Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa the 5’11” blonde would become a swimming star in her native homeland. According to the Palais Princier de Monaco, Charlene, “…developed a passion for swimming at a very early age. In 1996, at 18, she won the South African Championship.”
The dedicated and competitive Miss Wittstock was chosen to be apart of the South African Olympic swimming team. Overall, the South African swimming team came in fifth place. Individually, Miss Wittstock never won an Olympic gold medal. However, at the 2000 Marenostrum International Swim Meet in Monaco she did win gold and she gained the attention of one Prince Albert II who was, “…presiding over the international competition.”
Soon, the 5’11” blonde and the Sovereign Prince of Monaco soon began to date.
Six years later she made her first official appearance alongside the Prince at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Soon, the couple were attached at the hip… seen together constantly from official events such as the Monaco Red Cross Ball, the Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco Film Festival, and the Swedish royal wedding.
On June 23, 2010, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco announced to the world that he had asked Charlene to marry him. Of course she said, yes, then he placed a massive diamond ring on her finger and official engagement photos were taken.
It is unknown how Miss Wittstock will spend the day (though she will attend the 35th Annual International Circus Festival in the evening), but what ever she does I am sure she will have a fabulous day with her family, friends, and her fiancé.
So there you have it! Happy Birthday, Charlene! 🙂
Here are some facts about Charlene Wittstock per the Palais Princier de Monaco
- Growing up in Africa heightened her awareness of problems linked to childhood.
- Ms. Wittstock gave swimming lessons to underprivileged children throughout her career.
- She has frequently accompanied His Serene Highness on his travels to support charitable works.
- Since 2009, she has been Honorary President of Ladies Lunch Monte-Carlo.
- Since 2010, she has been associated with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
- She regularly participates in fund raising events for charities such as Amfar.
- Surfing is one of her favourite sports as well as hiking up mountains.
- Reading biographies and ethnic poetry from South Africa
- Contemporary art
Nice photos of the couple for you to gaze upon:
Here is an interview with Miss Wittstock and Prince Albert. Click the link to view: You Tube
Photos courtesy of: Zimbio.com