Model Kendra Spears is engaged to Prince Rahim Aga Khan, son of His Highness Aga Khan IV, Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims. The 24-year-old American beauty will marry her 41-year-old fiance in an upcoming Muslim ceremony, according to a press release on the Aga Khan’s web site.
As The Telegraph notes, the brunette is marrying into a family accustomed to beautiful brides:
Spears isn’t the first model to marry into the royal family –the Daily Mail reports that the prince’s paternal grandfather was once married to Rita Hayworthand his mother, Sarah Croker-Poole, was once a British supermodel as well. His younger brother, Prince Hussain, married model Kristin White in 2006, and his sister, Princess Zahra, married male model Mark Boyden in 1997.
Kendra Spears, now Princess Salwa, was married to Prince Rahim Aga Khan in a private ceremony attended by members and friends of both families on August 31 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The wedding ceremony was held on the shores of Lake Geneva, on the grounds of the Château de Bellerive — the residence of Aga Khan’s uncle, the late Prince Sadruddin and his wife Princess Aliya.
The proceedings commenced with the recitation of a traditional qasida in the Farsi language, in praise of Hazrat Ali. This was followed by the nikah recited by His Eminence Sayyed Muhammad Musawi, a prominent Shia faith leader,” according to the Ismaili network’s website.
The couple were presented with an 18th century piece of Islamic art by the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum, who represented the global community at the ceremony, to mark the festive occasion.
The spiritual leader of the global Shia Ismaili Muslim community, the Aga Khan, had announced the couple’s engagement earlier this year.
For the wedding ceremony, Spears wore a pre-draped sari paired with traditional blouse with intricate jamewar hand embroidery. For the groom, Gangwani designed a classic sherwani made in pure silk brocade teamed with an off-white shirt and trouser, said a statement issued on behalf of the designer all in a lovely color of ivory.
Rahim Aga Khan is involved in the poverty reduction efforts of the Aga Khan Development Network an International Organization private held agency working in many parts of the globe, fostering social, cultural and economic development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Prince Rahim has a BA from Brown University and an executive management degree from Barcelona’s Navarra Business School.
Ms. Kendra Spears, who has a BA in sociology from the University of Washington, has an interest in arts and architecture and has worked as a model with a number of fashion houses.
According to Ms. Kendra’s twitter profile – the couple was introduced to Gangwani by international supermodel Naomi Campbell, Spears’ catwalk colleague. Spears even took to Twitter to thank Campbell for getting her in touch with Gangwani.
Kendra Spears ( Princess Salwa) has appeared in campaigns for Diane von Furstenberg and Prada and graced the runways of Chanel, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani and Gucci and a perfume ad with Moschino
Model Kendra Spears stays the face of the new ESCADA Fall/Winter 2013 campaign
Prince Rahim follows in the footsteps of his younger brother, Prince Hussain, who married model Kristin White in 2006.
“Thank you all for the kind tweets! We’re very excited!” Spears responded to her 7,200 followers on Twitter and thanked Manav for the beyond-gorgeous sari! said thank you Naomi Campbell for the introduction,” tweeted Kendra.
Gangwani is among the country’s known couturiers and a host of faces from Bollywood according to his profile “Manav Gangwani’s evolution reflects a look of unique youthful opulence, whetting the interest of high profile celebrities including Akshay Khanna, Arjun Rampal, Ameesha Patel, Aqeel Ali, Ayesha Thappar, Dia Mirza, Dino Morea, Esha Deol, Farah Khan Ali, Fardeen Khan, Hema Malini, Hrithik Roshan, Jiah Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Kangana Ranaut, Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor Kapur, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Laila Khan, Lara Dutta, Lewis Hamilton, Mahesh Bhupathi, Malaika Khan, Mughda Godse, R Madhavan, Natasha Khan, Neetu Kapoor, Neeta Ambani, Neerja Birla, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Pratibha Advani, Preity Zinta, Priyanka Chopra, Pooja Batra, Peter Andre, Riddhima Kapoor Sahani, Raveena Tandon Thadani, Raima Sen, Rahul Khanna, Sameera Reddy, Shahrukh Khan, Sridevi, Sussanne Roshan, Shruti Hassan, Sophie Choudry, Saif Ali Khan Pataudi, Soha Ali Khan Pataudi, Sharmila Tagore Pataudi, Salman Khan, Sir Eric Clapton, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonam Kapoor, Tabu, Tina Ambani, Zeenat Aman, Zayed Khan & of course the very gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchcan” An Affaire to Remember 2010