Prince Albert's wedding draws elite to Monaco

Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancee Charlene Wittstock attend to the St Jean Religious Parade , Thursday, June 23, 2011, in Monaco. Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancee Charlene Wittstock of South Africa, will wed on July 1 and 2(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau ) Lionel Cironneau

Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancee Charlene Wittstock attend to the St Jean Religious Paradeon June 23, 2011, in Monaco.
AP

(CBS/AP) France's richest man, an African prince and an actor who incarnated James Bond are among the famous guests converging in Monaco this week for the much-anticipated nuptials between Prince Albert II and former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock.

Pictures: Monaco wedding guests
Pictures: Wedding preparations
Pictures: Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock
Special section: Monaco's royal wedding

It's the first wedding of a reigning prince in the tiny Riviera principality since Philadelphia-born Hollywood icon Grace Kelly walked down the aisle with Albert's late father, Prince Rainier III, more than 50 years ago.

The palace long kept the guest list for the festivities under wraps, presumably for security reasons, but on Thursday released brief biographies of the celebrity guests.

Pictures: Monaco prepares for royal wedding

Top names included Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, U.S. soprano Renee Fleming, and Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury giant LVMH - and the wealthiest man in France.

Italian designer Giorgio Armani, who made Wittstock's wedding dress, and Roberto Cavalli are planned to attend. Supermodels including Naomi Cambell and Karolina Kurkova are also expected.

His Majesty Leruo Molotlegi of the Kingdom of Bafokeng in South Africa is on the guest list - as is the former president of El Salvador.

A large number of athletes are also expected, including swimmers, distance runners, race car drivers and tennis and rugby players. Romanian gymnast Nadia Comenici, who captivated the world by winning three gold medals at the 1976 summer Olympic Games, will attend.

Wittstock and Albert have participated in the Olympics -she as a swimmer, he as a bobsledder.

Friday's civil ceremony and Saturday's religious ceremony will be held in the palace, an Italianate Renaissance palazzo that's been home to Monaco's ruling Grimaldi dynasty for centuries.

A multicourse gala dinner by three-time triple Michelin starred chef Alain Ducasse will follow the church ceremony.

  • CBS News Staff

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