Archives for May 2015

May 28, 2015

Grand Prix de Monaco, Part 3: The Race!

After a weekend’s worth of excitement building up to the Grand Prix, Monaco held the race on a lovely day – and with a lovely princess in the stands. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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The princess chose to arrive in style – a racecar of course! Quirky and fun, I love it.

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Charlene caused quite a stir even after her stylish entrance, wearing Akris once again (it turns out this gown from the previous night was also Akris), which is not unusual for her – the label is closely associated with Charlene since she reaches for it so frequently.

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The ensemble appears to be a one-piece dress with a deep v-neckline, illusion shoulders, and a combination short/long skirt, which she paired with a matching blouson for the first part of the day.

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She wore her hair very slicked back and voluminous, which gives an edgy and daring vibe; however, in some photos, it appears that the ends of her hair have a tiny Mary Tyler Moore flip, which sort of glitches the look for me. I love the idea of the look – sleek and razor-sharp – but the execution didn’t really work as well as I’d hoped. What can you do? It happens to the best of us. And it seems like she was able to fix it later on, as that flip seems to have disappeared after the race:

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“No worries, the hair is under control, people!” Haha.

But back to the earlier photos.

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Charlene paired her slick hairstyle with a smoky eye, balanced perfectly with a light pink lip and very unusual pearl earrings. They’re heavy in the back, but I can’t quite figure them out. I like the look, though!

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On to the actual dress. I can’t quite make up my mind. I think I’m 50/50 on loving it/hating it. The top of the dress I love, perhaps because I’m quite a sucker for deep v-necklines. (My wedding dress had one, I love them so much!) The illusion shoulders are nice, too, or at the very least not distracting in a bad way. But the bottom…

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…I just don’t love it. The shoes I love very heavily, mind. But the skirt seems to hang in the wrong way, I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the placement of the slit being front-and-center? I didn’t mind when Kate wore this Jenny P that sort of had the same idea, but it seemed more flattering than this. Depending on how Charlene stands, this can be quite nice; however, it seems that she has to stand in juuuuust the right way for that “nice” look to be achieved. In most pictures, it just looks awkward.

I’ll be agreeable and call this a win overall, because the good seems to outweigh the bad. Especially with smiles like these:

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It’s hard not to call it a win. What do you all think? Love it or hate it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially since I’m so on-the-fence. No matter what your sartorial opinions are here, I hope you all enjoyed the Grand Prix coverage and seeing so much of Princess Charlene!

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Until the next time, enjoy these photos and let’s all hope to see Charlene again soon!

May 26, 2015

Grand Prix de Monaco, Part 2: Charlene Goes Racecar-Glam for Cocktail Reception

Cocktail hour in Monaco, in honor of the Grand Prix, sounds so magnificently glamorous I can barely stand it.

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On this past Saturday evening, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene hosted a reception at the Princely Palace in honor of the Grand Prix, celebrating the Formula 1 and the many sportsmen associated with the race. Since I’m about as far from a racing enthusiast as you can get, my focus on this post will mainly revolve around Charlene and her sartorial choices for the event. However, if you happen to know plenty of fascinating details about the attendees of the cocktail reception, please feel free to enlighten us in the comments below! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.) But before I jump into the fashion…

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…this is one driver I can actually point out! Nico Rosberg is a Formula 1 driver and winner, and though he resides in Monaco (at least I’m pretty certain he does), he retains dual citizenship with Germany, and races for Germany in the Grand Prix. He’s here with his wife, Vivian, who is expecting a baby in August.

That, right there, is all I know about racecar drivers. Total.

Onto the fashion!

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Princess Charlene looked like a racing beauty in a dark, edgy gown. This gown has almost the same ink-blue tone of Kate’s three-peat Jenny Packham, although this gown is much sportier. The neckline is almost racerback, with a plunging (but not too much!) zippered neckline and what looks like a taffeta skirt.

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While I’m not huge on the different materials of the bodice and skirt, particularly at the point where they meet one another on the dress, I do LOVE this dress. The way it is fitted is daring, elegant, classy, and confident all at once. (Sidenote: we all know Charlene is tall, but doesn’t that above photo make her look towering?!)

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The color is not black, not blue, not gunmetal, but somewhere in between all of those. Combined with her knockout smoky eye makeup and the naturally moss-green color of her eyes, the whole look almost gives her the gleam of spilled gasoline, that lovely shade that can never quite be replicated because of its elusive, trompe-l’oeil rainbow of colors. And of course, nothing could be more perfect for a night celebrating racecar driving.

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Excepting, of course, the gorgeous sparkly somethings that are hanging from her ears. Hello diamonds! I LOVE these earrings. The chandelier style sparklers are a huge change of pace for Charlene, whose most recent engagements have all included pearls. Enough pearls, I say, when you have diamonds like these. YES!

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And I chose this photo so you could get a good (or better, at least) look at her hair. Magnifique. This coif is done to perfection, giving her short locks some lift and volume to match the tone of the gown. It is glamazon to the max. This shot also gives you a better idea of the back of the bodice, or at least how it is cut around her shoulders. I don’t blame her for being confident: her arms are amazing. (Note to self: take up swimming.)

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Onto the next Grand Prix post of this series: the Grand Prix itself. Charlene was a knockout again, so check back to get all the details! Until then, enjoy these pics and drool over them as I have.

May 24, 2015

Grand Prix de Monaco, Part 1: Charlene Visits with the Disabled

It’s Grand Prix time in Monaco! There has been a lot of buildup for this weekend, as Monaco hosts the 73rd Grand Prix. I’m not really one for car racing, but the Grand Prix is at least a step classier than Nascar, and since royalty attend, I put up with it. The big fixation of this race is, naturally, Formula 1; however, for me (and perhaps for you too), the fixation was Princess Charlene. There were a handful of events this weekend, so I’m going to do a few separate posts and put them in chronological order (photos courtesy of Facebook). Here we go!

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Yesterday, during the qualifiers for the race, Charlene and Albert made an appearance at the stadium’s handicapped stand.

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The Princely couple spent a good deal of time chatting with these lovely Grand Prix fans, and Charlene charmingly brought her dog. Why do I not know this dog’s name, or anything about her?! Charlene seems smitten with the pooch. And she shares the love with a precious admirer:

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I really, really liked her outfit for this casual outing:
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Très, très chic. I am usually not one to call ballet flats “chic,” but Charlene could convert me (funny how often she does that…). I need to know where she got these shoes, guys. They are too cute. I also love the white blouson with the white skinnies, paired with the nude jacket and flats. All the right matches in all the right places.

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I only wish I had a better look at the blouse. The sleeves on the jacket are surprisingly loose, and it appears as if the blouse has the same effect. I think I like it, but I just can’t tell enough from the pictures to cast a vote. But overall, I love the outfit.

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And natch, her hair and makeup were. Flaw. Less.

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Lovely first event of the weekend! Just wait until you see what she wore next. Prepare your fainting couch, that’s all I’m gonna say. I’ll be back soon, so stay tuned!

May 16, 2015

Nannies: Reason #1 I Wish I Were a Royal Mother

This blog started on the day that Princess Charlene gave birth to her two gorgeous babies, so we are constantly talking about Charlene’s role as a mother. It was more evident than ever at the twins’ baptism, at which Charlene was the glowing, proud, and Dior-matching mother of those two adorable tots. But one thing that thrilled me about the baptism, maybe more than the Dior? The nannies. (Photos courtesy of Facebook and Getty.)
Royals get flack from absolutely everywhere for having nannies. The hate comes from all around, from simple, innocent zings here and there to the toilet-talk of internet trolls. Seems like everyone has a bee in their pants about the fact that royals are not hesitant to dole out hefty wads of cash to highly qualified professionals to help them look after little ones. But you know something? I’m not one of those people, because let me tell you, I’d do it too if I had the means.

There. I said it. I’d hire a nanny.

Raising just one baby into a walking, talking, fully-functional person is probably the most physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing job that exists. There’s no more time for those things that used to be entertaining pre-baby. The movies? What are the movies? What is the definition of a movie – remind me again? During my most recent visit to a toddler play room, one mother of a 7-month old told me that it took her three days to get through a 30-minute episode of a show with her husband. And that’s on a normal week. Don’t get me started on the times when the kids are sick, throwing tantrums, or refusing to wear pants. Even those of us who wore our babies in slings, breastfed, co-slept, and never gave our babies a bite of jarred baby food are ready to admit it: bring on the nannies.

Here are Prince Albert and Princess Caroline with their nanny, and everyone looks cheery (well, Princess Caroline looks a little irritated at the camera flashes). Know why? The kids are getting loads of lovely attention, they have a calm mother who is not wiped out every day, and the nanny is getting paid. Everyone is happy.

The beginning of this video is, as of yet, the only footage I can find of Princess Charlene’s nannies (sorry for the iffy video, it truly is the only thing I could find to show you. The video is courtesy of YouTube, of course):

There are no pictures – at least none that I can find and put on this blog – of the nannies on their own or with Jacques and Gabriella. Just this video (in which they do look doting, and quite lovely too, in matching outfits just like the twins!), which to me suggests that perhaps Charlene is quite aware of the stigma that comes along with hiring nannies. I admired the chutzpah of the Cambridges to put their desire for a nanny on full display; however, I quite identify with Charlene’s apparent ambivalence to outwardly expressing her need for help. Admitting to needing help with children is almost like admitting defeat (but when did that happen? It certainly still takes a village to raise a child, and yet mothers are extremely judgmental toward one another about this issue), especially when the world is just waiting for you to do something wrong.

But back to the video! I, for one, am delighted that Charlene has professional help with caring for her twins, because it’s hard enough with just one baby. I was even more delighted to see that she has a dedicated nanny for each baby, which is a blessing on each child, nanny, and parent. And those children are so well behaved, it’s obvious that the nannies have been a lovely influence on their demeanor and calmness. And look at Charlene:

That’s a happy mama!

Bottom line: nobody’s allowed to judge a mother of twins. Let’s give Charlene a break, or perhaps even some applause, and be thrilled for her! She can afford help, so that not only are her children looked after with an abundance of attention, but she gets to be her own person too and *enjoy* her children. Amen. Now if she’d only hire a nanny and send her in my direction, all would be right with the world…

May 10, 2015

The Baptism of the Princely Twins

Sound the churchbells and dance in the streets: today was the baptism of Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella! Monaco has been preparing for this event for weeks now, decking the cathedral in scads of white blooms and billowing curtains. All of the principality was invited to join in the service outside the cathedral, where the service streamed on a screen for the Monégasque people to watch. (Naturally, inside the cathedral was reserved for the close friends and family of the twins. Photos here courtesy of Facebook and Getty, as always!)

Monaco certainly did not skimp when it came to celebrating the twins: folk dancers performed, gun salutes resounded, and cheering supporters greeted the twins upon their exit from the cathedral. The crowds boasted flags, balloons, and of course, cameras (cause wouldn’t you want to take pictures if you were there?!).

Princess Charlene looked particularly taken with all of the hubbub – how delightful to see so many people sharing in the joy of her children, sending them good wishes. It must have been quite touching for her.

I’ve got to say, besides how glowing Charlene looked (and we’ll get to that in a minute), the thing that struck me most is how GOOD these babies are. Check out this clip-style video of the baptism and you’ll see what I’m saying:

I mean. They didn’t fuss or anything, bless their little hearts. Even when the water hit their cue-ball coconuts, they didn’t seem the least bit bothered. They’re little angels! I hope they act that way at home, too…

On to the fashion! The babies first, since it’s their day. The twins wore bespoke baptismal gowns from Baby Dior, which looked light and breezy (perhaps due to the heat?) in terms of material. The gowns were embroidered with foliage detail and each child’s monogram, but they weren’t overly ornate, which I personally find lovely. I know some people go all-out with baptismal gowns, but I prefer the “less is more” variety. Simple, elegant, tasteful. And haute couture, of course – ha!

Speaking of couture! I was jumping for joy when I saw Charlene’s dress: a bespoke version of a dress from the Dior Haute Couture line that we saw in January. You may remember the original dress:

Lovely. But definitely needed altering for Charlene. Here’s a better look at her dress:
Shorter length, longer sleeves. Read: perfection. I don’t even think there’s a need to say more on this. I absolutely loved it. Total win all around!

Charlene accessorized with a very unique hat – would you call this a pillbox hat? Or something else? At first I thought she had some sort of veil on. It’s kinda strange, but I definitely like it. The way it frames her hair and face: she is just luminous.

She also completed the look with pearl-drop earrings (not unlike Duchess Kate’s Annoushka pearls which she most recently wore when debuting Princess Charlotte), knitted white gloves, and heavenly pumps – from what we can see. I’d love to see a better photo of the shoes, if only to drool over them. I have a problem, folks.

The godparents all looked lovely too, particularly Nerine Pienaar (left). I like her dress very much, and it too reminded me of Kate – anyone else remembering her L.K. Bennet from Australia? Only I think I actually like this dress better, to my own amazement!

And I just love this photo: Princess Caroline doting on her niece! She just can’t get enough. Swoon.

Alright, folks, that was a glorious day in Monaco. I know we all hope to see these babies again soon, cause they’re really stinking cute, so cross your fingers and I’ll keep you updated if anything comes up on the horizon. (And for those of you readers in the USA who happen to be mothers: Happy Mother’s Day!) Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!

May 7, 2015

The Twins’ Godparents: A Pre-Baptism Press Release

In just three short days, we will get to watch the royal baptism in Monaco! It has been months since we’ve seen the twins on the balcony at the Princely Palace, and they were super cute then (photos courtesy of Facebook and Getty):

But when they get baptized on Sunday, they’ll be an adorable five months old and brimming with personality. The names of the godparents have been released three days prior to the event, probably so that the focus of the day remains on the baptism itself and not the choices. First, let’s start with the godparents of the Hereditary Prince:

For Jacques, the godmother will be Diane de Polignac Nigra, and the godfather will be Christopher Le Vine, Jr., nephew of the late Princess Grace. As for Jacques’ sister…

For Gabriella, the godmother will be Nerine Pienaar, one of Charlene’s close friends (and wife of a South African rugby player), and the godfather will be Charlene’s brother, Gareth Wittstock.

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Lovely choices! Many royal watchers are baffled – and some rather upset – that neither of Albert’s sisters were named as godmothers; however, I personally don’t find it that unsettling. I’m surprised, but sort of delighted: it’s nice that the Princely couple seems to be reaching out to more distant relatives (with the exception of Charlene’s brother). In a way, it casts a wider net for the children, widening their circle and pulling it closer. I suspect the twins will be close to their paternal aunts already, but now they will have several connections elsewhere, too.

The baptism on Sunday will take place at the Cathedral, of course. And just to do a little TBT, here are some photos to drool over until we get to see the twins in all their glory:

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Prince Albert’s baptism, from inside the Cathedral. And wasn’t Caroline the cutest:

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Those little shoes. Must have!

And here is Princess Stéphanie’s baptism – I had to post this one because they’re in almost the exact same spot as Charlene and Albert in the first photo. Chills! I love it.

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When Sunday rolls around, remember that the ceremony itself will be private, but it will be broadcast here in case you want to watch it: I’m not exactly sure how the ceremony is considered private if it’s still being broadcast – perhaps because the press and public will not be allowed *inside* the Cathedral? I don’t know, but there it is. I’m glad we’ll get to see it, so I’m not bothered in the slightest! See you soon!