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Still, the tensions were evident when Wittstock talked in a TV interview before the wedding about wanting to have her own children.

“I love children and have always wanted to have children of my own,” she said on BFM television, sitting next to Albert with a close-lipped, tense smile. “We’ll see in the next couple of months or years.”

Wittstock also joked that she would bring South African barbecue traditions to Monaco.

The guest list for Saturday’s festivities included the kings of Spain, Sweden, Lesotho and Belgium, the presidents of France, Iceland, Ireland, Lebanon, Malta, Germany and Hungary, France’s richest man, celebrated opera singers, top models and race car divers.

The Catholic ceremony will also take place in the palace, followed by a gala dinner by three-time triple-starred Michelin chef Alain Ducasse. Besides the Champagne and the South African wines, everything served at the sumptuous buffet is being sourced in a 10-kilometer (6-mile) radius from Monaco, Ducasse told The Associated Press in an interview.

More than 1,000 journalists from around the world have been accredited for the festivities, which kicked off late Thursday with a free concert by the legendary Los Angeles band The Eagles.

The prince and Wittstock attended the show, he in a dark suit, she wearing a strapless black pantsuit that was more rock-and-roll diva than royalty.

Wittstock was born in Zimbabwe, but moved to neighboring South Africa as a child and swam for that country at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Albert met Wittstock during a 2000 swimming competition in Monaco. Wittstock then began appearing regularly at social events and moved to Monaco in 2006.

Albert has been an International Olympic Committee member since 1985 and competed in five Winter Olympics as part of Monaco’s bobsled team.