Saturday 25 February 2017

Albert’s Monaco wedding to out glam Will and Kate

Henry Samuel

Monaco's Prince Albert II and his fiancee Charlene Wittstock. Photo: getty Images
Monaco's Prince Albert II and his fiancee Charlene Wittstock. Photo: getty Images

Monaco is embracing the wedding of Prince Albert II to Charlene Wittstock, a South African former Olympic swimmer, with high hopes the event will revive the stuttering economy and restore its glamorous reputation.

After years in which Monaco's 7,634 nationals and 35,000 residents wondered if their sports and ecology-mad monarch would ever settle down, Albert will seek to continue the Grimaldi dynasty that has ruled almost interrupted since 1297.

More than 200,000 tourists have descended on the Rivieria principality for the wedding on Friday.

The low-tax haven is still struggling to recover from the 2008 financial crisis, which saw tourism fall by 9 per cent and takings at casinos dropby 14 per cent.

No expense has been spared – the price tag is an estimated £45 million - to try and match the fairytale majesty of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding.

Monaco has seen nothing as extravagant since Grace Kelly, a blue-eyed Hollywood beauty said "oui" to his father, Prince Rainier III in 1956, ushering in an unprecedented era of glamour marred by her tragic death in a car crash nearly 30 years ago.

Telegraph.co.uk

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