July 27, 2016

The 68th Red Cross Gala

I have to apologize to you all, dear readers, since I have been such a (seemingly) bad blogger as of late! I was traveling to a new city with my very young child this past week, and as you can imagine, it was not all easy as pie. There were plenty of tantrums over various topics ranging from the sheer existence of McDonald’s restrooms (how dare they pile 10 different potties in one place!) to the audacity of grown-ups who engage in non-3-year-old conversation. Somehow, throughout all the mayhem, I couldn’t get myself to a computer. In a way it’s good: live technology free for a week and reconnect with the soul!; and on the other hand, it’s bad: no access to my favorite princess or my favorite readers. Anyway, I think I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll get to what you’ve been waiting for DAYS to see: Princess Charlene at the 68th Red Cross Gala. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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As per my expectation, Charlene looked like heaven in this sheer, floral Armani ball gown. Something about the lavenders and blues catches Charlene’s coloring, bringing her eyes to life and illuminating her skintone. It almost gives her a glow – I think perhaps the pink undertone in her skin is brought to life by this combination of colors.

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In addition to the gorgeous colors, though, the floral motif of the bodice is completely divine. I saw someone had commented that she is one of the only people who could possibly pull this off, and I think I might agree. Mostly, I think, because the floral detail is so large, it would need to be someone with a lot of height and a beautiful, unobstructed neck. Check and check. A sweetheart neckline almost always brings attention to the face like this one does, though I do appreciate when designers try for more modern, edgy, interesting approaches to the tried-and-true neckline. My wedding dress had the “edgy” sweetheart, and I was in love with it. Behold:

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That was just for fun, to share with you! Back to Charlene.

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If I had to pick something to dislike about this dress, I guess it would be the waistline seam. You all know how much those bug me (you can even see how my wedding dress had it covered up!). But in this particular instance, it doesn’t really distract me that much, probably because there is so much more going on with the dress. The eye is pulled up, toward her face, not on small little waistline details. So I mention it, but I don’t dwell on it.

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Hair, makeup, jewelry: all perfect. These are the same chandelier dazzlers that she wore a few weeks ago with the gorgeous plum gown, and I’m still in love. We get a better look at them here, for which I’m very grateful. I thought they were perfect with both gowns…I guess diamonds are funny like that.

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The couple of the evening. Is anyone else thinking that Charlene might be growing out her pixie cut? I would venture to say that you can’t really call this a pixie anymore. The lift that she gets when she’s done up for a night on the town is absolutely enviable. Past experience says that we’ll probably have short hair on Charlene for a good long while, but how fun would it be to see her grow it out?

In slightly different news, Charlene was also named the godmother of the South African Red Cross Society:

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She wore another Armani to that event (I believe), though a Maje dress to this poolside event, not nearly as wow-worthy. It was a basic, flowy, red, day-dress. This one didn’t strike my fancy as much – I think because of the length? Who knows. I know this length is very couture, and it looks great on the runway, but all I can say is that I don’t care for it in real life. The shoes, though, are my speed, and the color is dynamite on Charlene. I envy her ability to wear fire-engine red with such dignity and grace. (Not pictured are the bambini. She and Albert did bring their precious royal twins to this event, and they were the very definition of cuteness; however, I haven’t gotten a photo of that which I can legally use. If I do, I will definitely update right away!)

Thanks again for bearing with me, everyone! I’m home now, so my updates should be regular as per the usual. Hope you’re all enjoying your mid-summers as they last!

July 16, 2016

Extremes for Princess Charlene: Glamorous Ship Christening and Mourning for Nice

As a person who covers Princess Charlene’s whereabouts, I can tell you that this has been a rather turbulent week for her. It bounced from the glamorous to the mournful in the blink of an eye, quite unfortunately. In the middle of the week, Charlene was christening what has been called the world’s most luxurious cruise ship, the Seven Seas Explorer, in an opulent, glammed-out ceremony complete with a concert from Andrea Boccelli. Next, the Nice attacks occurred and Princess Charlene found herself in black, mourning at the cathedral for the victims and their families. Interestingly enough, the Seven Seas was planning on having excursions to Nice, which have now been cancelled due to the tragic events there.

I’ll start with the positive from the week: the christening of the cruise ship. (All photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Charlene was chosen to be godmother of this impressive ship. The most expensive suite on board, assuming a 10-night stay, would cost more than my family makes in one year.

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Charlene certainly took the ship’s extravagance into account when she selected her attire for the evening, matching opulence with opulence. She chose a gorgeous, wide-shouldered, silvery-white gown, which appears to be in raw silk. She looked like the essence of moonlight, a veritable sea nymph rising from the waves. The gown absolutely glittered on the princess, and she paired it with pearl drop earrings, a stunning bracelet full of diamonds, and very voluminous hair. (How does she do this? The woman gets such awesome lift.) The dress is stunning, though in certain lights/angles it seems to cling a bit in the wrong places. But that happens to the best of us, right? She still rocked it.

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It was an elegant, exciting event, celebrating the luxury of the ship and the glamour of the evening. A very special honor for the princess and for the ship, that they would each be associated with one another.

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The champagne bottle shattered as planned, of course, and the Boccelli concert was extensive and well-received.

Unfortunately, the tables turned very quickly, when Nice underwent horrible attacks during Bastille Day celebrations. Being so close to Nice, the Monégasque people were undeniably shaken by the events, and turned to the Church for prayers and meditation.

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Being a devout Catholic herself, Charlene was front-and-center to mourn along with the rest of Monaco (and the world) for the victims and their families.

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To shift the conversation here to examine the sartorial aspects of this appearance, it looks as though Charlene is wearing a black version of the Dior dress she wore for the twins’ baptism. (That dress, though, had been altered for that specific occasion; my thought here is that this one is more in the original design.) It was simple, elegant, and understated. Perfect to honor the occasion and those in their prayers.

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It’s really tragic to think that people are now at risk simply because they choose to celebrate and have wholesome fun, and that is exactly what happened in France this week. My sincerest prayers are being sent to those who were affected by this tragedy, along with all the other tragedies that seem to be occurring more and more frequently. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: may we all live long enough to see peace in this world. Love to you all.

July 2, 2016

Princess Charlene Stuns in Gorgeous Plum Gown + Happy 5th Anniversary to the Princely Couple!

Good evening to you all, and a special happy anniversary wish to Princess Charlene and Prince Albert! Today – well, yesterday and today – the Princely couple celebrates 5 years of marital bliss. And as a little treat, the couple was in Monte Carlo the other night for a gala in honor of the 10th anniversary of Prince Albert of Monaco Foundation. (Photos courtesy of Facebook and Getty.)

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Charlene’s dress was absolutely, crazy gorgeous. I love when she wears a bateau neckline with large earrings, and luckily for me, she tends to do this on a frequent basis. The color of this gown is glorious with Charlene’s coloring. Something about jewel tones on her just knocks my socks off. I have always loved this color in particular on her: plum, aubergine, wine, whatever you want to call it. It’s delicious.

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The simplicity of the gown itself really wins me over here – perhaps the princess got wind of my unenthusiastic reaction to her gold Ralph Lauren gown from a couple weeks ago? Who knows! All I can say is YES to the simple, quiet elegance of this chic gown. It draws attention to Charlene’s beauty instead of its own, sort of like the old adage of “she wears the dress, the dress doesn’t wear her.” You know.

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If I had to nitpick, I’d probably swap out the belt for something a little more showy, and definitely change the shoes. I love open-toed shoes myself, but when I see royals pairing them with gowns, I cringe. (How’s that for a double standard?!) There is actually nothing wrong with the shoes, except for the fact that I would rather see something with a closed toe. Totally subjective, and neither here nor there.

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Her makeup was flawless, and somewhat surprising, because Charlene doesn’t usually go for a glossy lip. But I LOVED it. And speaking of love…those earrings. Yet again, I am drooling over jewelry. I know some might dislike the inconsistency with matching a simple dress to super diamond-heavy chandelier earrings, but I personally love it. I think I love for that reason, in fact: the perfect balance of glitz.

And speaking of gorgeous, how can I let today pass without a few photos from this day 5 years ago?

The bride wore Armani. Twice, in fact.

And both times, she looked positively radiant. The groom looks radiant too, but I think it’s mostly her glow that is casting some of its light onto him. They were, and still are, a couple very much in love, and it’s a beautiful thing to remember and celebrate today.

Happy 5th Anniversary, you lovebirds!

(Now Charlene, we need to see a recycle of that wedding tiara from your reception. Maybe break it out sometime this fall? It would be so much appreciated, as I am in love with it. Thanks!)

June 16, 2016

Charlene Goes Glam in Gold at the Princely Palace

Alright friends, today I come to you with photos from the extremely glamorous cocktail reception that Charlene and Albert threw in honor of the 56th Monte Carlo TV Festival. The soiree was star-studded, of course, and Charlene was easily the most glamorous, beautiful person in attendance. Fit for being the hostess – and the resident princess! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

The entire fashion world seems to be swept off of its feet by this appearance, and rightly so: this gown is sparkly, whispy, and seems to illuminate the warm undertones of Charlene’s coloring. Studded, sparkly, spectacular.

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However. For some reason, I am not exactly in love with this dress the way that everyone else is. Don’t get me wrong – as I said earlier, she is luminous – but this gown just doesn’t really do it for me.

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I think it hits me the wrong way in several different areas, so I will explain myself as adequately as possible (and be nice if you disagree, which I’m sure you do!). First, the sparkles themselves seem just slightly too big for my preferences. Y’all know I love some sparkle, but this stretched over the boundary. I wouldn’t call it gaudy because it certainly isn’t cheap, but that crystal in the center. Wow, that’s big.

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Second, the waistline struck me as a little odd. I love a dropped waistline, but I usually like to make sure I can’t see the seam that identifies that waistline. For instance, here, the seam sort of makes this look like it could be a shirt and skirt combo, but it’s obviously a dress. I think I would have loved the waistline on this if it had been covered with a crystal design (so many on there, why not more, right?).

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Third, the skirt of this – while absolutely lovely in the whispy tulle, fairy-like quality – seems to be cut off a little to high. It’s very couture, so I can’t blame Charlene for going for it, but it still doesn’t jive with me in the right ways. I feel like if this were given just enough room to cover her feet, it would have been just my cup of tea.

But now, onto the good stuff: what I liked!!!

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I loved Charlene’s earrings! No surprise there, I always like her earrings. Ha. But these were very different from what we usually see on her, and they sort of reminded me of Duchess Kate’s “Temple of Heaven” earrings, though much larger. Muuuuch larger. They accentuate Charlene’s gorgeous, long neck, and the beautiful bateau neckline of the gown. Gorgeous!

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It was also beautiful to see how happy Charlene looked! I love moments like these, where you see a little more of her personality creep through all of the glitz and glamour.

And of course…

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…the romance. These two, I mean! (Also! I love the backless nature of this dress and I think the detail work that goes around the edge here would have been PERFECT for the waistline detailing I mentioned above.)

On a side note, just a few days ago Charlene and Albert went to dinner at Novak Djokovic’s new vegetarian restaurant in Monaco:

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They were accompanied by the Djokovics themselves, which looked like such a nice night out for the Princely couple! (And, of course, Charlene looked effortlessly chic.)

Let me know what you guys thought of the gown – I hope you all loved it! It was a total win, despite my nitpicking. I tend to do that, so take my critiques with a grain of salt!

June 13, 2016

Princess Charlene Dazzles at the 56th Monte Carlo TV Festival

Oh, friends, do I have a treat for you this evening! Last night, Princess Charlene and Prince Albert stepped out to attend the 56th Monte Carlo TV Festival, and Charlene looked positively stunning! No surprise, I know, but since the Duchess of Cambridge has been upping the ante this week, I had been hoping for a show-stopper from Charlene as well…and she didn’t let me down. (Oh, and there were some TV stars there too. Ordinarily I would care, but not when the fashion is THIS GOOD.)

Charlene wore this gorgeous, floor-length, cap-shouldered white gown to the festival, and it fit her with utter perfection. Not too tight, not too loose: just right. I feel like the skirt has the slightest, slightest trumpet effect to it, but it’s certainly not so much that it would be a stand-out feature. The silhouette of this dress actually quite reminds me of the dress she wore to the Princess Grace awards back in September (aside the neckline). A stunning choice for Charlene’s slim figure.

Let’s talk about the neckline of this dress: it is gorgeous, and certainly more plunging than Charlene tends to favor. I, for one, thought this décolletage was elegant and very flattering, as opposed to being too much. Probably because it made some room for the most. spectacular. necklace. EVER.

This necklace took my breath away when I first saw the pictures. Holy moly, those are some diamonds! I’m guessing these are citrine diamonds at the bottom (and on her ears), though I have no sources to confirm that. My hunch is that this necklace can double as a tiara, just based on the structure of it, though I am fairly certain that those dangling citrines would have to be removed. I would LOVE to see this as a tiara, am I right?

This is the first time I’ve seen this necklace, and for a piece of this size, my guess is that it was a recent gift. Perhaps from Albert to celebrate the twins’ first birthday (or perhaps even their birth, and this is the first time she’s worn it)? That was my first instinct when I saw this piece. She has another tiara/necklace from Albert that she wore to the Red Cross Ball once as a necklace, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Either way, this piece is truly and shockingly gorgeous.

Earrings are gorgeous too, I won’t leave those out. My guess is that these were given as a set, but it is also entirely probable that she received the necklace as a gift and then had the earrings made to match. Who cares though! If this is what comes along with being royal, then being royal is gooooood.

Charlene’s hair and makeup were lovely, too, and she came back to her bright lip color with full force. After so many engagements donning neutral shades, I was afraid we’d never see the bold colors again. I needn’t have feared! I love how the pure white of her gown is offset by the bright red lip, and allows the real star of this outfit to be the jewelry.

Our princess looked poised, sophisticated, elegant, and sparkly in that way that only a princess can pull off properly. This was a major win in my book, and will probably go down as one of my favorites for many years. (And hey, there’s Danny Glover! Alright!)

One more final, serious note: thoughts and prayers are being sent to everyone who has been affected by the terrible shooting in Orlando. Senseless tragedy darkens even the brightest of days, and it is with a heavy heart that we are all praying for the victims and their loved ones. May we live to someday see peace.

June 9, 2016

Water Safety Day with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation

A few days ago in Monaco, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation hosted Water Safety Day, conducting water safety workshops for middle school students in the principality. Princess Charlene was, of course, on hand, overseeing and participating in the workshops while lending her own expertise, with the help of several other champions from the water-sports world. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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During the workshops, the students learned everything from basic familiarity with aquatic environments to water rescue techniques, and even life-saving skills like CPR. Of course, all of these were also taught in conjunction with drowning prevention, a cornerstone of the Princess Charlene Foundation itself.

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Charlene looked so at home amongst all the kids, and they looked so thrilled to be working alongside her. It seems like her presence provided some good encouragement for the students to work hard and learn!

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Even though she didn’t get in the water (I believe. I could be wrong here, but I haven’t seen or heard of any evidence that she did), the princess dressed for working today: a plain, white t-shirt and windbreaker combo, her Foundation’s cap to shield her from the sun, tennis shoes, and some pretty awesome leggings. I’ve got to admit to you guys that I practically LIVE in leggings at home – I promise, I do try to get more dressed up when I leave the house – and these are so cute. My first thought when I saw these was how much I needed them for my at-home yoga practice…

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Makeup was appropriately minimal, earrings were gorgeous but perfectly simple for this sort of environment, and hair we didn’t see. Bummer. But I can’t blame a lady for keeping the sun out of her eyes. It seemed like a bright and sunny day, so much so that our princess seems a little squinty even under the shade of her cap.

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Does anyone else see that water and get immediately jealous of anyone who lives in Monaco? I do. I don’t even like swimming that much, but that water…mmm. That could convert me! Ah well…happy summertime!

June 6, 2016

Concert and Fashion Week for Princess Charlene

Good afternoon, my friends! I come to you today with a couple of very nice, but very limited, pictures from some of Charlene’s outings this week. She was able to attend a Marina Kaye concert at Monte Carlo’s Opéra Garnier, and also was a guest of honor at Monte Carlo’s fashion week (which, though it is called a fashion “week,” really only consists of 3 days worth of fashion), where she awarded designer Philipp Plein. Unfortunately, these events were horrifically under-photographed, and I can only give you one photo from each event! (Photos that I do have, however, are here courtesy of Facebook.)

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For the Marina Kaye concert, Charlene chose a floor-length, flowy dress in a surprisingly bold, colorful animal print. I say “surprisingly” due to the fact that Charlene usually leans toward less busy looks in her clothing, so this was quite delightfully out of the ordinary. The blue tones in the dress were absolutely stunning on Charlene, and it makes me think that I’d love to see her sport aquas more frequently. The things that it does to her eyes! To switch gears briefly, the jewelry for the concert was utterly dazzling, and reminded me very much of the jewels that the Duchess of Cambridge borrowed from the Queen in the way that they hang and sparkle. Fit for a princess, indeed.

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The photo I have from the fashion week appearance is so much more difficult to decipher. I know this little black dress has quite a bit of detail on the front, though alas, we cannot see it in the picture. It’s a nice dress, but my attention is drawn to her heels. Oh my, I do love my shoes. Theses strappy stilettos stole my heart, and made this one measly picture worthwhile for me. From what I can see of the rest of the outfit, Charlene looked completely lovely.

I will update this post if I am able to get ahold of more photos – until then, please don’t be mad at me for only having these two, and I hope you enjoy them!

June 3, 2016

New Mothers and Infants Meet Princess Charlene

It’s Mother’s Day in Monaco this week, and Princess Charlene marked the occasion by visiting new mothers in the maternity ward of Monaco’s Princess Grace Hospital. This seems to be an annual tradition for Charlene, perhaps especially important to her since becoming a mother herself. The princess absolutely glows around babies and children, and it seems to be as much of a delight for her as it is for the new mothers in the hospital.

Not many photos surfaced from this engagement, but I was able to get my hands on a couple, and I will share those with you here. If I can grab any more, I will certainly update this post with them! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Fashion-wise, as you can see, Charlene opted for a gorgeous, white-on-white blouse and shell combination, paired with denim skinnies and beige flats. I feel like many people gravitate toward white when they’re going to be around babies (which doesn’t really make much sense, when you think of the huge messes that babies make), perhaps because of their innocence and the purity that just radiates from their little hearts. It practically begs for the reflection in white. Who knows if it’s that or just the season, but Charlene has now chosen white twice for this visit, and I think she looked beautiful today. Casual chic to the core. And look at her beautiful smile! She always seems very, very happy to be around the babies. A natural mother.

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Charlene paired the casual ensemble with stunning pearls, perfectly styled hair, and neutral makeup. She shined with love for these new moms, and it was very touching to see.

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I particularly love this visit because Charlene takes her spotlight and shines it onto the face of the future: new mothers, new babies. It is supremely poignant of her to commemorate these women – and all mothers in her country – by bringing them into focus. The event of childbirth changes everything, not only for that family, but also for the country itself. We honor the new, innocent little citizens and mothers who will raise them! Happy Mother’s Day!

May 31, 2016

Princess Charlene at the Grand Prix de Monaco

As you may have heard, this past weekend was the Grand Prix in Monaco, and the Princely couple was, of course, front and center in attendance. I will skip over all of the sport aspect of the Grand Prix, mostly because it is of no interest to me whatsoever, though I do enjoy the festive air and hint of elegance that accompanies this particular race. That is, perhaps, due to the royals always being on-hand at the event, kicking it up to regal status. Speaking of which, let’s get right into things and look at what Charlene wore to the race. (Photos courtesy of Facebook and Getty.)

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The princess wore an almost all-white ensemble, perhaps as an homage to the summertime, or a nod to her outfit from last year. This year, however, she surprised everyone by wearing somewhat unusual pants to the Grand Prix, which are accentuated by a very large, pink stripe down the sides.

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I’ve got to be honest here, folks: I don’t love these. They remind me of my yoga pants, only these are undoubtedly designer slacks with a much higher price tag. The blouse and heels are absolutely lovely, and if you look at the outfit head-on – without having to see that garish stripe – it is actually quite chic. Behold:

Lovely if you don’t look at the pink, right?

But that stripe, oh dear. I just can’t get around it. I certainly hope I am a minority in my opinion, because I certainly never like to be the bearer of negativity. This entire look was surely meant to echo the sportiness of the race, but this just flopped for me. I feel as though these easily could have given the same sporty effect if they were plain, white, crisp slacks. No?

I need to say, though, that I do appreciate that Charlene has never shied away from wearing pants on an engagement. It’s actually something I love about her, and I wish we could see some of the other royals doing this more frequently. She is always willing to take the risks that others seem too hesitant to take, and I greatly admire the bold moves she makes in this area, even if the results aren’t fashion wins.

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Makeup, hair, and jewelry were all on point, and spectacularly so. Charlene loves large pearl earrings, as many of us do, and wears them quite frequently. But can we talk for a minute about her ring?? I haven’t seen this one before, or at least for quite some time! I love it. It reminds me of one of my mother’s pearl rings, only a LOT bigger. I also quite enjoy when married women aren’t afraid to trade out their wedding/engagement rings for a ring that better matches their other jewelry. It’s not done often enough, and I know I could certainly learn this lesson from time to time!

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So, would we call this a complete miss? I don’t think so. The striped pants? Yes. Those were a miss. But the rest of the ensemble was lovely and striking. She radiated positivity, energy, and celebration, which is exactly what you want to see from the princess at the Grand Prix. A lovely weekend in Monaco, and a superb way to salute the summer months ahead of us!

May 30, 2016

Cocktail Reception for the Grand Prix at the Princely Palace

Today in the USA we celebrate Memorial Day, so many of us are off of work and hopefully enjoying some good weather. That being said, it was also an exciting weekend in Monaco with the Grand Prix taking center stage! I look forward to this event in Monaco so much, since it is almost a guarantee that we get at least two Charlene sightings in a row. And the Grand Prix this year did not disappoint!

On the eve of the Grand Prix, it is traditional for the Princely couple to host a cocktail reception at the Princely Palace, where all of the distinguished guests and participants can mingle and mix with the royals. Charlene was the perfect hostess: bursting with energy, ear-to-ear smiles, and completely open to hugs from her guests. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Charlene looked amazing in a draped red dress that was so gorgeous it almost leaves me speechless. I say almost, because I am hardly ever speechless. But she looked absolutely radiant, chic, and elegant.

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I am completely in love with the draped upper portion of the dress. It was rough to get a great photo of the entire dress, and the above pic is the best I could find. It’s pretty basic: long, flowy, and it has a slit in the middle. Nothing fancy, but that’s a good thing since the eye is drawn to the upper body of the gown. I love the no-frills simplicity of the fabric, which stood on its own with such elegance. The structure, or lack thereof, creates almost an illusion-bateau neckline, which brings out Charlene’s striking good looks.

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Makeup was gorgeous and neutral – a change from Charlene’s semi-usual bold lip color choices. I loved it. And it almost goes without saying that hair was perfect and full of volume; even though I prefer it a little quieter, she is rocking the grow-out of the pixie cut. I’m at least assuming that she’s growing it out, since we’ve only seen it get longer in recent engagements. That can only be accomplished a handful of ways, and Charlene is handling it beautifully.

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Let’s talk about jewelry. Ok, I’ll be more specific and jump right in: let’s talk about these gold earrings. I love, love, love these earrings. I’m not sure if these are new pieces or recycles – I could easily go back and look, but I have to get hold of a busy toddler in a few minutes so I’m strapped for time here – but I love them no matter what. I’ll update this if I can pinpoint a previous wear, but until then I’m going to assume these are new pieces. She paired these gorgeous earrings with her simple cross necklace, which seems to be a piece she always wears, and equally simple bracelets. I am a creature who loves balance, so I adore that she balances her choices so well. Large statement earrings, simple everything else. Yes, yes, yes.

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I will be back again tomorrow to show you what Charlene wore to the Grand Prix the next day, so until then, let me know what you thought of this red ensemble and enjoy the photos!