Who Is Charlene Wittstock?

Meet Charlene Wittstock, the Future Princess of Monaco

Meet Charlene Wittstock, the Future Princess of Monaco

If there's one thing the Monaco royal family wants you to know about Prince Albert's fiancée Charlene Wittstock, it's that she does not have cold feet. The 33-year-old South African beauty is set to marry the tiny country's reigning Prince Albert, 53, this weekend, amidst rumors that she might become a runaway bride before that can happen. But the palace has flatly denied the story appearing in the French press that Charlene tried to go back to Africa after learning "Albert had not been leading the exemplary life she thought."

Once she becomes the princess of Monaco and fills the role that Albert's mother, Grace Kelly, once held, the people of Monaco will not-so-patiently wait for Charlene to have a child. Prince Albert has sired two children out of wedlock, and his lack of a legitimate heir has caused concerns about the future of the monarchy and Monaco's independence from France.

Before she entered into Riviera royalty, Charlene was part of sports royalty as a member of South Africa's Olympic swim team in 2000. It was swimming that brought her to the prince in 2000, when she traveled to Monaco for a competition, but they did not become a public couple until stepping out together at the 2006 Winter Olympics. After their engagement on June 23 of last year, Charlene, a former Protestant, converted to Catholicism — she also learned French and the Monégasque dialect as part of her princess training.

Following the civil marriage service on July 1 and a religious ceremony on July 2, Charlene will take the elegant title of Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco. Before she walks down the royal aisle, take a look at her past glamorous, and sporty, moments now.

Source: Getty