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MONACO (AP) — Monaco’s reigning prince, Albert II, has wed South Africa’s Charlene Wittstock in a long-awaited civil ceremony that transformed the one-time Olympic swimmer into the Princess of Monaco.

Charlene succeeds Hollywood beauty Grace Kelly, who wed Albert’s father Prince Rainier III in 1956 and died in a car accident nearly three decades ago.

Monegasques swarmed the plaza outside the palace, where Friday’s ceremony took place, in the hope of catching a glimpse of the newlyweds. The two will hold a more elaborate religious ceremony and wedding gala Saturday.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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