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Monaco royal wedding: 'We will cherish this moment forever,' say rock 'n' roll couple

July 2, 2011
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It was a fitting end to a spectacular day.

The sky was awash with brilliant explosions of colour and the air filled with pulsing electronic beats.

And in front of a staggering 60-metre wide stage, the people of Monaco had come together to celebrate the dawn of a new era – one ushered in by the civil wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene.

The couple, who tied the knot in the palace's Throne Room, were finally able to let their hair down at a spectacular free concert, thrown for them by electro pop pioneer Jean Michel Jarre.They joined him on stage at the start of the concert to salute their public, who had been gathering since sunset.Striding on to the stage with their hands tightly clasped, there was no mistaking the couple's 'just wed' glow.Charlene, stunning in a pale blue strapless dress and a sparkling statement diamond necklace, radiated joy as she gazed out at the huge crowd.She looked lovingly at her new husband as he addressed the crowd, speaking to them in both French and English. "We're really happy to share this moment with you, from me and Charlene, thank you from the bottom of our hearts," he said.To the delight of the people, their new princess also said a few words, thanking everyone in four languages – Afrikaans, Zulu, French and English."Siyabonga, baie dankie, merci, thank you for all your love and support. I will cherish this moment forever," she said.And then to huge cheers, she added: "Viva Monaco."

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The couple then left - hand-in-hand - to join Caroline, Stephanie, and the younger generation of Monegasque royals – including Charlotte Casiraghi and her brothers Pierre and Andrea.Then it was down to Jean Michel to get on with the show.Earlier the night air in Port Hercules had been electric with anticipation as the thousands of spectators – camped in the quayside, terraces and surrounding hillside - awaited the arrival of the music maestro.There was a murmur of excitement as the first synthesiser chords rang out, and the music built up as a digital display started to count down from ten.On the stroke of zero, Jean Michel made his entrance by boat, and the crowd roared their approval. The musician strode past the crowd, surrounded by burly security men, giving high-fives to a sea of hands on his way to the stage.It was like a boxing champ making his way to the ring to give the fight of his life.The renowned electro-pop composer is no stranger to gigs of this scale. He ushered in the Millennium with a huge gig at the Pyramids and has filled the Sahara dessert with his sounds.He even holds the world record for the biggest concert in history, when 3.5 million packed into one of his shows in the University of Moscow.

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Jean Michel had spent months preparing a special set in honour of the wedding. And he was ecstatic to be performing in the principality, which he described as "one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean".All the hard work paid off - the display of lights and lasers and the strategically timed fireworks – in addition to the thumping beats - was breathtaking.

After the show – which drew to a close after two and a half hours; the partying continued well into the night.

It will take workers eight days to deconstruct the massive stage where the party to end all parties took place.

Apart from the immense stage, 35-metre-high towers and huge screens were also installed to allow the public to see the spectacle from miles around.

But even by his standards, this must have been one to file in the list of 'gigs to remember'.A team of 250 technicians had spent the last 16 days transforming Monaco's Port Hercules into a state of the art arena.

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