Prince’s Palace of Monaco

Biographical details for Ms. Charlene Lynette Wittstock

Miss Charlene Lynette Wittstock was born on 25th January 1978 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Africa.

 Picture : Biographical details for Ms. Charlene Lynette Wittstock

When she was aged 12, her family emigrated to South Africa.


She developed a passion for swimming at a very early age.

In 1996, at 18, she won the South African Championship.

In 2000, her team came in fifth at the Sydney Olympic Games. That same year, she won the gold medal for the 200m backstroke event at the "Marenostrum" international swimming meeting in Monaco. This is when she met Prince Albert for the first time; he was presiding over the international competition.

In 2002, she won three gold medals at the swimming World Cup (50m and 100m crawl, 4x100m relay) and the silver medal during the Manchester Commonwealth Games (4x100m medley relay).

In 2007, she ceased competing after qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.


Her father, Mr. Michael Wittstock, was born in 1946 and is actually a sales manager.

Her mother, Mrs. Lynette Wittstock (1959), is a retired swimming instructor.

Ms. Wittstock has two brothers: Gareth (1982), a computer technician; and Sean (1983), a sales rep.


Growing up in Africa heightened her awareness of problems linked to childhood.

Ms. Wittstock gave swimming lessons to underprivileged children throughout her career.

She has frequently accompanied His Serene Highness on his travels to support charitable works.

Since 2009, she has been Honorary President of Ladies Lunch Monte-Carlo.

Since 2010, she has been associated with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

She regularly participates in fund raising events for charities such as Amfar.

In May 2011, she was named as a Global Ambassador to the Special Olympics.


  • Surfing is one of her favourite sports as well as hiking up mountains.
  • Reading biographies and ethnic poetry from South Africa.
  • Contemporary art.
Prince’s Palace of Monaco