April 8, 2015

Princess Charlene Honors Late Father-in-Law at Mass

On April 6th of this year, Monaco observed the 10th anniversary of Prince Rainier III’s death. A solemn day to be certain, not only for the Princely family, but for the whole of Monaco. A special Mass was held yesterday at the Cathedral of Monaco in honor of the late ruler, which of course was attended by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Albert must miss his father terribly, and Charlene must wish she could have known him. I’m not sure that we have any indication that the late Prince ever got to meet his future daughter-in-law, as Albert and Charlene only became a couple after his passing. Charlene has attested that she and Albert were merely friends for the 5 years prior to that appearance, so there certainly is a possibility that she met Prince Rainier, though unlikely. (If anyone knows for sure, please let me know in the comments!)

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Princess Charlene looked lovely at the Mass, wearing an entirely black ensemble to pay her respects. But I’ve got to be honest, folks – I’m not entirely a fan of this outfit, though I will admit that it is a success in the modest-and-mournful department. But this particular coat and mantilla aren’t doing it for me. The coat looks a bit awkward and heavy on her, and the belt distracts me for some reason. The mantilla also looked heavy/thick in the photos, much less becoming than the black mantillas Charlene has worn in the past (and can definitely carry off). Am I just being too picky? I hate when I dislike an ensemble at a time like this, it feels so gauche to talk about clothes at a somber event.

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As you can see, she’s not the only one donning the shade of mourning: Albert’s sisters, Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie, also wore black. Charlene chose to wear significantly more black, though, pairing her ensemble with black tights instead of nude. I personally feel like that choice made her outfit a bit unbalanced, just *too much* black, but I understand her desire to be respectful and play it safe (I also hate black tights in general, so that may contribute to my opinion). And who knows, there might have been some strict protocol for her to follow since she is in such a high position – I’m really not sure, but I have a feeling that this is the case. Charlene is usually much more balanced in her tones, and this one choice struck me as off for her.

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A look inside the Cathedral. It really is beautiful.

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As sad an occasion as it was for the Princely family, I hope it was cathartic for them to mark the anniversary with a Mass as they undoubtedly continue to grieve their father’s passing. It’s never easy, though going through these sorts of motions does tend to help with the process. Prince Rainier was much loved by so many people, particularly his family, and he seemed to know how lucky he was:

The Prince who had everything, and deserved every drop of happiness. May he rest in peace.

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