January 25, 2016

Happy Birthday: Princess Charlene Turns 38

Today is Charlene’s 38th birthday, and I couldn’t quite decide which way to go with this post. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do a “how Charlene is celebrating” post, since those details aren’t generally shared (hint, hint to the Princely palace, we want to know!). So I thought perhaps a reminiscent look-back at Charlene’s 37th year. It was certainly one to remember – her first with her babies! – so it seemed fitting to reflect. But should we reflect on the happiest memories? Or on the most glamorous fashion? I couldn’t decide. So, my friends, we’re doing both. A mélange, if you will, of Princess Charlene’s happiest and most gorgeous moments of her past year.

(Sidenote: I obviously wanted to start with the introduction of her twins on the balcony, but alas, that actually happened before Charlene’s last birthday, so it doesn’t make the cut. Bummer!)

Just after Charlene’s birthday, Monaco observes the feast day of Sainte Dévote, and Charlene burned a boat with Albert in celebration.

Charlene looked radiant and happy, probably from two things: first, her new twin babies who were healthy and strong; second, to getting away from their adorable screaming for a hot second. I think all new moms know the look of another mom when she’s having her first night out of the house! (We’ll hopefully get to see another boat-burning in a couple days, as the feast day is just around the corner, so stay tuned!)

Charlene let a couple months go by with very few sightings, but given the fact that she was recuperating from a c-section, it was understandable. The next time I was really bowled over by her happiness and beauty was at her twins’ baptism:

Pure joy. I don’t think there has ever been a photo of Charlene looking more purely happy than she does here, descending the steps of the Cathedral with Prince Jacques.

And then, later in the month, we saw Charlene in this gorgeous, show-stopping gown:

To me, this was one of Charlene’s finest fashion moments. It is so, so reminiscent of the Duchess of Cambridge’s Roland Mouret gown, and both are stunning in their sleek elegance. Complete win, in my book.

I personally would love to glaze over the Red Cross Ball, because in all honesty, I hated this dress…or jumpsuit, to be more accurate. I hope some people out there loved it, but I just hated it. However! I couldn’t gloss over this event because of how striking Charlene looked from the neck up:

See how I cleverly give you the headshots, so you don’t have to see the jumpsuit? She was stunning, and the sheer intensity of her beauty makes this event ring in my memory.

I think, though, that one of the most memorably joyous moments from Charlene’s past year was throughout Albert’s celebration of 10 years on the throne.

When she greeted the crowds in French, telling them that he was the Prince of her heart, you could see the elation on her face as she turned to hug her husband. It was almost too cute.

But back to glam! Probably the most gorgeous gown of Charlene’s past year was the Dior that she wore to the Princess Grace Awards.

I was blown away by this one. Just looking at this gown, you can practically feel the weight of it, the heaviness of the embroidered embellishments and the whoosh of fabric in the low, A-line skirt. This was one of her finest moments, certainly of the past year, but perhaps of all time. Sublime.

And of course…

…National Day in Monaco. Charlene looked chic, dramatic, and incredibly proud of her two children. I can’t decide if the win goes to glam or happy in this one, since it seems to be such a superb combination of both. A wonderful, fitting way to celebrate Monaco and the Princely family all in one go.

Just as a sidenote, I recently realized that Princess Charlene actually shares a birthday with Virginia Woolf (if you like historical fiction and are interested at all in Woolf, I do recommend Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar). Not that the two women have that much in common, but perhaps there is an overlap in there somewhere: both strong, independent women with very clear identities, with decisive passion for their values and ideals. An interesting coincidence, and I thought it worth sharing just for amusement! Those little bits of trivia are always fun to know. Wishing Charlene the happiest of birthdays today, and the beginning of a beautiful new year ahead!

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