BRIDE AND GROOM

Princess Kalina of Bulgaria is the only daughter and youngest child of King (now Prime Minister) Simeon II of Bulgaria and Margarita Gomez-Acebo y Cejuela and was born on January 19, 1972 in Madrid, Spain. Her name means 'wild rose'. She studied at a French Lyceum and is fluent in Spanish, French, English, Italian, German and Bulgarian. She is one of the most modern and original princesses in the world and is famous for her unique style of dress and make-up. Once she shaved her head completely and later dyed her hair bright orange. The Spanish press comments that she rarely wears jewels, preferring showy costume earrings, necklaces and trinkets. She is also fascinated with exaggerated makeup and Manila shawls which she wraps around her neck or ties up in a knot on her head in pirate style.She is a vegetarian and is very creative. She loves painting and designing and wants to be a fine arts dealer. She loves modern art and likes visiting exhibitions. She devotes herself to the restoration of furniture, but has also worked in the fashion world of London, though she often snubs modern fashion conventions. She detests cruelty to animals and belongs to an animal rights group.

Antonio (Kitín) Muñoz Valcárcel was born in Sidi Ifni, Morocco, on November 19, 1958. He is a former membre of the Spanish army's elite commando unit. He is famous for his three failed attempts to cross the Pacific Ocean in a 27m-long boat made of reeds to prove that centuries ago sailors crossed the ocean from the Americas to Asia in similar boats. He set out from Chile with a crew of nine from Easter Island, Peru, Bolivia, Japan, and Tahiti. "With this voyage I would like to demonstrate that many of the parallels that exist between different cultures and people that today are attributed to arbitrary causes had their reason in the voyages that had crossed seas and oceans in remote times and before the European expeditions of the 15th century," Kitín Muñoz said. The project had two aims: to prove that the original inhabitants of the island culture were capable of realising transoceanic voyages with resistant boats, and also to demonstrate that there could have been a cultural, botanical and blood relationship between civilisations separated by the sea. His expedition recalls the epic raft voyage by Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl more than 50 years ago to prove that ancient people from the Americas could have colonised Polynesia. The voyage from Easter Island sought to prove that ancient people were capable of crossing the seas before the Europeans. The 14 000 km voyage took between five and six months. Kitín Muñoz said he wanted to demonstrate that people from the Americas, the Polynesian Islands and Asia used seafaring vessels for trade before Christopher Columbus arrived. The boat was made of reeds from Lake Titicaca in the Andes, on the border of Bolivia and Peru. Its figurehead represented a mythological bird from Easter Island. Unlike the ancient boats, it had solar panels for on-board power and hi-tech navigational aids including a global positioning system and a satellite link. Last year Princes Kalina accompanied him on an expedition to the coast of Morocco where the authorities rolled out the red carpet for them and the two were given a royal welcome. Kitín Muñoz is a goodwill ambassador for UNESCO for his work on the environment and for indigenous peoples, and is an honorary consul of Morocco. He is about to become anchor of a series of documentary shows on one of the most popular Spanish TV channels. Kalina describes her fiancee as a scholar studying different civilisations and disagrees with opinions that his pursuits are extravagant.

During the presentation of the documentary shows about his travels Kitín Muñoz said about the wedding: "We are making final preparations and all goes smoothly. Kalina is as adventurous as I am and we both love the unknown and traveling." He said that the marriage will be his greatest adventure of all.

The couple met three years ago in Madrid and were introduced to each other by their close friend Alvaro de Marichalar, brother of Jaime de Marichalar who is married to Infanta Elena of Spain.