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Charlene Wittstock converts for prince

2011-04-04 12:47
 
Charlene Wittstock and Prince Albert
Monaco - Charlene Wittstock, the South African swimming champion fiancée of Monaco's Prince Albert II, has converted to Roman Catholicism ahead of their July marriage, his palace said on Sunday.

"Miss Charlene Wittstock who professes the Christian faith has been admitted by free and personal choice into full communion with the Catholic Church," said a palace statement.

Wittstock, 33, who was born in Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) was a Protestant, while Catholicism is the principality's official religion.

Albert II, 53, met Wittstock in 2000 when she came to take part in a swimming competition in Monaco.

Giant screen

The playboy prince and his blonde companion are to tie the knot in Monte Carlo's millionaire's playground in a civil ceremony on July 1 followed by a religious ceremony the following day.

Monarchs and heads of state can watch the marriage itself within the palace while 3 500 less privileged guests can watch on a giant screen.

The wedding was billed as the royal event of the year, but now seems likely to be overshadowed by the April 29 London marriage of Britain's Prince William and the girlfriend he met eight years ago at university, Kate Middleton.

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