H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco BiographyCharlene Lynette Wittstock was born on 25th January 1978 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Africa.
When She was aged 12, her family emigrated to South Africa.
She developed a passion for swimming at a very early age.
In 1996, at 18, She won the South African Championship.
In 2000, Her team came in fifth at the Sydney Olympic Games. That same year, She won the gold medal for the 200m backstroke event at the "Marenostrum" international swimming meeting in Monaco. This is when She met Prince Albert for the first time; He was presiding over the international competition.
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).
In 2007, She ceased competing after qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.
Her father, Mr. Michael Wittstock, was born in 1946 and is actually a sales manager.
Her mother, Mrs. Lynette Wittstock (1959), is a retired swimming instructor.
Mr. and Mrs. Wittstock also have two sons: Gareth (1982), a computer technician; and Sean (1983), a sales rep.
Miss Wittstock was married to the Prince in a civil ceremony on 1 July 2011 in the Throne Room at the Palace of Monaco and the religious ceremony took place the next day in the Cour d' Honneur of the Palace of Monaco presided over by His Excellency Bernard Barsi, Archbishop of Monaco. She bears the title "H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco" along with all the historical titles vested to the Prince, in the feminine. On 10 December 2014 Princess Charlene gave birth to twins, Crown Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.
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.
On 27 of May 2011, H.S.H Princess Charlene was appointed as a Global Ambassador of Special Olympics.
On 8 July 2011 Princess Charlene was appointed as a co-patron of the Giving Organisation Trust, a group of South African charities that deal with issues ranging from AIDS among underprivileged children to the protection of the environment.
Since June 2012, Princess Charlene has been the patron of AS Rugby Monaco as well as Honorary President of Monaco Liver Disorder.
Since November 2012, She has been Honorary President of the MONAA association.
On 14 December 2012 Princess Charlene created Her own foundation dedicated to children.
In 2014 She received the highest Italian honorific distinction and was awarded the "Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Italy".
On 21 November 2015, Princess Charlene joined in partnership with the Pontifical Council and attended their 30th Annual Conference for Healthcare Workers at the Vatican where She spoke about the global drowning epidemic and about what Her Foundation is doing to help save lives from this scourge.
- Surfing is one of Her favourite sports as well as hiking mountains
- Reading biographies and ethnic poetry from South Africa
- Contemporary art