Archives for June 2017

June 24, 2017

Fête de la Saint-Jean + Pool Visit

Here I am, back again so soon! The summer season is in full swing here in upstate NY, and I am enjoying it thoroughly. It is the season of blueberry picking, homemade popsicles and ice cream, and the refreshing splash of swimming pools. We get terribly rough winters up here, so when summer comes around, I toss the windows open, shun the air conditioning, and let the balmy heat soak into my skin. Likewise, many around the world are celebrating summer in their own ways, and Monaco celebrates with the Fête de la Saint-Jean, or St. John’s Day, where the people gather around to feast St. John the Baptist…but also to rejoice in the longest days of the year. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

This year was a special treat for royal watchers, as Charlene and the twins appeared on the balcony to partake in the festivities. I have a feeling that Gabriella doesn’t love being in the middle of all the crowds, so I am particularly delighted that they have a balcony. The amazing things that come with being a princess!

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Jacques was, as usual, so sweet with his blonde curls and cheery disposition, and Gabriella’s regal smile was so sweet that I could have swooned. Is anyone else out there just dying over her dress??

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And Jacques’ little loafers. I mean!

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Charlene looked like heaven in this gorgeous blue patterned dress, the style of which, stylistically, is not in her normal range at all. This could easily be seen in the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe, whereas I have never seen Charlene in something quite like this before. I absolutely loved it! Different, yet still holding to Charlene’s level of elegance and exquisite taste. I also liked how it gave her a freedom of movement, which may be a reason why she chose it – being that she was handling the kids. Speaking of which…

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…what really stood out to me here was seeing Charlene in mom-mode. Even with a crowd, you can tell that her entire focus is on the children. I love how in this photo, you can see that she is showing the children how to stabilize themselves on the little bench. I can almost hear her: “Hands flat on the railing, holding steady. That’s it!”

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The hands-on-the-railing part probably lasted for all of a few seconds. But that’s ok: Charlene just got onto the bench with them and held them close. Probably a combination of natural maternal worry and a little encouraging touch for the kids. They behaved beautifully, and are clearly quite adored children.

In addition to the festivities for St. John’s Day…

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…Charlene made a poolside appearance the day prior to the La Turbie pool, which is part of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation’s Learn to Swim program.

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All I can say is that this outfit was, to me, pure perfection. It might be a jumpsuit? The wide-leg trousers and bateau-neck blouson are my idea of fashion paradise. And the way the sash highlights her tiny waist! I just loved it. For this visit, it was perfectly casual-chic, though I can’t help but think she must have been hot in all the black. I suppose the color could have been better, but Charlene looks so good in black, I hate to disturb it. Ha.

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On a separate note, it was lovely to see Charlene take the time to visit these smaller Learn to Swim participants and encourage them. Sure, she’s got the Water Safety Days and all the huge events for drowning prevention, but it shows her sincerity that she also supports the smaller, local pools that participate in the programs. You can tell that it’s near and dear to her heart to give her support – and supervision – to these youngsters.

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Now I’m totally in the mood to jump into a pool…but I have to go make dinner. Ah well, maybe tomorrow!

June 22, 2017

Monte Carlo Television Festival 2017

I have been waiting for DAYS to do a post on this, you guys! I just returned from a weeklong trip visiting family, and I am so eager to get back to my normal routine. Don’t get me wrong – seeing family is always great – but it has been gnawing at me something fierce that I wasn’t able to post about this until now. But hallelujah, the time has come! Charlene and Albert hosted a reception at the Princely Palace for the Monte Carlo Television Festival, as you all probably know by now. And my verdict on this one is so mixed, I’m eager to hear what your opinions are!

Charlene selected a very striking, floor-length, bright red dress for this event, and I thought it was positively jaw-dropping. The plunging neckline! We know Charlene does love a good plunge, but I don’t recall having seen one THIS low before. It is something she can pull off successfully very well, unlike so many who attempt it and end up with epic failures.

One part that gave me pause, I think, was the structure of this dress. The wispy, sheer skirt seems to contrast staggeringly with the structured neckline, and that’s fine, but something about it just seems to clash too much. Is it actually a different material? I can’t tell. But the juxtaposing styles doesn’t really bother me…

…as much as this necklace. What the mother of pearl is up with this necklace?? Are we on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or something? (Now you all know I love me some Buffy, but the huge, vampire-slaying cross necklaces need to stay in our jewelry mistake drawers at all times.) I am unafraid to admit it to you: I HATED this necklace. When a woman has as many amazing pieces of jewelry as Charlene, it just makes me cringe to see something like this coming out of her closet. My humble opinion is that this gigantoid necklace just ruins the entire outfit. Had this piece been either delicate or full of exquisite jewels, can you imagine how perfect this whole look would have been? Flawless.

I will say, though, that everything else was gorgeous. Her makeup was particularly elegant, and her hair and earrings were so on-point I could cry. Just gorgeous. On the other hand…oh, well. I won’t bring it up again. In all honesty, a deviant piece of jewelry shouldn’t be the be-all, end-all of a fashion moment. It’s just an accessory. (I may just be saying these things to calm myself down. Bah!)

Necklaces aside, it was so nice to see Charlene in an evening gown again. I’m hoping for a repeat on this one so we might see it in motion, as the skirt is probably incredible. Fingers crossed!

June 14, 2017

Water Safety Day for Princess Charlene

A couple days ago on Lavrotto Beach, Princess Charlene attended a Water Safety Day, which was being held by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation in conjunction with some other organizations including the Red Cross. The day focused around children, educating them on safety techniques in the water and drowning prevention. Vital skills that all kids should learn, and which are particularly relevant to the children of the Riviera. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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As expected, Charlene dressed down for the event, pairing a t-shirt and cap for her Foundation with white pants. She seems to always know what the uniform will be for the children, and coordinates flawlessly: here, everyone was in red, while Charlene was in white. The colors of Monaco, the colors of the Red Cross – you get it. It’s a tad on-the-nose, but I do appreciate Charlene’s choice to break up the monotony of all the red and stand out in the crowd. Quite a deliberate choice and spot-on.

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Charlene is always on point with youngsters. It doesn’t matter if they’re newborns or pre-teens, she just seems to shine around them. They love her – obviously – and she appears to quite enjoy their company.

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I also must note that her wrist seems to still be recovering from the injury that plagued her over the Water Bike Challenge – too bad. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but was probably quite an annoyance for this occasion. You all know how much she loves to get into teaching the water safety techniques herself, and I do hope this small injury didn’t get in her way.

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At least if the injury did prove to be a hindrance, she was still able to get out onto the beach with the kids, and she knew that they were receiving excellent training. It is so dear to see these causes come to light, especially since they are so important to Charlene. It wasn’t a huge fashion day…but it was a huge day for these kids. Cheers to them!

June 5, 2017

Charlene Visits Babies + Riviera Water Bike Challenge

As many of you may know already, as this happened over Grand Prix weekend, Princess Charlene paid a visit to the Princess Grace Hospital’s maternity ward on Monaco’s Mother’s Day to see all the newborns and mamas. She also visited the hospital’s chapel to pray for the victims and families of the Manchester attack – a thoughtful gesture to make, especially with so much going on over Grand Prix weekend. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Given the Manchester attack and the somber note to this visit, Charlene chose an elegant, simple black dress. I believe this choice to be Dior, but that is just an educated guess. Given that she usually dons lighter tones for the Mother’s Day visit, it was clear that her choice was deliberate in homage to the Manchester families. Also, I notice that she is wearing that same black ribbon here – hard to see against the dress, but there it is – and this gives me more confidence in my speculation that her Grand Prix ribbon was also for Manchester.

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Nevertheless, Charlene was brimming with joy to see the newborns, and seemed most lifted by the contact with new life in the face of such darkness.

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It is always such a delight to see Charlene around babies. She is now juggling toddlers herself, so seeing her with newborns is so precious. (Just as a side note, I always love seeing parents of non-newborns with newborns. The actual parents of these kids are so completely sleep deprived that they can’t possibly look jubilant, but the joy always comes across with other grown-ups. It’s lovely!)

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In prayer at the chapel, Charlene laid white roses at the altar for those affected by Manchester. The whole thing is just so sad, and as I alluded in a previous post, this must have affected her very deeply simply because she is a mother. I don’t know any mamas out there who weren’t holding onto their babies a little closer this past week. I admire her desire to acknowledge these victims, even when she certainly didn’t have to.

In other news, the Riviera Water Bike Challenge took place just yesterday! Charlene couldn’t participate because of a wrist injury; however, Albert participated and everyone seemed to have a grand time! The race was held between Nice and Monaco at the Monaco Yacht Club, and since she couldn’t participate, Charlene presented the awards to the winners.

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I absolutely LOVED Charlene’s outfit! The white skinnies and black, loose-fitted blouse were a gorgeous combination. Those shoes, though. I’m sure many onlookers would have loved them, but they weren’t for me. (So good thing I wasn’t wearing them, right? Sometimes I shake my head at my own judgments!)

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I also loved the new sunnies and the delicate gold necklace. I would have enjoyed some earrings, but I won’t dwell on it.

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Overall, this looked like loads of fun and a beautiful day. Given the success, I imagine this will easily become a yearly event in Monaco. With their enthusiastic embrace of water sports, it’s a good thing they have Charlene as their princess. Until the next time!