January 13, 2015

The Princess Charlene Foundation

We are going to spend so much time on this blog discussing Princess Charlene’s fashion, babies, and engagements that it is sometimes difficult to remember that there’s more to being a royal than looking effortlessly glamorous and wearing lots of diamonds (though sign me up for that job, right?). Our favorite royal ladies often do loads of office work that usually center around charities, and Charlene is no different than any of them. I thought it might be nice every once in awhile to put aside the fashion and look at some of the work Charlene puts in behind the scenes.

I’ve got to be honest with all of you: I don’t love swimming. I can do it well enough, but I don’t love it. I enjoyed swimming as a kid, but as an adult I quickly lost interest. The chlorine (or the salt, depending on whether we’re talking pool or sea), the cold water, the mixed odor of sunblock and perspiration wafting through the air: it all gives me a headache. My one exception would be outdoor heated pools, especially if they’re part of a mountainside luxury resort and it’s snowing – now that can be sexy. But the normal, summertime pool is, for me, a vacuous experience. If it weren’t for my husband reminding me that it’s good for kids to swim, it would never even occur to me to take my child to the pool.

But I do love Charlene. And even though I don’t get it, I do admire her love for swimming and how much she embraces it. It also makes her an ideal princess for Monaco, given its proximity to water. To use her passions as a springboard for charitable work, Charlene created a foundation that reflects her love for swimming while giving back to the community. The Princess Charlene Foundation teaches swimming to children so that water safety, fun, and healthy exercise can be a part of their lives.

Charlene and her family have been involved in teaching swimming for years, but only after her increase in status was she able to make it more of a national quest. Indeed, she seems quite in her element when she’s teaching swimming to children, and she lights up when discussing the mission of her Foundation on its website (and on Media Events Monaco’s Youtube channel):

I am always struck by how much of Charlene’s personality shines through when she’s around water – is it just me? It’s almost like it’s more of a natural environment for her than dry land. I love seeing her laughing here with Albert, at the Charity Christmas Swim a few years ago. She’s the picture of fun.

I think he notices it too. It’s lovely to see how he supports her, jumping right in and embracing something that is a passion for her. It’s endearing to see them more relaxed and genuinely enjoying themselves – and each other – so much.

Now if I liked swimming, and if it were warmer than 4 degrees outside here in NY, I’d totally be in the mood for a swim now. Maybe after the spring thaw…who’s with me?!


  1. The last photo is my favorite picture of the royal couple yet. SO sweet. She’s definitely in her element.

  2. Katie Coble says:

    Hi Laura! I know, me too – I want to draw a cartoon heart around them and scribble “4-ever!” in the corner. So cute!

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