February 25, 2017

Charlene Glitters in Gold for AMREF Gala

The last couple of days have been busy ones in Monaco, where Princess Charlene has been buzzing about with work for her foundation. Yesterday evening, Charlene was front-and-center at a gala in Monaco to support the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), a cause near and dear to her heart, and today she attended the Charity Mile Race Event in France. It always warms me to see the princess not only supporting her causes, but giving her time and presence at their events – even if it means stepping away from her twins for a night or two, which is never easy for any mother! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

7

For the AMREF gala, Charlene chose a jaw-dropping gold gown by Akris, a staple label of hers. I imagine looking into Charlene’s closet and seeing an entire wall devoted to Akris, she loves it so. And who wouldn’t?!

1

Actually, many people wouldn’t. So far, this gown has gotten very mixed reviews from royal watchers. The criticisms I have heard thus far have ranged from just disliking the dress to disliking everything about the entire look, even going so far as body-shaming Charlene, which I would categorize as completely unacceptable and lurking into troll-territory. Critics have argued that this accentuates her too-wide shoulders, and that the scoop neck is too reminiscent of a swimsuit or tank-top. My personal opinion is quite different: I actually like this dress very much. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it blew me away, but I certainly thought it touched on Charlene’s edgy sensibilities and provided enough glitz to honor the event. Some of the other ladies went for more traditional, softer gowns; Charlene, as usual, went in a more daring direction. I love the detailing and the sequins, though I can certainly see how someone averse to sequins might be overwhelmed here. And as you all know, I have a fondness for Charlene’s strong shoulders and her lean build, and don’t see any problem with the fact that she wears what she likes, even if it highlights what other people might think of as “negative.” I wish more people would see their unique features as assets rather than obstacles to cover up, but alas, this is an unfortunate, cultural norm.

8

Now, there was one aspect of this styling that I did not prefer: the earrings. Don’t get me wrong – I actually LOVE these earrings, just not with this particular dress. Had I been Charlene, with a gown that perfectly matched my hair tones, I would probably have reached for something gold, or bronze, to match. Diamonds do match everything, certainly, but something about this gown just begs for gold. To me, at least. But I certainly had no problem getting a close-up look at these diamonds. That part was a-ok.

6

I don’t love this photo, but I show it to highlight another issue some critics have been torn on: Charlene’s hairstyle. I’ve been enjoying the pixie quite a bit, though it seems the least offensive commentators have more of a problem with the almost razor-edge cut on the sides of her head, rather than the short haircut in general. Once I saw that particular point made, I would say that I tend to agree. Something about this most recent cut is a bit top-heavy, and I think I preferred the pixie more rounded around her head. Her hair coloring is nearing ombre territory, and I am enjoying that very much. As I mentioned earlier, it certainly matched her gown!

Moving on! Today, Charlene attended the Prix Princesse Charlène de Monaco – Charity Mile in France, where she again chose an Akris ensemble. This time she went MUCH more casual, as it was a day event, yet still retained the chic quality for which she is so famous.

5

Charlene paired an Akris short-jacket with one of their black jumpsuits, and the jumpsuit itself is positively stunning. I wish she hadn’t had to wear the jacket with this, but I assume that the weather wasn’t quite warm enough yet to make it possible. The jacket is nice too, but I wish we could see the jumpsuit full-length. Sigh.

3

And to end on a very happy note, Charlene’s makeup was SO on point today! She looked positively radiant in the sunshine, and I have always loved how she can rock a bold lip color. It lights her up, and the black outfit balances everything so well – home run. I would actually put both of these events in the “win” column for Charlene: even though the gown from last night might not have been everyone’s flavor, it was definitely Charlene’s, and she wore it for herself. That’s the way to do it!

February 14, 2017

Princess Charlene Wows in Red on Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! I am normally quite ambivalent toward this holiday, and in previous years I have always insisted on making it more film-noir at home, complete with silk stockings, roses, and wine, rather than embracing the balloons, construction paper crafts and conversation hearts that usually engulf v-day. But this year, I’ve got to admit that I’m getting swept up into the tasteless charm of it all! Maybe because my kid is getting old enough to understand and enjoy it, so I get to do the same vicariously? Who knows. I was actually so into it this year that I had planned to do a post on Charlene’s various red dresses. But that idea was scrapped last-minute, because little did I know that she would surprise us by making an appearance today in a brand-new, bright red dress! Be forewarned, folks: I am getting all the feels from this one. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

4

This evening, Charlene and Albert stepped out to attend the Laureus World Sports Awards at the Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo. But I’m not wasting any time today – I couldn’t possibly care less about the event itself. My focus is purely on Charlene. And THIS DRESS.

2

I am nearly certain that this is a Louis Vuitton creation, but I am human and could be completely wrong. UPDATE: This gown is Herrera, and I find it to be divine: the ample fabric in the skirt and train (a train!!!), the embellished empire AND dropped waistlines, the sexy cold-shoulderline, and the appropriate-for-Valentine’s-Day sweetheart neckline – I mean. It is regal, vibrant, daring, chic, romantic and elegant all at once.

3

This shot gives us an idea of the back. The high backline is surprising to me – I would have expected a less conservative design – but I actually appreciate it. I can be extremely persnickety about balance, and the demure back of this gown seems to offset the plunging neckline just exquisitely.

6

This is an unfortunate picture, I know. I only show it to you so that you can get a look at these shoes. We can only see the toe here, but it reminds me very much of the pumps she wore to the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters last year. Certainly not the same shoes – those had a bright yellow heel, and could you imagine if that accidentally popped out from underneath this dress? The clash would be hideous. But the similarity of the toe makes me want to pin these shoes as Dior. Though it’s hard to tell with just a toe 😉 UPDATE: These shoes are not Dior at all, but Jimmy Choo. And they’re perfect.

1

Also worthy of note: while hair and makeup were impeccable – you know how much I love a red lip – has anyone else gotten the feeling that Charlene may be going a few shades darker with her hair? I’m not sure if it was the lighting or what, but it suits her very nicely. I would be so pleased if she changed it up with a different shade, even though the pixie-blonde has sort of become her signature style. This darker tone, combined with the bold, dark-red lip, certainly took me off-guard. But not in a bad way!

7

And…these EARRINGS! I’m not sure if these are new or perhaps just making a resurrection, but I certainly cannot recall having seen them recently. To the best of my knowledge, anyway. These are some of the longest earrings she has – no? They almost graze her collarbone. I like them very much, and while I am quite sure the diamonds are as real as real can be, they don’t quite have a regal quality to me. Not that Charlene always has to dip into that category; au contraire, I rather like the fact that she has a modern, edgy twist to her style. I think Duchess Kate’s earrings from the BAFTAs have spoiled me on any other earrings in existence, at least for awhile. Ha!

5

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! And if you’re not coupled up, do me a favor and practice some self-love today. You are beautiful, and you deserve chocolate. Get it!

January 27, 2017

The Feast of Sainte Dévote

For those of you who have been following for a couple years now, today’s celebration in Monaco will be no surprise to you. But for those of you who are new to this site, first of all, welcome!, and second, let me introduce you to Monaco’s patron saint, Sainte Dévote, whose feast day is celebrated today. Sainte Dévote was not actually from Monaco, but her martyred body drifted ashore there, guided by an angelic dove. When her body was discovered, she received a proper, Christian burial, and has since looked after the principality. The Monégasque people have always been fiercely protective of their saint, to the extreme of burning a theif’s boat after he unsuccessfully tried to steal her relics some 900 years ago. As a reminder of their loyalty (and as an invocation of her protection), every year the people of Monaco burn a boat in honor of Sainte Dévote. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

1

The custom of boat-burning takes place on the eve of Sainte Dévote’s feast, where the Princely family proceeds from the chapel to set a boat ablaze. Charlene never fails to attend, even just after having given birth to her twins a couple years ago. This is one of my absolute favorite events of the entire year, mainly because of the spectacle of the whole thing. The bright yellow flames against the dark night sky, the glowing-white chapel in the background, the fully-robed priests bringing a sacred gravity to the ritual – it’s all so theatrical and mesmerizing.

3

But I know y’all just came here for the fashion 😉 Just kidding. Sort of.

6

I am always so thrilled to see what Charlene chooses to wear for the boat-burning. Last night, she looked so chic I could have cried. She chose a charcoal grey turtleneck – should I even be calling this a turtleneck? It’s high enough on the neckline, but that word doesn’t jive with me. Maybe just a high-necked blouson with a notched collar? Whatever it was, it oozed elegance and finesse.

5

She paired the grey with an extraordinary, aubergine cape. The cape does have slits in it for her arms, but she opted not to use them. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps it was just slightly too chilly in the night air, and she needed the extra fabric. Whatever the reason, the draping of the cape made for a very dramatic effect, and you already know how much I love the wine color on Charlene. Yessssss.

14

Hard to see here, I know, but she paired this with high, yet flat, black boots. A suitable choice for her ensemble and for the cobblestones, I think.

8

Makeup, hair, jewelry, all on point. (As a sidenote, I’ve been looking through people’s opinions today just randomly on the internet, and many seem to be fixated on this idea that she may have had some plastic surgery done recently. I will definitely touch on that, but in a separate post.)

10

Today, the festivities continued with a full Mass at the cathedral, followed by the necessary balcony appearance. In a drastic opposition to the choice of colors last night, today Charlene went completely beige. If I had to choose, I would opt for the evening tones on Charlene – something about beige seems to wash her out, just from my perspective. But she did look lovely, and didn’t put a foot wrong.

11

The coat she chose had almost a mermaid flair to it, fitted through the hips and opening toward the claves. Very interesting. But I’ve got to be honest, my main obsession was the boots. These BOOTS, guys. I was in boot heaven.

12

Is this family adorable?! I wish we had some better pictures of the kids, but none of the ones I found really were worth sharing. This photo stole my heart though!

And…

13

…these two. Look how cute they are. Insert little cartoon hearts all around them!

4

A happy Sainte Dévote’s day to you all!

January 25, 2017

Happy Birthday, Princess Charlene!

A happy new year to all of you, dear readers! 2017 is off to a bang-up start here in the USA, with some of the most amazing women’s marches across the country having taken place last weekend. It has been empowering and uplifting to see so many women and men of all backgrounds coming together to celebrate women, and more amazing was to see this same spirit around the world: it brought tears to many of our eyes to witness likeminded humans across the planet joining together for women’s rights. Even though royals obviously have every necessity to remain mum about political agendas, I like to think that our royal women – Charlene, Kate, Letizia, Elizabeth II, Victoria, Madeleine, etc. – would have loved to shed their titles for the day and join us in our movement. Therefore, I dedicate Charlene’s birthday post to her role as a powerful woman in the world, and the stunning example that she sets for women worldwide.

Today, Charlene turns 39, and she has accomplished so much as a role model for women in her life. In her athletic career and in her public role, fashion-wise and mother-wise, speaking out for children’s safety and education: she is a slayer. She will, undoubtedly, continue to slay it for women of all walks of life, whether we’re stay-at-home mothers, executives, athletes, artists, or all of the above (yes!). Here are some ways she has worked it over the last year. (Photos courtesy of Facebook and Getty.)

2She sat at the table with the Dalai Lama, advocating for children.

8

She got on the ground and taught kids how to perform CPR.

1

She helped out at the Red Cross, multiple times.

She wore spiked high-heeled boots to a rugby match (another YES!).

3She led up water safety workshops for kids – again, multiple times.

She was awarded the Blue Ribbon Award, which is actually a HUGE honor, for her humanitarian work surrounding children.

11Oh, and she raised twins through their first two years of life and didn’t lose her mind in the process. That by itself could hold this post from beginning to end.

5

Wishing Princess Charlene the happiest of birthdays, and sending her huge thanks for being a lovely role model for women and our young daughters everywhere!

December 24, 2016

Christmas Photos of the Princely Family

Merry Christmas to you all, dear readers! I come to you this Christmas Eve from the countryside of Pennsylvania, where I am visiting with in-laws and some very dear friends. This evening, as we all prepare to tuck our littles into their beds as early as possible so we can get the last of our wrapping completed, I thought we could take a break to view the Princely family’s Christmas photos. Paired with a hot toddy and a roaring fire, these are just the ticket for all of those Christmas feelings. The twins are the main attraction, of course, being two years old and full of merry cuteness. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

1

Here is the family photo, which I suspect they used for their Christmas card. There is so much going on here to discuss! Charlene looks radiant, glamorous, and regal in gold – is anyone else out there just dying over her dress? It is much shorter than we usually see on Charlene, and my goodness, I don’t think I ever realized what incredible legs she has. Even though they are obstructed by Gabriella here (haha), her pins are completely enviable and gorgeous. I think what most struck me about this photo, though, is the fact that they took it in the Salon des Glaces at the Princely palace, right in front of the portrait of Princess Grace. It was a rather tender way of including her in the family photo. And Gabriella’s smile here…! She is cute personified.

7

Speaking of Gabriella…this dress. She is such an adorable little girl, and the image of Albert – at least to my eye. I am once again so taken by her curls and the little bows holding them back.

10

A better look at those bows, and a lovely shot of the princess coloring quietly. She seems like a joyful, and perhaps slightly reserved, little lady. I think she will channel the regal qualities of the women in her family without any difficulty whatsoever.

9

And here is Jacques, looking rather serious himself…

8

…but not too much 😉 His eyes get me every time. I love seeing the playful side of these children, it’s lovely that their parents want to share that with the public as well.

11

And I know this blog is supposed to be focused on Charlene, but I had to share this one too. Albert and his babies. I think the look of mischief on Jacques’ face is a Christmas gift in and of itself. I would love to know what he’s thinking here. But really, all of them are just precious, and I am guessing this will be a favorite photo of Charlene’s for years to come. Merry Christmas, from my house (well, my mother-in-law’s house) to yours – I hope you all have a holiday full of joy, love, and peace.

December 22, 2016

Helping at the Red Cross for Christmas

I don’t know about you, but I personally cannot get behind the whole Santa thing. I appreciate the thought behind it, but I just can’t lie to my child. It’s hard to avoid, though, since Santa is everywhere: on people’s lawns, on a big golden throne in the mall, on ornaments, on trimmings, on trappings. Just everywhere. That, and we don’t want our kid to be the one who spoils it for all the other kids. We try to skirt the issue by instead suggesting that Santa is the spirit of Christmas, reminding us to give to those less fortunate than ourselves, and that if we do so, we might be rewarded with gifts of our own. It’s a tough road to navigate, but so far it’s working. (It’s hard to work around all of that chimney nonsense, though.) It certainly is the season of giving, and luckily for all of us trying to teach our children these lessons, Princess Charlene is an example of it every year:

4

When the weather gets chilly in Monaco, the princely family makes more than one stop at the Red Cross to help hand out parcels, and it’s a lovely reminder of the true spirit of the season. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

12

Charlene and Albert always spend part of their holidays giving back to their community, and it’s a humbling thing. To see royals making the time for this, and treating it with the same respect that they treat their other very high-end engagements, is a testament to their devotion for charitable works. But I overloaded on the sentiment already – on to fashion.

5

Charlene chose a rather different ensemble for this occasion, chic from head to toe, though only the top half of it was a win for me. The entirety of the outfit was black, save for the red bird detailing on the shoulder line, and it was dripping with sophistication. Personally, I enjoyed everything from the waist up, and nothing from the waist down. I’ll get my gripes over with first: culottes – would you call these culottes? – paired with tights: no thank you. In my humble opinion, this did nothing for her. The shoes were good though!

13

But that gorgeous jacket was absolute heaven! I loved the eastern-inspired neckline, the bird detailing, and the luscious material. It was pure grace and elegance, and seemed to bring ample attention to Charlene’s face. Glorious.

6

Makeup and hair were breathtaking, too – even if the hair was a tad less voluminous than we’ve seen lately. I think she may have gotten a trim? The red lips, sparkly-gold eyes and the diamond touches on her ears were heaven-sent. She looks like a lovely Christmas bauble, and I mean that in the most flattering way possible!

3

I must keep this short today, because even as I write this now, I need to do so much before the Christmas weekend is upon us. I have packing, baking, and wrapping still to do, and I need to do it all while keeping a 4-year old occupied. Wish me luck…and come back soon for a special Christmas post this weekend, full of Charlene, Albert, and the twins all decked out for the holiday! Wishing you much love and sanity until then!

December 18, 2016

Annual Children’s Christmas Party in Monaco

Here is the event we have all been waiting for this Christmas season: the annual children’s Christmas party at the Princely Palace! This year, the twins were old enough to partake in the festivities – somewhat. They still aren’t big enough yet to hand out parcels; however, they were able to delight in the Christmas decorations and the larger-than-life, costumed entertainers. And more fun was watching Charlene and Albert as they clearly enjoyed Christmas through their children’s eyes for the first time ever.

Upon arrival, the children did seem a little overwhelmed by all of the attention. The staircase itself was packed full with other kids, Christmas trees, decorations, and the – I’ll just come out and say it here – totally creepy, giant bunny and snowman. (Pictured in photos later in the post.)

The kids themselves looked positively adorable. I love, love, love how they both have such curly hair! The way Charlene pulls Gabriella’s curls into mini-ponytails is just so cute, and I think all women love little boys with longer, curly hair. I bet Charlene is waiting as long as possible before she has to cut off the baby hair and have Jacques look like a bigger boy!

Gabriella’s coat and boots are SO cute, too. Don’t get me wrong, Jacques always looks cute too, but there is nothing like dressing up a little girl. Her fur-trimmed coat is everything.

Jacques didn’t seem to mind the creepy costumed creatures, but Gabriella certainly did. I saw a photo somewhere – though admittedly I can’t seem to track it down now – of little Gabby just howling in tears to get away from that bunny. I don’t blame her. I would have done the same thing. (I still have that reaction to shopping-mall Santas. *Shudder.*) Also, I can’t show this pic without mentioning the adorable little girl who is peeking through the staircase. So cute!

Looking at Charlene’s outfit, I would say her theme for the day was dress-casual and billowy. From the outdoor photos, you can see that her bright red coat is a touch oversized, and she opted to leave it open and breezy. I absolutely love this coat, you guys! The crisp lines on it are divine, and the choice to leave such a coat as this open – well, it is very dramatic and unexpected. I loved the choice of red for the holidays, as overdone as it is by everyone, because it is still so festive and jubilant.

The pants were also quite lovely. Charlene is one of those women who doesn’t always cling to the skin-tight leggings, and I appreciate her for that. The wide-legged look is very chic right now, and while most people under this much sartorial scrutiny tend to veer away from anything too haute couture and stay in safe-zones, Charlene runs toward it with vigor and success. These particular pants appear to be a lovely tweed, and they are billowed from waist to ankle. Roomy, comfortable, and chic.

I suppose my only issue with the entire ensemble came when she removed the coat. While this blouse is absolutely gorgeous, I felt that the “billowy” theme was a bit overdone by the blouse. With the coat and trousers being roomy, I fully expected a more fitted blouse, and was surprised to see this. I suppose it is saved by being tucked into the waist, thus accenting Charlene’s gorgeous figure. Bottom line: the outfit is a win, but I would have preferred a slimmer top.

Oh, and the shoes didn’t do anything for me, personally, but I can see how people might love them. I, for one, do not.

But her makeup, hair, and jewelry did not disappoint! Lips were red (love), hair was bright and gorgeously voluminous (love), and these pearl-drop earrings almost looked like glimmering snowflakes. Absolutely exquisite.

I loved seeing Charlene around children again. Since becoming a mother, she has completely transformed into being everyone’s mother. There were children actually reaching out for hugs and holding her hands. She is the epitome of maternal instinct, and I love how she can’t seem to turn it off when the kids in question are not her own.

But my favorite part of the day was seeing the princely family together. The way they both light up when looking at their children, and sharing this day with them.

And…the way Albert can’t stop beaming at Charlene. Did anyone else notice this? He is besotted with his wife.

I half expect him to be gathering up his nerve here to ask her for a date. Cue the heart eyes!

And this one is for Beth, our dear reader who noticed Albert’s tie a few posts ago. Look at his tie today, all sorts of Christmas kitsch and cheer! He is all about the goofy charm and expression in his ties, and I am starting to love that part of his personality. Indeed, the whole day was charming all over, and the photos are a lovely celebration of the Christmas season.

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:

6

5

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.

13

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

14

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.

12

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.

9

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.

10

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!

11

8

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…

2

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!

15

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.

16

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.

17

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

7

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.

December 10, 2016

Happy Birthday to the Twins!

You all know what day it is: it’s the twins’ birthday!!! The princely tots turn 2 years old today, which is undoubtedly a magical birthday for their doting parents. They’ve gone from itty-bitty babies to full-fledged, toddling children, probably complete with 2-year old tantrums and all the cuteness that makes up for those interspersed meltdowns. I enjoy two-year olds from the vantage point of photographs, mainly for this reason. Charlene herself even made a comment some months ago, in which she admitted an apprehension for the “terrible twos” to hit. Hopefully, these kids will go easy on mom and dad where emotional outbursts are concerned, and give them more of the perks of being big 2-year olds: eating more varied and reasonable foods, saying bye-bye to diapers (hopefully!), and journeying into a more independent lifestyle. The family celebrated in Monaco a few days ago, with a jungle-themed birthday party which was too cute for words. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

First, I shall give these adorable tykes some love:

14

13

They are, simply, the cutest little twins ever. I love how much they resemble their parents, and how vividly you can see the joy just emanating from their little faces. A true nod to good parenting on the part of Charlene and Albert.

8

I mean, just look at how happy they are! Gabriella’s outfit makes me think of a little ladybug. So stinkin’ cute. (And those sunglasses on Charlene are my faaaaavorite.)

10

They’re already starting to sit nicely for a meal, and at 2 years old, this is a lovely development. It probably varies from culture to culture and family to family, but I would say that this is appropriate for 2 years old. LOVELY for the parents, for sure! (And drinking through straws = yesssss!)

9

Charlene looked gorgeous for the party, too! I absolutely loved her ensemble. Plain black from head to toe, save for the black-and-white blazer, which eventually was removed. The blazer itself didn’t quite hit me one way or another, but I wasn’t too disappointed to see it removed. Something about the cut was disorienting for me, though she did wear it beautifully. See, I’m neither here nor there on it.

11

Jewelry was simple and elegant; hair was quite casual and not overly done-up at all. Makeup was neutral, and I’m guessing that’s just the way her babies like it!

12

I can hardly show this photo without mentioning the obvious: Charlene even has great taste in undergarments, my friends. She certainly did not intend for the photograph to be overly demonstrative (and indeed, it isn’t!) – all it shows is that Charlene is a class act from head to toe, even when nobody is looking. One should always wear impeccable and gorgeous undergarments, period.

15

My favorite shot of the day: the most gorgeous family portrait! This party looks like it was fun, lively, and a great treat for the adults and children combined. I love how Gabriella is so taken with the balloons here – my child would be doing the exact same thing. Wishing a very happy birthday to the children, and particularly to Charlene on her birthing-day! (Now stay tuned: Charlene is in India, y’all! More posts to come!)

December 7, 2016

The Christmas Season in Monaco

Happy December to you all! I hope this merry season finds you up to your elbows in marshmallows and cocoa, holiday décor, and frosted windowpanes. Here in upstate NY, we just had our first true snowfall of the season, we’ve got nutcrackers and reindeer covering the living room, and our fluffy, down-filled duvet has come out of its annual retirement to ward off the chill. It’s official: winter is here. One of my favorite royal-themed events of the Christmas season is seeing the annual Christmas party in Monaco, as it is sometimes the only glimpse we have of the Monégasque royals this time of year. However, I am delighted to report that Charlene, Albert, and the twins were out and about, enjoying the season and getting the parties started early this year! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

First and foremost was the family event: the opening of Monaco’s Christmas Village at the Port of Monaco, where Charlene and Albert showed up with Jacques and Gabriella to ignite some holiday spirit in the tots.

11

Given that this is probably the first holiday season in which they have any clue what’s going on, the twins looked thrilled to pieces by the spectacle of Christmas.

4

Sometimes I think we adults have children purely to see them respond to Christmas. (My husband the cynic would turn that around, arguing that we have Christmas purely for our children.) It is absolutely glorious to see the joy in their eyes.

10

Charlene cracked me up a couple times – that motherly worry seems to emanate no matter how much you’re trained in front of cameras.

12

Perhaps the worry should have been focused on Gabby (ha! Look at me giving her a chummy nickname. They probably call her Ella, but I shall call her Gabby.), because get a load of that look on her face! She clearly is going to enjoy the Grand Prix in the future.

6

On to fashion. Charlene looked positively perfect for this outing (and I’m not just saying that because she is wearing almost exactly what I wear on a daily basis). She looked the way that any mom would look, taking her kids to the Christmas events on a chilly December night. Skinny jeans, divine black boots, a simple turtleneck, and the coat – might I dare call this a peacoat? It is so similar to a peacoat that I have, though mine is not nearly as lovely. This gorgeous piece is Michael Kors, and it takes the basic concept of the peacoat and elevates it to a chic degree, fit for a princess.

8

Makeup was quite subtle, which certainly looked lovely, but did surprise me very much. I think this may be one of the few times I’ve seen Charlene with bright red nails, but without matching lips. I don’t care though – she creates a natural glam when she goes with neutral shades, and I love it. Her hair had its usual, lovely volume, and her earrings were simple pearls. (And I have to mention that I am dying over Gabriella’s coat, too!)

Moving on to a more glamorous event…

1

Later that evening, Charlene attended the Bal de Noël in Monte Carlo for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. She looked positively radiant in a floor-length leaf detail gown by La Petite Robe di Chiara Boni. You can’t really tell in these photos, but the leaf detail that appears on the neckline also continues down through the hips of the gown, before the skirt a-lines out and billows beautifully. I really have no criticisms of this gown: it is divine on Charlene, highlighting her figure in just the right ways, while giving a nod to her spectacular shoulder line. And none of the waist cut-off that always drives me nuts! This is exactly the style I love in an evening gown!

2

And her earrings, you guys. I am floored by the beauty here. These seem to be leaf-detail earrings themselves, but I can’t see them close-up enough to give an affirmative on that. I can’t tell if the repeated leaf-shape is filled with gemstones or not, but either way, they are sparkly and exquisite. I hope to see them again, in more detail, so I can add them to my Christmas list! (Ha yeah right! A girl can dream, though…)

5

See you all soon for the twins birthday – in just a few days! Who else can’t believe these little ones are going to be two already?