August 2 - Prince Albert has postponed his wedding next year so he can attend the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Durban, where the hosts for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be chosen.

Earlier this year Prince Albert announced plans to marry former South African swimming champion Charlene Wittstock in Monaco on July 8 next year, a date which clash with the IOC's meeting between July 5 to 9 where, on July 6, Annecy, Munich or Pyeongchang will be chosen to stage the 2018 Games.

Albert, himself a former Olympic bobsleigh racer, has been a member of the IOC since 1985 and has decided to get married a week early on July 2, 2011 so as not to miss the meeting.

The couple now plan to accommodate the trip to Durban for the IOC Session as part of their honeymoon.

"The couple wanted to have the Olympic family around them," a statement from the princely household in Monaco said.

"The Prince also wanted the Princess' first foreign trip to be to her homeland, South Africa."

Charlene and Albert - the son of the late Hollywood star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III - will therefore wed at a civil ceremony at the Palace on July 2 and at a religious ceremony on the next day.

The 52-year-old Prince met Wittstock when she competed at a swimming meeting he was hosting in Monaco in 2000, and they made their first public appearance together at the Turin Winter Olympics of 2006.