- Kendra Spears and Prince Rahim announced their engagement in April
- Married in traditional Muslim ceremony at Bellerive Castle in Geneva
American supermodel Kendra Spears became a princess yesterday after marrying the eldest son of billionaire racehorse owner, His Highness Aga Khan IV. The Seattle-born beauty, 24, wore a stunning ivory sari with gold embroidery to marry Prince Rahim Aga Khan, 41, in a traditional Muslim ceremony.
After a short engagement of only four months, the couple exchanged vows at the Bellerive Castle in Geneva, Switzerland. Spears wore her hair in an elegant chignon and kept her make-up natural with a soft smoky eye. She accessorised her traditional dress with sparkling jewelled earrings with matching tiered necklace and wore nude strappy sandals for the warm summer wedding.
Just family and close friends attended the private ceremony on the grounds of the Château de Bellerive, overlooking the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The traditional Muslim ceremony follows in the royal family’s custom. The couple’s engagement was made public in April by the Aga Khan in a press release on his website. They had not confirmed a wedding date at the time.
Spears thanked well-wishers shortly after via Twitter, writing: ‘Thank you all for the kind tweets! We’re very excited!’ His Highness, who is the spiritual leader of the world’s Shia Ismaili Muslims, said he was ‘delighted to announce the engagement.’ Miss Spears was once dubbed ‘the next Cindy Crawford’.
She has appeared in campaigns for Diane von Furstenberg and Prada, and walked the catwalk for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy, among many others. The University of Washington sociology graduate made headlines in 2009 when she was sued for changing model agencies.
After a two-year legal battle, Miss Spears was made to pay Ford Models over £96,000 in royalties after switching to Next. Ford claimed that the catwalk star was ‘one of the shining stars of the Ford development system’ and had been ‘signed as a prospect while still a teenager in braces.’
Her husband, who studied in the U.S. at Brown University and the Navarra Business School in Barcelona, Spain, is involved in the poverty reduction efforts of the Aga Khan Development Network. Miss Spears has married into a family with a long-established history of beautiful brides.
Her husband’s paternal grandfather was famously married to Rita Hayworth. Prince Rahim’s British mother, Princess Salimah Aga Khan, was known as supermodel Sarah Croker-Poole before she wed, though she and the Aga Khan divorced in 1995, she continues to be known by her married name.
The Aga Khan, 74, then married German former pop star Gabriele Renate Homey in 1998, after which she took the name Inaara, though they divorced in 2011. Prince Rahim follows in the footsteps of his younger brother, who also married an American model.