By Humphrey Carter LESS than 24 hours after announcing his engagement to South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, ending decades as one of Europe's most eligible bachelors, Prince Albert of Monaco, flew into Palma by helicopter enroute to Cabrera to take part in the making of an aquatic documentary about the marine reserve.

The film in which the Prince is participating is being made by National Geographic in cooperation with the Cousteau Foundation and the Albert of Monaco Foundation.

It is understood that the Prince will be on the island shoot for just a day because tonight he is hosting a gala fundraising night in Monaco in aid of the global marine conservation organisation Oceana.

He will also be reunited with his fiancé who he has dated since 2006.
The official announcement of the engagement was made on Wednesday by the royal palace. “The prince's palace announced on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, the engagement of his Royal Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco with Mademoiselle Charlene Wittstock,” a palace statement said. But it did not give a date for the wedding.

The last time Monaco celebrated a wedding of its ruling prince was in 1956, when Rainier married the actress Grace Kelly, bringing a huge dose of glamour to the tiny Mediterranean principality.

But the Grimaldi dynasty that has ruled for more than seven centuries is also familiar with tragedy and bad publicity:
Kelly died in a 1982 car crash, and her children, Albert, Caroline and Stephanie, regularly made headlines for the wrong reasons.
Once dubbed Dirty Bertie by the tabloid press, Albert in his younger days was photographed accompanying a stream of famous women, such as Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Brooke Shields, Lisa Marie Presley and Kylie Minogue.

But unlike his two sisters, who have a clutch of marriages and seven children between them, Albert never showed any indication of wanting to settle down until he started going out with the blond, elegant Wittstock in 2006.

Rumours occasionally surfaced that they were set to marry, but the pair remained silent about their future, until now that is.