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Kendra Spears: Model To Become Princess When She Marries Prince Rahim Aga Khan

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Runway model Kendra Spears will become a princess when she marries Prince Rahim Aga Khan of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.

The engagement was announced last week by the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader or Imam of the global community of the Shi’a Ismaili Muslims. He currently lives in France, according to Us Weekly.

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The Shi’a Ismaili Muslims number nearly 15 million, according to the Daily Beast. The Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam and is regarded as a direct descendent of the prophet Mohamed.

The announcement reveals that the pair will be married in a Muslim ceremony and that the date has not yet been set. The Aga Khan said he was “delighted” to announce the engagement.

A spokesperson for the Aga Khan said that Spears would convert to Islam.

“That is the assumption,” the spokesperson said. “If it is a Muslim marriage, it’s understood that [Spears] would be converting to Islam.”

Kendra Spears, 24, seemed delighted with the engagement as well.

“Thank you for all the kind tweets! We’re very excited!” she tweeted shortly after the announcement.

Spears has appeared in magazines, including on the covers of French Elle, Chinese Vogue, and Dazed & Confused. She’s worked in campaigns for Prada, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein and Emporio Armani and is signed to the agency NEXT models in New York.

Spears was discovered via a MySpace contest in 2008 and was a finalist in the Supermodel of the World competition, according to Zap2It.

Prince Rahim Aga Kahn, 41, is involved in “poverty reduction efforts, notably micro-credit activities” throughout the Aga Khan Development Network. He is worth an estimated $800 million.

The marriage will make Spears an official princess, but one without a country.

“You could describe them as prince and princesses but they don’t have a kingdom so in that sense they are not royalty,” the spokesperson said.

“[The Aga Khan] is a prince in the sense that he originally comes from a family that was part of the Iranian royal dynasty…he has the title ‘His Highness’ which was awarded to him by Queen Elizabeth in the fifties upon coming to the U.K., so you can describe him as a prince…but he does not use the title ‘His Royal Highness.’”

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Reporter's Photo May 02, 2013 05:28 PM EDT

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