Cape Town - Local celebrities have expressed their delight at the news that Monaco’s Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco are expecting their first child.

The 36-year-old former Olympic swimmer and her husband, 56, issued a statement expressing their “immense joy” at the news.

Golden boy swimmer Chad le Clos, who often swam with Princess Charlene, is thrilled for the couple.

Le Clos is training in Doha, but will fly to Monaco next week.

He said he could not wait to see the princess.

His father, Bert le Clos, said: “We are all ecstatic. This is such pleasant news, and we hope she has a hale and hearty pregnancy. I am certain that she will make a wonderful mother because she is such a charismatic young lady.”

Top designer Terrence Bray, who has been a close friend of Princess Charlene since his first collaboration with her in 2006 for the Torino Winter Olympics, and who dressed her for the South African celebrations of her wedding, said Charlene had informed him of her pregnancy personally.

“This is great news, and I wish her all the happiness in the world. She loves children, and I know this was a dream of hers. She will make a great mother.”

Wayne Coetzer, general manager of the Oyster Box Hotel in Durban, where the couple have often stayed, sent her a personal message of congratulations yesterday morning.

“We want to wish her everything of the best. This is amazing news, and we hope she will plan the baby’s christening at the Oyster Box. It is so exciting that we are going to have a new prince or princess of Monaco with some South African blood,” he said. - Weekend Argus