13 MARCH 2008

It's been over 50 years since Monaco celebrated the fairytale match between a ruling prince and an elegant blonde destined to become an iconic princess.

But despite eagerness for a repeat of the Prince Rainier-Grace Kelly union in the principality, current sovereign Albert has reiterated that he'll go down the aisle in his own time.

The Monegasque ruler, who turns 50 on March 14, this week issued a swift – and negative – response to a story in a French publication that he plans September nuptials with his pretty girlfriend, South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock.

"The palace denies information published this morning by Point De Vue magazine," read the brief communique.

The French report had said: "While the date is not yet fixed, two sources confirm that preparations are under way for a royal wedding at the end of the summer."

Charlene, though, is never far from the royal's side, as at last November's Princess Grace Foundation event in New York.

These constant high-profile appearances with her beau lend credence to reports that a shoulder injury has put her out of the Beijing Olympics. And if that were the case, the way is clear for an engagement announcement at the couple's leisure.

Photo: ©
Though Albert's denied a report that he'll make Charlene his princess this summer, the couple, seen here at a recent New York charity event, seem to be moving closer to a more permanent commitmentPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photo to enlarge
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