POPSUGAR Celebrity

Get to Know Princess Charlene of Monaco, the Next Royal Mom!

May 30 2014 - 11:05am

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco are expecting [1] their first child together! Friday's exciting announcement came three years after the royal couple wed [2] in July 2011, when the South African beauty married the country's reigning Prince Albert in his royal palace. Princess Charlene fills the role once held by Albert's mother, Grace Kelly, and the people of Monaco are likely thrilled with her pregnancy news, as Prince Albert has sired two children out of wedlock [3] and his lack of a legitimate heir caused concerns about the future of the monarchy and Monaco's independence from France.

Before she entered into Riviera royalty, Charlene was part of sports royalty as a member of South Africa's Olympic swim team in 2000. It was swimming that brought her to the prince that year, when she traveled to Monaco for a competition, but they did not become a public couple until stepping out together at the 2006 Winter Olympics. After their engagement in June 2013, Charlene, a former Protestant, converted to Catholicism — she also learned French and the Monégasque dialect as part of her princess training.

Following the pair's 2011 nuptials, Charlene took the elegant title of Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco. To celebrate the royal couple's exciting announcement, take a look Princess Charlene's past glamorous (and sporty) moments.

Source: Getty / Jason Merritt [4]

The Olympic swimmer posed at the Commonwealth Games in 1998, a couple of years before she met her prince.

Looking like a true princess, Charlene Wittstock attended a mass in the Cathedral of Monaco as part of the official ceremonies for the Monaco National Day in November 2010.

Source: Getty / Valery Hache/AFP [5]

Before dating Prince Albert, Princess Charlene competed in the South African National Swimming Championships in April 2004.

Princess Charlene looked chic in hot pink in May 2010.

Source: Getty / Francois Durand [6]

Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock were among the many royal guests at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding [7].

Source: Getty / Chris Jackson [8]

Princess Charlene wore all black as she left the Monaco Cathedral during the Sainte-Dévote festivities in January 2011.

Source: Getty / Valery Hache/AFP [9]

Looking fresh-faced, Princess Charlene posed for pictures alongside Prince Albert at the gala dinner of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix in May 2007.

She held up a flag as she left a prewedding gala ahead of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding [10].

Source: Getty / Matthew Lloyd [11]

Wearing a red dress, Princess Charlene attended the Red Cross Gala in July 2009.

Source: Getty / Stephanie Danna/AFP [12]

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert posed together before the 2009 FIA prize presentation gala in December 2009.

Source: Getty / Eric Gaillard/AFP [13]

Prince Albert and his then-swimmer girlfriend, Charlene Wittstock, took part in the traditional Christmas swim in Monaco in 2009.

Source: Getty / Valery Hache/AFP [14]

Actress Kate Beckinsale [15] and Princess Charlene were all smiles at amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS 2010 benefit gala.

Source: Getty / Pascal Le Segretain [16]

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene attended an event in Sweden prior to the wedding [17] of Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling.

Source: Getty / Attila Kisbenedek/AFP [18]

Prince Albert of Monaco and his then-fiancée, Charlene Wittstock, attended the concerts of Iggy and the Stooges and ZZ Top in July 2010.

Source: Getty / Stephanie Danna/AFP [19]

Prince Albert arrived at the 2010 Red Cross gala with his then-fiancée and Princess Stephanie of Monaco on his arms.

Source: Getty / Stephanie Danna/AFP [20]

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene arrived at the Monaco National Day Gala in 2010.

Source: Getty / Pascal Le Segretain [21]

Charlene Wittstock and then-boyfriend Prince Albert struck a pose in 2007.

Princess Charlene, Princess Caroline of Hanover, and Prince Albert II of Monaco attended the Monaco National Day Gala concert in November 2010.

Source: Getty / Pascal Le Segretain [22]

Monaco's Prince Albert II and then-girlfriend Charlene Wittstock attended the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Prince Albert of Monaco and his then-fiancée appeared on the balcony of the Palace of Monaco in November 2010.

Source: Getty / Valery Hache/AFP [23]

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert arrived to attend the Formula One Gala dinner in May 2011.

Source: Getty / Pascal Le Segretain [24]

Sebastian Vettel of Germany received the winner's trophy from Prince Albert II of Monaco and his then-girlfriend, Charlene Wittstock, in May 2011.

Source: Getty / Paul Gilham [25]

The pair attended a fashion event in Monaco in May 2011.

Source: Getty / Pascal Le Segretain [26]

Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlene attended amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS Gala during the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Source: Getty / Francois Durand [27]

She visited the Marine Institute of Oranmore, Ireland, in April 2011.

Source: Getty / Valery Hache/AFP [28]

Princess Charlene was presented with flowers from children during a visit to Ireland in April 2011.

Source: Getty / Maxwells Dublin/Pool [29]

Prince Albert of Monaco's then-fiancée arrived for an official dinner at the presidential palace in Dublin during an April 2011 state visit.

Source: Getty / Valery Hache/AFP [30]

She attended the funeral of Princess Antoinette, late Prince Rainier's sister, at the Monaco Cathedral in March 2011.

Source: Getty / Lionel Cironneau/AFP [31]

The former Olympic swimmer participated in a swim to raise money for Special Olympics in February 2011.

Source: Getty / Rajesh Jantilal/AFP [32]

Princess Charlene was interviewed after a swim in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Source: Getty / Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images [33]

Wearing a swimsuit, Charlene Wittstock stepped out of the water in South Africa in February 2011.

Source: Getty / Rajesh Jantilal/AFP [34]

The then-future Princess of Monaco attended a launch for the Nelson Mandela Intimate Moments Exhibition in South Africa in February 2011.

Source: Getty / Michelly Rall [35]

The royal couple attended the award ceremony for the 35th Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival in January 2011.

Source: Getty / Frederick Nebinger/Pool [36]

Princess Charlene bloomed at the 60th Monte Carlo Red Cross Ball in August 2008.

Princess Charlene glowed in Monte Carlo in 2008.

Source: Getty / Valery Hache/AFP [37]

Prince Albert II wed Princess Charlene at the Prince's Palace of Monaco on July 2, 2011.

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert presented tennis pros with their trophies at the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters in April 2014.

Princess Charlene channeled her sporty side while hanging out with children at the 4th Challenge Sainte-Devote of Rugby in February 2014.

She made an elegant appearance in LA for The Colleagues' 26th Annual Spring Luncheon in April 2014.

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco stepped out for the Grand Prix of Monaco Gala dinner in May 2014.


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