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!


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??


And Jacques’ little loafers. I mean!


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…


…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!”


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…


…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.


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.


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.


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


  1. Katie, on both occassions Charlene is in her element: children & swimming. My favourite photos are the 3rd & 4th. Re the colour that she wore to go to the pool, at first I was disappointed that she choose black; but then when I saw the photo of her together with all the kids wearing red I could see that had she chosen another colour the end result would not be as striking as this photo.

  2. Katie Coble says:

    Good point, Myriam – you’re right, it would have to be black or white for that photo to have worked so well, wouldn’t it? I guess navy would have worked too, but it’s so dark that it wouldn’t be any different than choosing black. Thanks for this insight!

  3. Vittoria says:

    I’m always amazed by how much Princess Gabriella looks like her Aunt Stephanie.

  4. Karin Bloem says:

    I love this blog and would like to share an interesting bit of information about Princess Gabriella’s dress. It is made from a traditional South African cotton material much favoured by some black South African women from certain tribes. It is called ‘shwe-shwe’ – I am not certain about the spelling, so just writing it the way we pronounce it here in South Africa. It is a lovely cotton fabric with specific colours and patterns (that is why I immediately recognised it). Black South African women have lovely dresses, skirts and head scarves made from this material. It is cool and hard-wearing, ideal for our hot climate. Princess Charlene must have imported the fabric and had the dress specially made for her daughter – she does this from time to time, giving a nod to her South African heritage with flowers, etc. I was touched to see her little daughter in the shwe-shwe dress.
    Kind regards from a proud South African

  5. Karin Bloem says:

    Further to my comment on Princess Gabriella’s dress, you can google Wikipedia and see lovely images of the fabric.
    Shweshwe (/ˈʃwɛ.ʃwɛ/)[1] is a printed dyed cotton fabric widely used for traditional South African clothing.[2][3] Originally dyed indigo, the fabric is manufactured in a variety of colours and printing designs characterised by intricate geometric patterns.[4][5][6] Due to its timeless popularity, shweshwe has been described as the denim,[6] or tartan, of South Africa.[7]

  6. Katie Coble says:

    Karin – your insights on Princess Gabriella’s dress have delighted me in so many ways! Thank you for taking the time to share this very interesting bit of information. Clearly this was a deliberate nod to Charlene’s culture, a very thoughtful homage to a heritage she obviously wishes to share with her children. I am tickled. Thank you again, and I’m glad you enjoy the blog – please feel free to comment anytime!

  7. Katie Coble says:

    Hi Vittoria – I don’t think I would have noticed the similarities if you hadn’t mentioned it. But now that you say it…YES! I can certainly see a resemblance between Gabriella and Stephanie. Beauty must run in the family 😉

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