PARIS — Princess Charlene of Monaco, who married Prince Albert II in 2011, announced she is pregnant with the couple’s first baby.

The former Olympic swimmer from South Africa and her husband issued a statement expressing their ‘‘immense joy’’ at the news.

The birth is expected before the end of the year, suggesting the style-conscious princess is at least three months pregnant.

The news is sure to please the palace and end recent tabloid media speculation about why Charlene, 36, after nearly three years of marriage with Albert, 56, had not yet provided an heir to the jet-set European principality.

Demure Princess Charlene is known for her elegant fashion style, patronizing designers such as Giorgio Armani, who designed her couture wedding dress.


Associated Press