December 26, 2014

Joyeux Noël!

Now that Christmas is behind us, with the pounds of gingerbread and chocolate safely in our bellies, we can all go back to royal watching in full force. Let’s collectively enjoy those post-holiday, sweets-induced comas with our feet up on our sofas and our laptops on our knees, talking about Monaco’s annual Christmas celebration!

The Children’s Christmas Party is a yearly tradition in Monaco, one that was started by the late Princess Grace, and continues to this day with Prince Albert and Princess Charlene as the usual hosts. It takes place at the Prince’s Palace, complete with Santa and LOTS of little kids wearing Santa hats. Customarily there are a slew of events that take place outdoors and indoors – including a trip to visit with the elderly – creating prime opportunities for the press to get coverage and photos. They’ve been enjoying getting shots of the royals for YEARS…

…and we’ve been enjoying it too, ha!

Since Charlene has been rather busy this year from, you know, having just GIVEN BIRTH, she obviously couldn’t partake in any festivities this year. But she has in the past, and so today we will be strolling down memory lane and looking at her previous years as hostess since becoming the Princess of Monaco. Be forewarned, I am not a great ID-er of fashion labels, but I’ll share any info if I happen to know it.

Let’s work our way backwards. 2013: Charlene donned a beautiful bespoke tartan and black velvet dress by 21st Century Kilts (I got that one, hooray!).

Very festive, especially with the snowflakes fluttering around them and the extra yards of skirt that flare with her stride. I personally love tartan, though I think people are divided on this particular ensemble. It is quite heavy on the tartan, which is rather risky with such a bold pattern. I think the fashion world tends to lean toward “less is more” with regards to plaids – just think of Kate, who usually adds tartan in the way of a scarf or in more subdued colors. Charlene has never been one to be afraid of fashion risks, though, and she carries them off with an unmatchable confidence. She can turn anyone into a believer. (How appropriate for Christmas!) I, for one, found good faith on this one.

2012: We saw a fully-black ensemble of leggings, boots, and a turtleneck under a military-style camel coat.

I flip flop on this outfit when I see it from different angles. I do like the coat, the camel color is lovely and the military style is quite fashionable. The black leggings/boots are DYNAMITE and offset the camel in just the right way. And dang, the lady can make anything look amazing. But the coat just looks a bit bulky for my tastes. Just slightly unfitted in the wrong places – does anyone else feel that, or is it just me? And the turtleneck style of the coat doesn’t seem to sit well with the fact that there’s another turtleneck underneath the coat. I feel like two turtlenecks repel one another, like magnets. Not that I dislike turtlenecks or anything (I know some people do!), but they are wild cards for me. And while this ensemble worked, it was a bit too similar to her ensemble from the previous year…

2011: Camel coat, with nude pumps.

This is one of those outfits that I love, but that gave Charlene her stigma for wearing too many nude colors too frequently. I feel like a pop of color would have helped here – perhaps some accessories like a scarf, clutch, or hat – because it just feels monotone, and that feeling made its way to many royal watchers. But I MUCH prefer the neckline of this to the other camel coat, it seems to frame her neck and jawline at just the right angles. That, and the tailoring is impeccable. It certainly has elegant lines, and the nude pumps are quite complementary. She really did look lovely…even if the color is a bit ho-hum to some bystanders. We all have shades that we favor, and I’m sure Charlene isn’t immune to that just because of her status.

Which ensemble was your favorite? For me, the most recent is the winner, probably because it’s just so Christmas-y and surprising. Truth be told, I’m not as captivated by her fashion as by Charlene’s ability to be so interactive and fun with the children. She really seems to enjoy them and partake in the activities completely. Once in awhile it appears that she just forgets about the cameras and, in those moments, her joy with children seems to shine through. How joyful it will be to watch her interact with her own little royals as time goes on!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and that your New Year is full of joy, love, and laughter!


  1. I love the moments when Charlene forgets about the cameras. She lights up. I think part of the issue many people have with her, looking serious is a result of being hyper aware of the cameras. When she lets that go she is much more natural and happy looking.

    For the Christmas outfits I’ve surprised myself by loving the tartan. That’s not normally something I would go for, but she wears it so well!

  2. Katie Coble says:

    Agreed, Nikki, those are Charlene’s best moments! I think we can all identify with feeling less natural in front of a lens. I can’t imagine being in front of hundreds of them, I’d look like a deer in the headlights!

  3. Katie- Indeed. I would look like a deer in headlights all the time if I was her. You would not be able to find a picture where I didn’t look like I was one second away from panicking. Charlene deals with the pressure well. I don’t know how she does it.

  4. Katie Coble says:

    Ha, I know! It’s hard to even imagine that kind of pressure! Thanks again for reading and have a happy new year :)

  5. I agree with you about the 2012 military style coat. I think that in addition to the imperfect fit, it is an unusually masculine style for her. I don’t think she looks bad, either… just a bit more ordinary than usual. It’s just that when she plays to the ultra-feminine, she knocks it out of the park. You can’t let cheekbones like those get down-played!

  6. Katie Coble says:

    Yes, Laura, maybe that’s it! I couldn’t quite put my finger on what doesn’t sit well with that coat, especially since you’re right, she *does* look good! But you are onto something there with the “more ordinary” idea. She’s so extra-ordinary that it doesn’t seem to match, ha! Thank you for your thoughts and for reading – see you soon!

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