Sunday, January 25, 2015

Royal Profile: Princess Charlene of Monaco

Princess Charlene Lynette of Monaco (born Charlene Lynette Wittstock) was born 25 January 1978, the eldest child and only daughter of Mike and Lynette Wittstock in Zimbabwe{Source}. She has two younger brothers, Sean and Gareth {Source}. She and her family re-located from Zimbabwe to South Africa when Charlene was 11 years old {Source}.

The future Princess of Monaco attended local schools in Benoni, South Africa, but left school to peruse her passions for swimming.
She developed a passion for swimming at a very early age {Source}. In 1996, at 18, she won the South African Championship {Source}. In 2000, her team came in fifth at the Sydney Olympic Games {Source}. That same year, she won the gold medal for the 200m backstroke event at the "Marenostrum" international swimming meeting in Monaco {Source}. This is when she met Prince Albert for the first time; he was presiding over the international competition {Source}. In 2002, she won three gold medals at the swimming World Cup (50m and 100m crawl, 4x100m relay) and the silver medal during the Manchester Commonwealth Games (4x100m medley relay) {Source}. In 2007, she ceased competing after qualifying for the Beijing Olympics {Source}.

Growing up in Africa heightened her awareness of problems linked to childhood {Source}. She has frequently accompanied His Serene Highness on his travels to support charitable works, even prior to their engagment and marriage {Source}. Since 2009, she has been Honorary President of Ladies Lunch Monte-Carlo {Source}. Since 2010, she has been associated with the Nelson Mandela Foundation {Source}. She regularly participates in fund raising events for charities such as AMFar {Source}. On the 27th of May 2011, H.S.H Princess Charlene was appointed as a Global Ambassador of Special Olympics {Source}. On 8th of July 2011, Princess Charlene has been appointed as a co-patron of the Giving Organisation Trust, a group of South African charities that deals with issues ranging from AIDS among underprivileged children to the protection of the environment {Source}. Since June 2012, Princess Charlene has been the patron of AS Rugby Monaco {Source}. Since November 2012, She has been Honorary President of the MONAA association {Source}.

In her free time, the Princess Consort of Monaco enjoys reading (especially biographies, and books of South African ethnic poems), surfing, hiking and contemporary art {Source}.

When she married Prince Albert II of Monaco in July 2011, she became a stepmother to his two children from previous relationships:
  • Jazmin Grace Grimaldi (1992)
  • Alexandre Eric Stephane Coste Grimaldi (2003)

On 10 December 2014, she became a biological mother for the first time to twins:
  • Princess Gabriella Thérèse Marie of Monaco, The Countess of Carladès 
  • Prince Jacques Honoré Rainier, Hereditary Prince of Monaco

No comments:

Post a Comment