PARIS — Monaco will see a royal wedding in the summer of 2011, Prince Albert II was quoted as saying Thursday as his future father-in-law described him a “nice chap.”
Albert expressed hope that the population of his tiny Riviera principality will “welcome with kindness” his future bride, Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimmer from South Africa who is 20 years his junior.
“I know the Monagasque population was waiting for this moment,” Albert, 52, told the Nice-Matin newspaper in his first comments since the engagement announcement Wednesday. He gave no exact date for the wedding.
The father of the princess-to-be, Michael Wittstock, said he received a call from Albert on Tuesday afternoon.
“He phoned me so I could give him the blessing to put the ring on her finger,” Wittstock said Thursday in The Star, a Johannesburg daily.
But Wittstock said the prince could work on his timing — South Africa’s last World Cup match, against France, just about to begin.
“He called me just before kickoff and I wanted to get the whole thing over and done with” before the game, Wittstock said.
He described the prince as a “nice chap” and said the family was excited about the engagement.
The marriage will give Wittstock the title Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco, among others. She will share in the 136 titles conferred on her prince.