The couple will marry next month in the courtyard of the Palace in Monaco

By Karen Nickel Anhalt Peter Mikelbank
May 22, 2011 09:00 AM
Amedeo M. Turello/Principality of Monaco

Just when you thought Royal Wedding mania was waning, Monaco’s Prince Albert II and his fiancée, Rhodesian-born Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, are gearing up for their own royal nuptials.

Having confirmed their engagement last November, the couple, who say they’ll tie the knot July 2 in an open-air ceremony in the courtyard of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, have now previewed some details of their wedding plans with German television broadcaster ZDF.

Prince Albert, 52, said they’d like to host so many family members, friends, heads of state and nobility that Saint Nicholas Cathedral – where his parents, the late Rainer III, Prince of Monaco and Grace Kelly, married in April 1956 – would be too small. The Palace courtyard accommodates some 800 guests, 300 more than could fit in the cathedral.

PHOTOS: British Royals: The Next Generation

Wittstock, 32, playfully chided her fiancé, saying he shouldn’t “give too much away” about what is planned for their big day, but Albert laughed and went on to say, “We have a few surprises planned.”

One detail that isn’t being kept under a lid: Wittstock’s wedding gown designer. The bride-to-be revealed in January that she plans to walk down the aisle in a creation by Giorgio Armani.

As for starting a family, Wittstock says, “I personally want to have children. I love children, and I simply can’t wait to have a family of my own.”

Prince Albert smiled and quickly chimed in by saying, “I agree!”

RELATED: Prince Albert’s Fiancée Converts to Catholicism