December 24, 2016

Christmas Photos of the Princely Family

Merry Christmas to you all, dear readers! I come to you this Christmas Eve from the countryside of Pennsylvania, where I am visiting with in-laws and some very dear friends. This evening, as we all prepare to tuck our littles into their beds as early as possible so we can get the last of our wrapping completed, I thought we could take a break to view the Princely family’s Christmas photos. Paired with a hot toddy and a roaring fire, these are just the ticket for all of those Christmas feelings. The twins are the main attraction, of course, being two years old and full of merry cuteness. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Here is the family photo, which I suspect they used for their Christmas card. There is so much going on here to discuss! Charlene looks radiant, glamorous, and regal in gold – is anyone else out there just dying over her dress? It is much shorter than we usually see on Charlene, and my goodness, I don’t think I ever realized what incredible legs she has. Even though they are obstructed by Gabriella here (haha), her pins are completely enviable and gorgeous. I think what most struck me about this photo, though, is the fact that they took it in the Salon des Glaces at the Princely palace, right in front of the portrait of Princess Grace. It was a rather tender way of including her in the family photo. And Gabriella’s smile here…! She is cute personified.

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Speaking of Gabriella…this dress. She is such an adorable little girl, and the image of Albert – at least to my eye. I am once again so taken by her curls and the little bows holding them back.

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A better look at those bows, and a lovely shot of the princess coloring quietly. She seems like a joyful, and perhaps slightly reserved, little lady. I think she will channel the regal qualities of the women in her family without any difficulty whatsoever.

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And here is Jacques, looking rather serious himself…

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…but not too much 😉 His eyes get me every time. I love seeing the playful side of these children, it’s lovely that their parents want to share that with the public as well.

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And I know this blog is supposed to be focused on Charlene, but I had to share this one too. Albert and his babies. I think the look of mischief on Jacques’ face is a Christmas gift in and of itself. I would love to know what he’s thinking here. But really, all of them are just precious, and I am guessing this will be a favorite photo of Charlene’s for years to come. Merry Christmas, from my house (well, my mother-in-law’s house) to yours – I hope you all have a holiday full of joy, love, and peace.

December 22, 2016

Helping at the Red Cross for Christmas

I don’t know about you, but I personally cannot get behind the whole Santa thing. I appreciate the thought behind it, but I just can’t lie to my child. It’s hard to avoid, though, since Santa is everywhere: on people’s lawns, on a big golden throne in the mall, on ornaments, on trimmings, on trappings. Just everywhere. That, and we don’t want our kid to be the one who spoils it for all the other kids. We try to skirt the issue by instead suggesting that Santa is the spirit of Christmas, reminding us to give to those less fortunate than ourselves, and that if we do so, we might be rewarded with gifts of our own. It’s a tough road to navigate, but so far it’s working. (It’s hard to work around all of that chimney nonsense, though.) It certainly is the season of giving, and luckily for all of us trying to teach our children these lessons, Princess Charlene is an example of it every year:

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When the weather gets chilly in Monaco, the princely family makes more than one stop at the Red Cross to help hand out parcels, and it’s a lovely reminder of the true spirit of the season. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Charlene and Albert always spend part of their holidays giving back to their community, and it’s a humbling thing. To see royals making the time for this, and treating it with the same respect that they treat their other very high-end engagements, is a testament to their devotion for charitable works. But I overloaded on the sentiment already – on to fashion.

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Charlene chose a rather different ensemble for this occasion, chic from head to toe, though only the top half of it was a win for me. The entirety of the outfit was black, save for the red bird detailing on the shoulder line, and it was dripping with sophistication. Personally, I enjoyed everything from the waist up, and nothing from the waist down. I’ll get my gripes over with first: culottes – would you call these culottes? – paired with tights: no thank you. In my humble opinion, this did nothing for her. The shoes were good though!

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But that gorgeous jacket was absolute heaven! I loved the eastern-inspired neckline, the bird detailing, and the luscious material. It was pure grace and elegance, and seemed to bring ample attention to Charlene’s face. Glorious.

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Makeup and hair were breathtaking, too – even if the hair was a tad less voluminous than we’ve seen lately. I think she may have gotten a trim? The red lips, sparkly-gold eyes and the diamond touches on her ears were heaven-sent. She looks like a lovely Christmas bauble, and I mean that in the most flattering way possible!

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I must keep this short today, because even as I write this now, I need to do so much before the Christmas weekend is upon us. I have packing, baking, and wrapping still to do, and I need to do it all while keeping a 4-year old occupied. Wish me luck…and come back soon for a special Christmas post this weekend, full of Charlene, Albert, and the twins all decked out for the holiday! Wishing you much love and sanity until then!

December 18, 2016

Annual Children’s Christmas Party in Monaco

Here is the event we have all been waiting for this Christmas season: the annual children’s Christmas party at the Princely Palace! This year, the twins were old enough to partake in the festivities – somewhat. They still aren’t big enough yet to hand out parcels; however, they were able to delight in the Christmas decorations and the larger-than-life, costumed entertainers. And more fun was watching Charlene and Albert as they clearly enjoyed Christmas through their children’s eyes for the first time ever.

Upon arrival, the children did seem a little overwhelmed by all of the attention. The staircase itself was packed full with other kids, Christmas trees, decorations, and the – I’ll just come out and say it here – totally creepy, giant bunny and snowman. (Pictured in photos later in the post.)

The kids themselves looked positively adorable. I love, love, love how they both have such curly hair! The way Charlene pulls Gabriella’s curls into mini-ponytails is just so cute, and I think all women love little boys with longer, curly hair. I bet Charlene is waiting as long as possible before she has to cut off the baby hair and have Jacques look like a bigger boy!

Gabriella’s coat and boots are SO cute, too. Don’t get me wrong, Jacques always looks cute too, but there is nothing like dressing up a little girl. Her fur-trimmed coat is everything.

Jacques didn’t seem to mind the creepy costumed creatures, but Gabriella certainly did. I saw a photo somewhere – though admittedly I can’t seem to track it down now – of little Gabby just howling in tears to get away from that bunny. I don’t blame her. I would have done the same thing. (I still have that reaction to shopping-mall Santas. *Shudder.*) Also, I can’t show this pic without mentioning the adorable little girl who is peeking through the staircase. So cute!

Looking at Charlene’s outfit, I would say her theme for the day was dress-casual and billowy. From the outdoor photos, you can see that her bright red coat is a touch oversized, and she opted to leave it open and breezy. I absolutely love this coat, you guys! The crisp lines on it are divine, and the choice to leave such a coat as this open – well, it is very dramatic and unexpected. I loved the choice of red for the holidays, as overdone as it is by everyone, because it is still so festive and jubilant.

The pants were also quite lovely. Charlene is one of those women who doesn’t always cling to the skin-tight leggings, and I appreciate her for that. The wide-legged look is very chic right now, and while most people under this much sartorial scrutiny tend to veer away from anything too haute couture and stay in safe-zones, Charlene runs toward it with vigor and success. These particular pants appear to be a lovely tweed, and they are billowed from waist to ankle. Roomy, comfortable, and chic.

I suppose my only issue with the entire ensemble came when she removed the coat. While this blouse is absolutely gorgeous, I felt that the “billowy” theme was a bit overdone by the blouse. With the coat and trousers being roomy, I fully expected a more fitted blouse, and was surprised to see this. I suppose it is saved by being tucked into the waist, thus accenting Charlene’s gorgeous figure. Bottom line: the outfit is a win, but I would have preferred a slimmer top.

Oh, and the shoes didn’t do anything for me, personally, but I can see how people might love them. I, for one, do not.

But her makeup, hair, and jewelry did not disappoint! Lips were red (love), hair was bright and gorgeously voluminous (love), and these pearl-drop earrings almost looked like glimmering snowflakes. Absolutely exquisite.

I loved seeing Charlene around children again. Since becoming a mother, she has completely transformed into being everyone’s mother. There were children actually reaching out for hugs and holding her hands. She is the epitome of maternal instinct, and I love how she can’t seem to turn it off when the kids in question are not her own.

But my favorite part of the day was seeing the princely family together. The way they both light up when looking at their children, and sharing this day with them.

And…the way Albert can’t stop beaming at Charlene. Did anyone else notice this? He is besotted with his wife.

I half expect him to be gathering up his nerve here to ask her for a date. Cue the heart eyes!

And this one is for Beth, our dear reader who noticed Albert’s tie a few posts ago. Look at his tie today, all sorts of Christmas kitsch and cheer! He is all about the goofy charm and expression in his ties, and I am starting to love that part of his personality. Indeed, the whole day was charming all over, and the photos are a lovely celebration of the Christmas season.

December 13, 2016

Princess Charlene in India

Many of you may have been wondering why Princess Charlene’s twins’ birthday party was scheduled for a few days in advance of their birthday. The reason? Our princess was spending their actual birthday with poverty-stricken families in India. She undertook the visit by herself, and it was enormously successful. I struggle with whether I ought to call this visit a “tour,” and I think I oughtn’t, because it really wasn’t about traveling all about the country. This particular journey was more about interacting with a few communities who have been hit harshly by HIV and poverty, in addition to being one of the “Laureates and Leaders” for the Children’s Summit 2016 in New Delhi. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

I begin here by showing you some of the first portion of this visit, which was her outreach to families:

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Charlene was fresh-faced and greeted immediately as she exited the plane, ready to get to work straight away and jumping right into the programs for the day.

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She didn’t waste any time, getting out into the village and interacting with the locals.

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It is always so invigorating to see Charlene with children. I absolutely love the way she doesn’t hesitate, not only to wrap her arms around them, but to draw them into close embraces. At that point, the fact that she is a princess seems to fall to the side, and she just becomes a warm, loving woman who has visited these families.

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The kids love her, obviously. This so reminds me of Duchess Kate’s tour of India, and in particular the moment when she got down onto the ground to draw pictures with the children. I mean!!

Here is some detailed info of the trip from one of our Facebook followers (thank you, Krishnaswamy India!):

Princess Charlene of Monaco interacted with HIV-affected children and members of marginalised families at various places in the district here on Thursday. Her day began with an interaction with a marginalised family at Panniyamalai, a remote village at Avichipatti panchayat in Natham block. She visited the house of Bakiam (41), a poor farm worker, and interacted with him and his wife Pushpam (38). He was struggling with chronic disease and could not go for any work. Poverty gripped his family. The couple have three girls and a boy. The princess consoled Pushpam and her family members and assured to extend help for their livelihood. She offered a cricket bat to their son. Later, she came to Nochiodaipatti and interacted with people and children with HIV at a function held at a private college. She took part in a silent prayer organised by the college administration to pay homage to the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. Rousing welcome was accorded to her and her team mate at the function spot. A batch of children welcomed her with roses and bouquets. They offered garlands and a crown of flowers. She took photos with children and watched cultural programme. The folk artistes and children performed a skit on AIDS awareness, Bharathanatyam and Karagattam to entertain foreign guests. Later, the princess thanked the hosts and left the place. Later, she left for Madurai on road from Dindigul. Collector T.G. Vinay received her at a hotel in Dindigul. Sources said that she came in a special plane to Madurai and drove to Natham through Umachikulam to reach Natham. Besides her own security team, a team of police officials from Madurai and Dindigul accompanied her during their tour in the district.

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How much am I loving these garlands of roses? I wish I could get my hands on a photo of the flower crown – what a lovely gesture from this welcoming, hospitable nation.

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I’m not certain, but I am guessing that this gorgeous photo was taken while watching the aforementioned performances (see the block quote above). Little sidenote: I used to dance Bharathanatyam with a dear friend of mine ages ago, and I’m so glad Charlene got to see some classical Indian dance on her trip – it is so special!

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I suppose at some point I should talk about fashion! Despite having just stepped off a plane, Charlene looked lovely in relaxing leggings, open sandals, and a billowy duster. Excellent choices for an undoubtedly busy, hot day. She opted, very wisely, for neutral makeup and minimal jewelry. I actually love how natural she looks here; you can hardly see any makeup at all – clearly diverting attention off of herself and onto the people around her.

Onto the next event…

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The Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit 2016! My gosh, you guys, this was such an honor for Charlene to be present alongside His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. What a treat to see them at the same table!

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Charlene looked positively regal in a gorgeous plum dress with an accent scarf. For this event, I was glad to see a finished face of makeup, and full hair. Jewelry was simple again, but so elegant and appropriate.

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The scarf was eventually removed, and we got a better look at the dress. It appears to be a very simple material, with a lovely boatneck and no further embellishments. Stunning.

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These guys look pretty happy to be standing next to her, too 😉

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I don’t know about you, but this visit was such a treat for me. To see Charlene in an outreach-setting is to truly see her shine, particularly around children. May her warm spirit give them hope, love, and peace, and may this visit touch the hearts of many likeminded humanitarians around the world. Blessings to you all.

December 10, 2016

Happy Birthday to the Twins!

You all know what day it is: it’s the twins’ birthday!!! The princely tots turn 2 years old today, which is undoubtedly a magical birthday for their doting parents. They’ve gone from itty-bitty babies to full-fledged, toddling children, probably complete with 2-year old tantrums and all the cuteness that makes up for those interspersed meltdowns. I enjoy two-year olds from the vantage point of photographs, mainly for this reason. Charlene herself even made a comment some months ago, in which she admitted an apprehension for the “terrible twos” to hit. Hopefully, these kids will go easy on mom and dad where emotional outbursts are concerned, and give them more of the perks of being big 2-year olds: eating more varied and reasonable foods, saying bye-bye to diapers (hopefully!), and journeying into a more independent lifestyle. The family celebrated in Monaco a few days ago, with a jungle-themed birthday party which was too cute for words. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

First, I shall give these adorable tykes some love:

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They are, simply, the cutest little twins ever. I love how much they resemble their parents, and how vividly you can see the joy just emanating from their little faces. A true nod to good parenting on the part of Charlene and Albert.

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I mean, just look at how happy they are! Gabriella’s outfit makes me think of a little ladybug. So stinkin’ cute. (And those sunglasses on Charlene are my faaaaavorite.)

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They’re already starting to sit nicely for a meal, and at 2 years old, this is a lovely development. It probably varies from culture to culture and family to family, but I would say that this is appropriate for 2 years old. LOVELY for the parents, for sure! (And drinking through straws = yesssss!)

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Charlene looked gorgeous for the party, too! I absolutely loved her ensemble. Plain black from head to toe, save for the black-and-white blazer, which eventually was removed. The blazer itself didn’t quite hit me one way or another, but I wasn’t too disappointed to see it removed. Something about the cut was disorienting for me, though she did wear it beautifully. See, I’m neither here nor there on it.

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Jewelry was simple and elegant; hair was quite casual and not overly done-up at all. Makeup was neutral, and I’m guessing that’s just the way her babies like it!

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I can hardly show this photo without mentioning the obvious: Charlene even has great taste in undergarments, my friends. She certainly did not intend for the photograph to be overly demonstrative (and indeed, it isn’t!) – all it shows is that Charlene is a class act from head to toe, even when nobody is looking. One should always wear impeccable and gorgeous undergarments, period.

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My favorite shot of the day: the most gorgeous family portrait! This party looks like it was fun, lively, and a great treat for the adults and children combined. I love how Gabriella is so taken with the balloons here – my child would be doing the exact same thing. Wishing a very happy birthday to the children, and particularly to Charlene on her birthing-day! (Now stay tuned: Charlene is in India, y’all! More posts to come!)

December 7, 2016

The Christmas Season in Monaco

Happy December to you all! I hope this merry season finds you up to your elbows in marshmallows and cocoa, holiday décor, and frosted windowpanes. Here in upstate NY, we just had our first true snowfall of the season, we’ve got nutcrackers and reindeer covering the living room, and our fluffy, down-filled duvet has come out of its annual retirement to ward off the chill. It’s official: winter is here. One of my favorite royal-themed events of the Christmas season is seeing the annual Christmas party in Monaco, as it is sometimes the only glimpse we have of the Monégasque royals this time of year. However, I am delighted to report that Charlene, Albert, and the twins were out and about, enjoying the season and getting the parties started early this year! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

First and foremost was the family event: the opening of Monaco’s Christmas Village at the Port of Monaco, where Charlene and Albert showed up with Jacques and Gabriella to ignite some holiday spirit in the tots.

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Given that this is probably the first holiday season in which they have any clue what’s going on, the twins looked thrilled to pieces by the spectacle of Christmas.

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Sometimes I think we adults have children purely to see them respond to Christmas. (My husband the cynic would turn that around, arguing that we have Christmas purely for our children.) It is absolutely glorious to see the joy in their eyes.

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Charlene cracked me up a couple times – that motherly worry seems to emanate no matter how much you’re trained in front of cameras.

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Perhaps the worry should have been focused on Gabby (ha! Look at me giving her a chummy nickname. They probably call her Ella, but I shall call her Gabby.), because get a load of that look on her face! She clearly is going to enjoy the Grand Prix in the future.

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On to fashion. Charlene looked positively perfect for this outing (and I’m not just saying that because she is wearing almost exactly what I wear on a daily basis). She looked the way that any mom would look, taking her kids to the Christmas events on a chilly December night. Skinny jeans, divine black boots, a simple turtleneck, and the coat – might I dare call this a peacoat? It is so similar to a peacoat that I have, though mine is not nearly as lovely. This gorgeous piece is Michael Kors, and it takes the basic concept of the peacoat and elevates it to a chic degree, fit for a princess.

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Makeup was quite subtle, which certainly looked lovely, but did surprise me very much. I think this may be one of the few times I’ve seen Charlene with bright red nails, but without matching lips. I don’t care though – she creates a natural glam when she goes with neutral shades, and I love it. Her hair had its usual, lovely volume, and her earrings were simple pearls. (And I have to mention that I am dying over Gabriella’s coat, too!)

Moving on to a more glamorous event…

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Later that evening, Charlene attended the Bal de Noël in Monte Carlo for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. She looked positively radiant in a floor-length leaf detail gown by La Petite Robe di Chiara Boni. You can’t really tell in these photos, but the leaf detail that appears on the neckline also continues down through the hips of the gown, before the skirt a-lines out and billows beautifully. I really have no criticisms of this gown: it is divine on Charlene, highlighting her figure in just the right ways, while giving a nod to her spectacular shoulder line. And none of the waist cut-off that always drives me nuts! This is exactly the style I love in an evening gown!

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And her earrings, you guys. I am floored by the beauty here. These seem to be leaf-detail earrings themselves, but I can’t see them close-up enough to give an affirmative on that. I can’t tell if the repeated leaf-shape is filled with gemstones or not, but either way, they are sparkly and exquisite. I hope to see them again, in more detail, so I can add them to my Christmas list! (Ha yeah right! A girl can dream, though…)

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See you all soon for the twins birthday – in just a few days! Who else can’t believe these little ones are going to be two already?

November 20, 2016

Monaco National Day

As you all know, yesterday was National Day in Monaco! I have been poring over the images from all of the events, and I keep finding myself gobsmacked by all of the delicious fashion. Every time I turn around, it seems that another photo floors me with its beauty, and I am so eager to share them with you. So let’s not waste time – right to it! (Photos courtesy of Facebook and Getty.)

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Before we get started in all the serious fashion moments, I have to take a few minutes to discuss Charlene and Jacques. Our princess took her little prince to the Monégasque Navy frigate to have a look around (and to learn!), and it was such a precious experience.

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He got some first-hand knowledge that will undoubtedly come in useful for his future.

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I am blissfully ignorant as to the designers she is wearing here, but I couldn’t possibly care less. She looked like the coolest mom ever. Those high, black leather boots? YES! Any mom wearing these gets my stamp of approval. And not only because I wear boots like these too (ok, maybe that’s one slight reason).

On to more pressing matters…

…the formal National Day celebration! Charlene chose to wear this absolutely stunning coat for the occasion, and it is particularly stunning since it has got such a lovely shape to it. The fitted waist and ever-so-slightly flared skirt are looks we have definitely seen Charlene wear before, but perhaps not as often as some other styles. The choice gives her some gorgeous shape – or rather, I should say, it highlights Charlene’s natural curves. The shine on the coat was a bit surprising, but not obtrusive or over-done. It just made the coat stand out in the crowd.

Once again, I find myself talking hats – look at this topper! I mentioned in the last post how Charlene seems to know the subtle fashion nuances between different countries, and this particular choice seems to highlight that. I playfully called her last hat “British-chic,” and if that was the case, this is certainly French-chic. I absolutely loved this choice! The shape, the accented rim, the flower embellishments – parfait!

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I have no idea how her hair was under the hat, nor do I care, because the hat was simply that perfect. However, I am loving the match between her lips, nails, and the flowers on her hat, and the jewelry was appropriately subtle to let the other elements take center stage.

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I have to say, the one detail I didn’t love about this ensemble was the footwear. I am just not a fan of kitten heels on anyone. But I can forgive them in this photo, where we get to see everyone interacting with little Jacques.

And speaking of interaction with babies…

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…there’s Gabriella! She has changed so much since the last time I saw her. That hair! She is the image of Albert, and Jacques seems to be the image of Charlene.

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The look of love between father and daughter…this photo makes me swoon. I mean!

And moving on…one more event to cover here tonight:

The National Day Gala! Charlene was positively regal and glowing in a floor-length, embellished, white Akris gown, with matching floor-length coat. The combination of coat and gown was what got me the most, even though the gown was drop-dead gorgeous on its own. Here is a look at the gown, sans coat:

Sleeveless and stunning, particularly with the regal sash. We’ve seen so many photos of Princess Grace with that sash, it’s very dramatic to see on Charlene as well.

In terms of makeup, Charlene changed things up for the evening gala, going subtle on her lips and dramatic with the eyes. It’s amazing to see how, in one day, she can do a complete transformation on all counts: lips vs. eyes, black vs. white, hat vs. hair, short vs. long, etc. It’s almost as though she chose these combinations on purpose, just to show us how versatile her glamour can be. I love it.

Well, friends, I’m not sure about you, but I’m experiencing some sensory overload after that post. WHEW! A stunning National Day, gorgeous babies (brace yourselves – in less than a month I’ll be calling them toddlers!), breathtaking fashion, and super-mom action all at once. It doesn’t get much better than this!

November 18, 2016

The Red Cross: Princess Charlene Meets with Refugees

She’s back in Monaco, my friends! Princess Charlene was on her own turf yesterday, as she and Albert handed out relief packages to refugees at the Red Cross in Monaco. The annual package distribution is an element that leads up to their National Day celebrations, and is quite a lovely way for the Princely family to promote the work of the Red Cross.

Charlene looked elegant and appropriate for the event, mirroring the Red Cross’s colors of red and white in her sensational – and extremely chic – ensemble. I always love how Charlene really glams it up for occasions such as this one: it shows how much respect she has for the event and the Red Cross itself.

The white coat here is luxuriously spacious and billowed, providing ample cover for the chillier weather this time of year. The dress beneath is the exact same shade, with a structured base and a longer, sheer overlay. While it’s a bit difficult to notice in most photos, you can see it if the coat is hanging in just the right way. Behold:

See? Lovely!

Charlene’s pixie cut looked luscious and voluminous. Has anyone else noticed that she’s been styling it bigger than it is? I’m not sure how she accomplishes this sort of volume with such little to work with, but it’s breathtaking and creates almost a crown of hair.

The red elements of this appearance were my absolute favorite part of this outfit. The Jimmy Choo heels were heart-stopping, her red nail lacquer was on-point, and the way she complemented them with her fiery-red lips was perfect!

In terms of makeup, she seems to have chosen neutral bronze over her eyes, perhaps to make her lips the focal point. It worked! I know I’ve droned on and on about her lipcolor before, but she is one of the few royals out there who is daring enough to go for the boldest, brightest reds she can find. And I LOVE her for it. I can’t recall Kate ever going for this bright of a shade before, and while she might not choose the exact same shade due to her skintone, I would very much like to see her embrace a bolder lipcolor. That was a tangent, sorry!

Back to Charlene. Earrings were Dior, and as usual, they complemented the ensemble without much effort.

This was a huge win, not only for the fashion, but for the cause. Reaching out to refugees and providing aid is one of the most beautiful things the Red Cross does, and our heartfelt thanks goes out to the marvelous work they do. May we all be so blessed to care for others, especially in the holiday months in which we find ourselves. See you all again soon – National Day awaits us!

November 16, 2016

Remembrance Sunday Services: Charlene in London, Continued

The London series hasn’t finished yet, folks, as I come to you today bearing gorgeous photos from Remembrance Sunday services. I’m still agog that we had the treat of seeing our princess in London, since it’s such a royal hotspot and we don’t see her there too often. This particular sighting from the weekend sent my heart aflutter. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

While Charlene clearly wouldn’t have appeared on the balcony along with Kate, Camilla, and Sophie, she certainly did pay her respects to the fallen heroes by attending services at Westminster Abbey and laying a wreath.

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I read somewhere, though admittedly I cannot recall where, that Charlene was quite moved by the services – and really, who wouldn’t be? These services are designed to move the soul, and I appreciate the fact that she took her duty and embraced it with her spirit. Those of us who have been following Charlene for years have always noted her warm heart, and it was touching to see it proven.

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It wasn’t Charlene’s first time at Westminster Abbey – obviously, she did attend the nuptials between Kate and William. But I assume this visit gave her more of a chance to see the spectacular architecture and artwork that is the Abbey.

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But I must remember the focus of this blog: fashion! My dear readers, are you seeing how stunningly gorgeous Charlene looks here? I remember saying it about her ensemble for Kate’s wedding: she really knows how to dress British-chic when she’s in London. I give her such applause for that. To have the sensibility to catch those subtle nuances of fashion as they shift from place to place, it’s really something that requires a sharp eye. She’s got it down.

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This coat is absolutely stunning. The grey was somber enough for the services, but still added a little depth of color to her appearance. Charlene certainly could have chosen an all-black ensemble, as she looks so heavenly in black, and she did go totally black underneath the coat. That being said, I still appreciate how she offset the black with a touch of grey here. And see the structured shape from the back of the coat, it’s completely divine:

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These shoes were surprising – I haven’t seen Charlene opt for a chunky heel very frequently, if ever. I usually loathe a chunky heel, but these don’t offend me, perhaps because of their generous height. I think my loathing usually comes from the short-and-chunky style, which is popular among many other than myself.

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And the quintessential British element: the topper! Are we going to call this a pillbox hat? I’m unsure because of its structure, but whatever you call it, it’s quite lovely and quite an unusual choice for Charlene. The bow detailing gives it almost a cute-ish vibe, and she generally doesn’t lean toward cute. But somehow she makes it work, probably because of the obvious high-quality of the hat, the way it draws attention to her bright-blonde hair, perfect makeup, and Dior earrings, and the fact that she paired up her ensemble very, very carefully. This entire ensemble hit it out of the ballpark, and it absolutely made this London visit worthwhile for me. A total win!

November 14, 2016

Charlene in London

For many of us, it has been a bitter week here in the United States, and I come to you today in hopes of soldiering on from it. For those of you who may be in other countries or have been living under rocks, “we” elected a new president this week, and it has left the nation even more divided than the election that preceded it. Thank goodness for my preoccupation with royals and Charlene, because they have provided a great reprieve from the rancorous realities that have been causing me to binge on junk food and whiskey (real talk).

The more important focus of this past week ought to be Veterans Day, in which we commemorate those who have served in our armed forces throughout the world. We all enjoy watching the remembrance services in London, and this week we got the special treat of seeing Princess Charlene of Monaco there too!

Charlene was in attendance at Twickenham to cheer on the South African rugby team, and she enjoyed the game next to Prince Harry. This, of course, sparked so many media outlets to shout “Where’s Meghan?!” in reference to Harry’s new girlfriend. I was so hoping that I wouldn’t have to cover any news regarding this topic, because I find it vastly boring. Don’t get me wrong, I naturally want Prince Harry to find his happiness, and if the lady in question were Emma Watson or Michelle Dockery, I’d be delving out the heart eyes by the truckload. But this particular partnership catches my interest in the same way as, say, a plate of cauliflower. I’m bored by it…and particularly annoyed that people jumped to that response in the face of the gorgeous Princess Charlene!

Let’s be real, the true story here is that Charlene looked absolutely divine in the stadium this weekend. She wore such a delicious coat – it actually reminded me very much of the coat that Kate has so often worn to the Remembrance Sunday services at the Cenotaph, perhaps due to the button detailing and the angles. The coats are actually not similar when you look at them side-by-side, but they do have similar qualities. And these boots are chic perfection!!!

I think the one thing that threw me off was the appearance of a white, button-down neckline under the coat. It reminds me very much of those episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore show, in which Mary Richards goes to work dressed like a man. It’s probably the only thing I would have changed about this outfit.

The hair was absolutely perfect – not a strand out of place. I’m not sure how the royals are able to pull this off, because even if I layer on the hairspray, my hair always gets everywhere, particularly when I’m outdoors. And Charlene’s bright red lips absolutely killed it! I love when she goes bold, and this pairing of black with bright red is classic glamour. I suspect burlesque queen Dita von Teese would be giving the thumbs up on this one. And the earrings, of course, are the unstoppable Dior pair that match everything.

And then, after the match and before returning to Monaco, Charlene participated in the World Rugby Awards 2016, wearing this long, poufy Carolina Herrera gown (below). I have such mixed feelings on this one, it’s hard to get my mind straight. It almost feels like I’m experiencing sensory overload just looking at it. The sheer of the shell, the big bow, the strappy under-dress, the buttons, the billowing skirt and its detailing – it’s all a bit much for me. I don’t like it: it seems to be too big and spacious, suffocating Charlene in fabric. She carries it off, but I wouldn’t go so far as to categorize this as a win. (Photo courtesy of Facebook.)
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The win that does happen here, though, is the jewelry. My heavens! The earrings and the necklace…I need a better look. Ah! There is another thing to dislike about the dress: the neckline interferes with this fantastic jewelry. How many of you out there want to pull down that neckline just to get a look at the diamonds? I do!

Though it was a tough week for many, we did get this unusual treat of seeing Charlene out and about in London, and that was warming for us. Though England did eventually win out over South Africa, I hope the team felt her warmth from the stands, as I know we did, even from afar. Sending love to all of you, and particularly all of our veterans who are recognized and remembered this week.