January 16, 2018

Visit to Burkina Faso

This past week, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene made a visit to Burkina Faso, where they met with everyone from small children to nurses to the President and First Lady. Though quick, the entire visit was wholly successful, and solidified the friendship between the two countries. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)


Princess Charlene met her sartorial match in the gorgeous Sika Kaboré, am I right?! This stunning first lady is very beautiful and elegant. Charlene also looked quite regal – I particularly enjoyed her choice of makeup, so soft and natural, and not a hair out of place.


Charlene’s ensemble was noteworthy: a very chic blazer, offset by equally chic, wide-legged pants.  I hope I don’t disappoint anyone out there, but this was not my favorite look of all time. By any stretch of the imagination. Both pieces are oozing with elegance, but for me, they just don’t go *together.* Does anyone else feel that way? I think I love each individual element, but not as a united outfit. Hmm. And the shoes I hate, but that’s only because I have very specific taste in shoes.

More important than fashion, though…


…schoolchildren! Charlene got to spend some ample time at the education center in Ouagadougou, where she interacted with all the kiddos. The kids and princess seemed equally smitten with one another.


Later, the Princely couple attended a banquet, and here is where I can applaud Charlene’s fashion to the heavens! I absolutely loved this dress. I also know that many people will hate it, the “wings” in particular are quite unique and distracting. But, for me?! The pattern is simple, the red border is striking, and she somehow was able to give a nod to the fashion surrounding her in Africa without losing her own style in the mix.


The next day, Charlene and Albert spent the day working on projects for the Princess Charlene of Monaco foundation, where Charlene got down to work. Some critics out there have not enjoyed the fact that Charlene came into this day in a polo shirt, khakis, and tennis shoes, while her husband wore a suit and tie. However, a picture can be worth a thousand words…


…she was working! Charlene wasn’t going into today to teeter in high heels and have people curtsey to her. She was on her knees, outside, showing people how to administer CPR. I can agree that she wasn’t dressed the way that one would expect a princess to dress during a state visit.


But she was there to work, not to be pretty, and not to buy into how people expect a princess to behave. I give her all the apples for this one. (Even just in a logical sense, you can see here how much more sensible it is of her to be in sneakers than in high heels.)


Like I said, I DO understand how people can come away from this feeling let down by her outfit, especially when surrounded by such beautiful women in their absolute best ensembles. And if the above photo was the only one we got to see, then yes, I would be saying the same things. But luckily, we know better, and we can appreciate that she gave up caring about the cameras and cared more about the work.


Back to the work side of things, though! She visited the new hospital with its own maternity wing, and donated pediatric incubators with warming lamps. This comes as no surprise: Charlene loves babies. :)


And children love her! Can I stop for a minute and talk about the beautiful dress that this little girl is wearing?! I mean. I’m over the moon here.


A delightful visit from the Princely couple and such a warm welcome in Burkina Faso. I enjoyed this visit so much, and I hope we see these two countries visiting one another again in the future.


  1. Delightful photos, thanks. I am almost certain that the patterned dress with the red piping is made from the African cloth called ‘shweshwe’, similar to what her little daughter wore to an event last year. This would definitely be a nod to her own African roots. Princess Charlene is so fashion savvy.

  2. Karin, could you provide a pic of the little one wearing an African dress? I cannot find or recall G has ever publicly worn an African dress.

  3. Imke, I think Karin is referring to a dress made out of the shweshwe fabric that Gabriella wore to the Feast of St Jean last year. It was a yellow patterned dress.
    I read elsewhere that this gown Charlene wore in Burkina Faso was made by a local designer in a couple of hours on the very day that she wore it, which is pretty impressive if you ask me! It’s a great dress, I especially love the cape-y sleeeves. 2018 is starting really well for Charlene, sartorially speaking and otherwise.

  4. Katie Coble says:

    Yes, Imke, here is the link to that post to which Karin was referring (as V. said, correctly, it was for the Feast of St. Jean): http://princesscharleneofmonaco.com/2017/06/24/fete-de-la-saint-jean-pool-visit/ The dress is too adorable. Enjoy!

  5. Thank you Karin, I did not take that down as an African design. For me it was yet another designer dress for a kid.

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