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Charlene Wittstock Not A Runaway Bride, Monaco Palace Insists

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Monaco's palace went into P.R. overdrive on Tuesday, squelching rumors that princess-to-be Charlene Wittstock had turned into a runaway bride, People.com reports.

French newspaper L'express printed a story last week claiming that Wittstock tried to flee the country and head home. An excerpt, translated by us:

Everything started a week ago with the hasty departure of the future princess to the Nice airport where she boarded a flight to South Africa. With a one-way ticket. Shaken-up, Charlene Wittstock had just learned that the private life of the man she is about to marry (and who had publicly confessed in September 2005 to fathering a child with Nicole Coste) wasn't as exemplary as she had thought.

[...]

To bring Charlene back to reason, Prince Albert and his entourage had to persuade her, using a member of the Pastor clan -- one of the great families of Monaco -- as an intermediary. Since this episode, Charlene Wittstock, who was in Paris at the beginning of the week for a wedding dress fitting, has been sulking at meetings and family celebrations.

And just last week, the New York Times portrayed Wittstock as a nervous wreck -- in part, because of the language barrier, comparisons to Grace Kelly, and confusion over how to answer questions about having children.

Jenny Crwys-Williams, who interviewed Wittstock for South Africa's popular Talk Radio 702 in February, told the Times, "I thought she was one of the most anxious people I have ever met. She was absolutely terrified of saying the wrong thing and falling foul of the terrible women in the palace....I wanted to put my arms around her and tell her it would be all right."

So what's the deal? Christiane Stahl, a chief advisor to Prince Albert at the Monaco Palace, told People.com, "Please believe me, none of this is true, and we think it comes from utter jealousy. Charlene never left to go to the airport, nothing like that ever happened. She was never upset and never wanted to stop the wedding."

And according to Reuters, Albert's attorney Thierry Lacoste, explained to Le Figaro, "It's sheer madness, everything is false....I was just with the Prince and Charlene Wittstock in Paris three days ago and I can promise you everything is fine."

The couple is set to walk down the aisle July 2.

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