Get to Know Princess Charlene of Monaco, the New Royal Mom!
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco welcomed twins! The couple first announced that they were expecting back in May, three years after the royal couple wed 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 baby news, as Prince Albert has sired two children out of wedlock 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
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
Before dating Prince Albert, Princess Charlene competed in the South African National Swimming Championships in April 2004.
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.
Charlene Wittstock and then-boyfriend Prince Albert struck a pose in 2007.
Monaco's Prince Albert II and then-girlfriend Charlene Wittstock attended the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Princess Charlene bloomed at the 60th Monte Carlo Red Cross Ball in August 2008.
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.