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Prince Albert confesses Princess Charlene royal wedding was 'not an easy' journey

The Monegasque royal's wedding speech addressed the obstacles in his relationship

Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco at their religious wedding ceremony
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
17 April 2024
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Much like a Disney fairytale, Prince Albert of Monaco and his wife Princess Charlene had to overcome several obstacles before their royal wedding in 2011.

The couple tied the knot over three days, including a concert by the Eagles, a civil ceremony in the palace's Throne Room, and a religious ceremony. The reception at the latter saw Prince Albert make a heartfelt speech to his new bride in which he acknowledged their relationship was "not an easy" journey.

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert's wedding in the main courtyard at Prince's Palace© Handout
Princess Charlene and Prince Albert got married in the main courtyard at Prince's Palace in 2011

"It has been a very emotional journey to this day, sometimes not an easy one. Charlene, thank you for putting up with my inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies. You are a wonderful woman. Marrying you is the best decision I’ve ever taken. I’m happy to share my life with you," he said, according to Vogue.

Grace Kelly's son began dating the former Olympic swimmer in 2005 after first crossing paths at the Mare Nostrum swimming meet in Monaco in 2000. However, Charlene had to relocate her life from South Africa to Monaco and Albert had to deal with multiple paternity claims before they tied the knot. 

First, former flight attendant Nicole Coste claimed she shared her son Alexandre with Albert, which was confirmed by a paternity test in 2005. The royal also later revealed he had fathered a daughter called Jazmin Grace with Tamara Rotolo in 1992.

Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco attend the Rose Ball 2024 To Benefit The Princess Grace Foundation on March 23, 2024 in Monaco, Monaco.© Getty
Prince Albert confirmed he fathered two children before his relationship with Charlene

Sharing an insight into Albert's relationship with his son, Nicole told French magazine Paris Match: "Albert made a commitment from the start to be present, and to gradually bring his son into his family.

"Very quickly, I was reassured when Princess Stephanie became Alexander's godmother. Albert has honored his promise: things are building well and running their course, which I am delighted with."

While he has developed a similarly close relationship with his daughter, their first meeting did not happen until she was aged 11. "I wanted that moment to connect with my father, to get to know him, and to have him get to know me," opera singer Jazmin told Harper's Baazar in 2015.

"Not having had that figure around, I missed that. It's wonderful that it happened when it did, and we've been enjoying a great relationship ever since."

There were also rumours circulating that Charlene was not happy in the relationship, with some claiming she tried to leave before the marriage took place. Shutting down these claims, Albert's advisor Christiane Stahl told People: "Charlene never left to go to the airport, nothing like that ever happened. She was never upset and never wanted to stop the wedding."

Princess Charlene wipes away a tear at royal wedding© Getty
Princess Charlene was tearful at their wedding

Charlene's tears on her wedding day only served to fuel the fire, and she was later forced to clarify she was emotional because she felt "overwhelmed" by the interest in their relationship.

Charlene said in an interview with The Times: "Everything was just so overwhelming and there were all the mixed emotions because of the rumours, and obviously the tension built up and I burst into tears [immediately after the ceremony].

Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella of Monaco waving on balcony  © Getty
The couple share two children Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella

"And then I burst into tears some more because I was thinking "Oh no, now the whole world has seen me cry"'.

The mother-of-two – who welcomed twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques on 10 December 2014 –  added: "It was such a wonderful three days. Even months afterwards I would get flashbacks and think, 'Oh, my goodness, did I really have the Eagles playing at my wedding?' I think back and wonder how we managed to pull it off."

READ: Mike Tindall's frank confession about early marriage with Zara: 'It's not that easy'

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