Monaco: Princess Charlene of Monaco tried to flee home to South Africa three times before her marriage to Prince Albert II, according to reports. Charlene Wittstock (33), reportedly made her first escape attempt when she travelled to Paris in May to try on her wedding dress.

During the visit, she 'took refuge' in her country's embassy in the French capital, sources in Monaco said.

The allegations, which are surprising considering she went ahead with the wedding on Saturday, emerged in a leading French newspaper.

It went on to report that later in May, Charlene made a second apparent attempt  to escape during the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Then, last week, royal officials are said to have confiscated her passport en route to Nice airport via the helicopter service that runs between the Mediterranean principality and France. She was then persuaded to go on with the marriage.

"Several sources have confirmed that an arrangement was reached between the future bride and groom," French daily reported.

Sources said the Monaco palace had hoped the glitzy wedding attended by a host of celebrities and European royalty would 'overshadow' new claims about secret children fathered by Albert. Instead, Charlene was in tears at one point, while her 53-year-old husband looked on impassively.

Meanwhile, the reception that followed provoked ridicule with tacky features such as a giant wedding cake that towered over the couple and a mirrored dance floor.

The couple is due to fly to South Africa for honeymoon on Tuesday, presenting Charlene with her best chance yet of 'escaping' Monaco.

Show stopper

Naomi Campbell dressed in a white Givenchy gown turned heads at the wedding. Naomi's halter-neck dress was embroidered with dozens of green stones which she teamed with green earrings.