister - and then her eldest son, Andrea Casiraghi, who's recently become a father.

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The Monaco baby news is likely to set off a frenzy in the fashion press as to how she will dress her bump. Demure Princess Charlene is known for her elegant fashion style, patronising designers such as Giorgio Armani, who designed her couture wedding dress.

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Since her marriage, Charlene is styled as Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco. The previous holder of the style was her husband's mother, Grace Kelly, who died in 1982.

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