November 19, 2015

National Day in Monaco

Today is National Day in Monaco, and we got a lovely balcony appearance from the Princely family in honor of the occasion! Traditionally, National Day is held on the sovereign’s namesake-saint’s feast day (try to say that three times fast!), which for Albert would technically be November 15; however, Prince Rainier’s namesake saint’s day was November 19, and Albert just kept the tradition of having National Day on the 19th. In years past, the day was celebrated with fireworks on the evening before National Day; however, those festivities were understandably cancelled this year due to the atrocities in Paris. But the Princely family did keep the yearly Mass at the Cathedral, and followed that up with the usual balcony appearance, to the delight of the crowds. (Photos courtesy of Getty and Facebook.)

Princess Charlene looked sleek and stunning in a deep plum – or would you call it a plummy brown? – long-sleeved dress. I absolutely love everything about this dress: the mod, 60s style it evokes, the asymmetrical hemline (which I usually don’t like, but this time I do!), the dropped waistline, everything.

The hat complemented the fashion throwback, and it was a bold move in that it covered 100% of Charlene’s new haircut. We saw absolutely no hair today, and that was a daring choice. While not the same at all, this hat reminded me greatly of Princess Grace’s hat from National Day way back in the 60s:

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Like I said, they’re definitely not the same, but Princess Grace’s hat covered her entire chignon, which struck me as the same bold choice. It seems that Charlene has inherited her predecessor’s willingness to take sartorial risks. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the choice today was a subtle nod to Princess Grace, though it would be a stretch.

Once again, she could be walking a runway. The woman looks like a model, people. The only part of this outfit that I’m not loving – get ready, I’m going to surprise you – is the footwear portion. These shoes don’t do it for me. It may be my love of a much higher heel, which a tall woman like Charlene obviously doesn’t need, but these just seemed too short with the outfit. What do you think?

I think my favorite part of this, though, is the color. As mentioned earlier, I can’t quite place it. I think maroon would be the closest match if I were looking to name it, but who cares. Whatever it is called, this color is dynamite on Charlene. It is rich, textured, deep, and eerily reminiscent of frosted blackberries. A total home-run! In addition, I mustn’t neglect mentioning one of the more recent members of the family, who also dresses impeccably:

Beatrice Borromeo. Holy cow, she was perfectly poised and polished. I loved the elegance of her ensemble, and though she doesn’t have the daring spirit of Charlene when it comes to her fashion, we must acknowledge that she has exquisite taste. Another win!

On to the cuter portion of the day: the balcony appearance included the adorable Princely twins! Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella faced the crowds once again, this time bundled in charcoal-gray peacoats and leggings. They were doted on lovingly by their parents, who were beaming and obviously delighted to share the special moment with their children.

At 11 months old, the babies are probably now close to walking, and they both seemed particularly thrilled to push his feet up against the balcony rail. I think all mothers out there, including myself, let out a collective gasp at the sight of the babies with their feet teetering near the edge; however, we exhaled again quickly upon remembering that their parents’ arms were fully encircling them. Whew.

An absolutely beautiful family, and a perfect family day. Happy National Day to Monaco and to the Princely family – wishing everyone a wonderful year ahead!

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