The Mercury

Royals head for Durban

- Suren Naidoo

PRINCE Albert II of Monaco, the UK’s Princess Anne, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Netherland’s Prince of Orange, the Crown Prince of Denmark, and representa­tives of various Arab royal families are expected to descend on Durban in July, when the city hosts the Internatio­nal Olympic Committee’s (IOC) session in the first week of July.

They will be accompanie­d by about 2 500 sports administra­tors, government leaders and media.

At Prince Albert’s side will be local lass Charlene Wittstock, who will be his wife by the time the session gets under way.

Marking the 30-day countdown to the event yesterday, IOC executive member Sam Ramsamy said the eyes of the world would be on Durban: “It will be the first time that such a group will be assembling at once in South Africa.”

The highlight of the meeting, which takes place from July 2-9 at Durban’s Internatio­nal Convention Centre, will be the naming of the 2018 Winter Olympics host city.

“The three cities bidding for the privilege are Munich (Germany), Annecy (France) and PyeongChan­g (South Korea). The winning host city will be elected in an IOC ballot on July 6,” said Ramsamy.

He said Prince Albert would use the occasion to celebrate his wedding with a reception in Umhlanga.

Tourism bosses are predicting a money-spinning week for Durban, with most delegates expected to jet in on the day that the city hosts the Durban July. Organisers have strategica­lly themed this year’s premier horse race “A royal affair”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa