It’s not a honeymoon trip, in spite of the timing. Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco will be arriving in Durban, South Africa, on Tuesday for a combination hometown wedding party and an International Olympic Committee meeting of monumental importance.
Prince Albert is a member of the International Olympic Committee which on Wednesday will announce the winner of the competition to host the 2018 Olympics. The three sites that have applied to host the 2018 Winter Olympics are Annecy, France, Munich, Germany and Pyeongchang, South Korea. Annecy is a small city on the French side of the Alps near the Swiss border, whose town center is charmingly medieval. Some events would take place at the venues built for the 1968 Olympics in nearby Grenoble. Pyeongchang is in the Taebaek Mountains of South Korea and is famous for its winter sports venues. Munich is in the southern Bavarian region of Germany, close to the Austrian border. Munich was the site of the 1972 Summer Olympics during which a group of Palestinian terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes. Some events would be scheduled for the 1936 Winter Olympic venues at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Both sites would like an opportunity to create new Olympic memories to fade the old ones. The 1936 Winter Olympics, which made an international star of a Norwegian skater named Sonja Henie, were overshadowed by the infamous 1936 Summer Games at Berlin, hosted by Adolf Hitler.
Princess Charlene’s native country is extremely proud of her marriage and the wedding services and celebrations were carried live on South African television. There are plans for a huge party in Durban in honor of the royal couple. In addition to the inclusion of a South African singer at the religious wedding on Saturday, Princess Charlene has vowed to introduce Monaco to the tradition of South Africa barbeque. It’s an interesting idea to contemplate – billionaires, Michelin three-and-four-star chefs, BBQ bibs and dripping ribs.
There has been no announcement of a honeymoon trip for the royal couple. Like Prince William and Princess Catherine, who also lived together before the wedding, a “honeymoon” no longer has the significance it used to. The relevant question these days about a royal “honeymoon” is where the heck do they go when they’ve already been so many places?