December 13, 2016

Princess Charlene in India

Many of you may have been wondering why Princess Charlene’s twins’ birthday party was scheduled for a few days in advance of their birthday. The reason? Our princess was spending their actual birthday with poverty-stricken families in India. She undertook the visit by herself, and it was enormously successful. I struggle with whether I ought to call this visit a “tour,” and I think I oughtn’t, because it really wasn’t about traveling all about the country. This particular journey was more about interacting with a few communities who have been hit harshly by HIV and poverty, in addition to being one of the “Laureates and Leaders” for the Children’s Summit 2016 in New Delhi. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

I begin here by showing you some of the first portion of this visit, which was her outreach to families:

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Charlene was fresh-faced and greeted immediately as she exited the plane, ready to get to work straight away and jumping right into the programs for the day.

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She didn’t waste any time, getting out into the village and interacting with the locals.

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It is always so invigorating to see Charlene with children. I absolutely love the way she doesn’t hesitate, not only to wrap her arms around them, but to draw them into close embraces. At that point, the fact that she is a princess seems to fall to the side, and she just becomes a warm, loving woman who has visited these families.

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The kids love her, obviously. This so reminds me of Duchess Kate’s tour of India, and in particular the moment when she got down onto the ground to draw pictures with the children. I mean!!

Here is some detailed info of the trip from one of our Facebook followers (thank you, Krishnaswamy India!):

Princess Charlene of Monaco interacted with HIV-affected children and members of marginalised families at various places in the district here on Thursday. Her day began with an interaction with a marginalised family at Panniyamalai, a remote village at Avichipatti panchayat in Natham block. She visited the house of Bakiam (41), a poor farm worker, and interacted with him and his wife Pushpam (38). He was struggling with chronic disease and could not go for any work. Poverty gripped his family. The couple have three girls and a boy. The princess consoled Pushpam and her family members and assured to extend help for their livelihood. She offered a cricket bat to their son. Later, she came to Nochiodaipatti and interacted with people and children with HIV at a function held at a private college. She took part in a silent prayer organised by the college administration to pay homage to the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. Rousing welcome was accorded to her and her team mate at the function spot. A batch of children welcomed her with roses and bouquets. They offered garlands and a crown of flowers. She took photos with children and watched cultural programme. The folk artistes and children performed a skit on AIDS awareness, Bharathanatyam and Karagattam to entertain foreign guests. Later, the princess thanked the hosts and left the place. Later, she left for Madurai on road from Dindigul. Collector T.G. Vinay received her at a hotel in Dindigul. Sources said that she came in a special plane to Madurai and drove to Natham through Umachikulam to reach Natham. Besides her own security team, a team of police officials from Madurai and Dindigul accompanied her during their tour in the district.

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How much am I loving these garlands of roses? I wish I could get my hands on a photo of the flower crown – what a lovely gesture from this welcoming, hospitable nation.

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I’m not certain, but I am guessing that this gorgeous photo was taken while watching the aforementioned performances (see the block quote above). Little sidenote: I used to dance Bharathanatyam with a dear friend of mine ages ago, and I’m so glad Charlene got to see some classical Indian dance on her trip – it is so special!

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I suppose at some point I should talk about fashion! Despite having just stepped off a plane, Charlene looked lovely in relaxing leggings, open sandals, and a billowy duster. Excellent choices for an undoubtedly busy, hot day. She opted, very wisely, for neutral makeup and minimal jewelry. I actually love how natural she looks here; you can hardly see any makeup at all – clearly diverting attention off of herself and onto the people around her.

Onto the next event…

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The Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit 2016! My gosh, you guys, this was such an honor for Charlene to be present alongside His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. What a treat to see them at the same table!

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Charlene looked positively regal in a gorgeous plum dress with an accent scarf. For this event, I was glad to see a finished face of makeup, and full hair. Jewelry was simple again, but so elegant and appropriate.

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The scarf was eventually removed, and we got a better look at the dress. It appears to be a very simple material, with a lovely boatneck and no further embellishments. Stunning.

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These guys look pretty happy to be standing next to her, too 😉

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I don’t know about you, but this visit was such a treat for me. To see Charlene in an outreach-setting is to truly see her shine, particularly around children. May her warm spirit give them hope, love, and peace, and may this visit touch the hearts of many likeminded humanitarians around the world. Blessings to you all.

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