Monegasque commemorative 2 euro coins 2011 - The wedding of Prince Albert and Charlene
Commemorative 2 euro coins from Monaco
Reverse: left from the coin centre face value: 2, on the right inscription: EURO; in the background of the inscription a map of Europe; in the background of the map vertically six parallel lines ending on both sides with five-pointed stars (the reverse is common for all euro coins)
Issuing volume: 148 000 coins
Date of issue: 2nd of July
Face value: 2 euro
Diameter: 25.75 mm
Thickness: 2.2 mm
Weight: 8.5 gr
Composition: BiAlloy (Nk/Ng), ring Cupronickel (75% copper - 25% nickel clad on nickel core), center Nickel brass
Prince Albert II is the current Sovereign Prince of Monaco, having succeeded his father Rainier III in April 2005. Charlene Wittstock was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) but moved to South Africa with her family when she was 12. She has represented South Africa in swimming, and participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She met Prince Albert at the 2000 Marenostrum International Swimming Meet in Monaco, which he presided over. She retired from swimming in 2007. Prince Albert was also an athlete, competing in bobsleigh in five Olympics.
The couple were first seen together in 2006. Speculation was rife that they were getting married in 2009, and they finally announced their engagement on 23 June 2010.
During the week before the wedding, the palace was forced to deny reports that Wittstock had been getting cold feet. French weekly L'Express reported that Wittstock tried to leave Monaco on Tuesday, 28 June, after rumours surfaced that Albert had fathered a third illegitimate child. The report claimed Monaco police intercepted her at Nice Côte d'Azur Airport and confiscated her passport, and that it took "intense convincing" by Albert and palace officials for her to stay. The palace called the stories "ugly rumours" born out of jealousy.
A two-day public holiday for the celebrations was declared.
Commentators said that the wedding would be important for Monaco to survive as a tax haven. Monegasque authorities believed that the event would increase tourism.
Best man: Christopher Levine (cousin of the groom, son of Princess Grace's sister Elizabeth Anne).
Maid of honour: Donatella Knecht de Massy (née Dugaginy) (wife of the groom's first cousin once removed, Keith Sébastien Knecht de Massy).
Stamp of Monaco
On the occasion of Prince Albert II of Monaco’ marriage to Miss Charlene Wittstock, on July 1, 2011 the Stamp Issuing Office of Monaco issue the postage stamp (Block), created by Georgy Shishkin (laureate of competition).
Festivities began on the night of 30 June with a concert at the Stade Louis II by American rock band the Eagles. The concert was attended by 15,000 Monegasques and the couple.
The civil ceremony took place on Friday 1 July 2011 in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace. The ceremony was conducted by Philippe Narmino, Director of Judicial Services and president of the Council of State. Wittstock wore a silken blue jacket with ankle-length pants by Chanel. After the confirmation by Narmino, the newlywed couple signed the marriage register with a specially created pen made by Montblanc in gold and precious stones and adorned with their monogram . In connection with the civil ceremony, Wittstock received the formal style Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco. The 20-minute ceremony was also attended by Prince Albert's sisters Caroline, Princess of Hanover, and Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.
After the ceremony, the couple appeared on the balcony of the Salon des Glaces to salute the crowds. They waved and kissed each other shyly, prompting another round of cheers from the crowd. The couple were also joined by Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie with their children as well as Charlene's parents and brothers.
They joined other Monegasques in the Palace Square for a specially prepared buffet with Mediterranean and South African dishes by Chefs from South Africa and Monaco, headlined by multiple Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse.
A free concert was performed by French composer Jean-Michel Jarre and his group at 22:00 hours on the Port Hercules, with an attendance of 100,000. It included a display of lights, lasers and fireworks. The new couple appeared on stage with the Princess adorned in a bespoke necklace made of 18K rose gold set with diamonds and pearls designed by the jewellery house Tabbah.