Bal de la Rose March 19, 2016

The annual Rose Ball (AKA Bal de la Rose) was held tonight in Monaco. This ball has been a yearly tradition since Prince Ranier established it in 1954. It was subsequently popularized by Princess Grace (formerly Grace Kelly) after her marriage to Ranier in 1956. Today it is one of the most highly anticipated social events in Monaco and is primarily run by Grace’s children, Prince Albert and Princess Caroline along with Albert’s wife, Princess Charlene.

Here is a picture of Grace and Ranier at the Rose Ball. It as from her first year in attendance, 1956. I found the picture on “The Royal Forums” and it looks like it may have been scanned from a magazine or newspaper. The forum user named “Flowerpower” put her watermark on it so that explains why it looks this way. I don’t normally post pictures with watermarks but this one is rare and I thought my readers might like to see it.

I also found another picture from Grace’s first Rose Ball on pinterest. Again, it was probably scanned from a magazine so apologies for the poor quality but this is the only picture I could find in color. Grace looks beautiful, as always. I am not sure what the ball’s theme was in 1956 but her gown almost looks Grecian inspired plus she has a lace shawl draped on her shoulder.

Every year the Rose Ball is focused on-you guess it-roses. Lots and lots of really beautiful and fragrant roses. Plus the Rose Ball is always given a unique theme each year. Before Prince Albert got married his sister, Princess Caroline, was responsible for overseeing the organization of the ball and for picking the theme. The Rose Ball is a charity ball with all proceeds going to the Princess Grace Foundation. The foundation is described thus:

“The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is a non-profit, publicly-supported charity, headquartered in New York City and established 34 years ago by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to honor his wife, Princess Grace’s [Kelly] legacy. Our mission is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships.”

The ball is always held in the Sporting Monte-Carlo Club ‘s Salle des Etoiles or “the room of the stars” in English. The room was given its name due to the fact that it has a retractable roof that allows you to see the night’s sky during the ball if the weather permits. Have I mentioned that Monaco has the most billionaires in residence in the entire world, yet? 😀

EY Salle des étoiles

Here are some pictures of last year’s Rose Ball. The theme was “art deco”. In this picture you can see brother and sister, Prince Albert and Princess Caroline, arriving together. Princess Charlene stayed home with her four month old babies because one of her twins was sick. I like that Princess Caroline had her hair done in a retro, 1920s kind of way.

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Here is Pierre Casiraghi and his wife, Beatrice Borromeo. Pierre is the grandson of Princess Grace and son of Princess Caroline (Caroline chose not to give her children titles). Beatrice’s gown was GORGEOUS last year and I think she did a fantastic job sticking with the Art Deco theme.

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And here is Charlotte Casiraghi. She is Pierre’s older sister and a real star in Monaco and among royal watchers. She was wearing a pink and black couture gown by Chanel last year as she often does. I like the way pink and black look together because it is very French but this particular dress doesn’t feel very “art deco” to me.

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For Rose Ball 2016, Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel (a close personal friend of Princess Caroline) helped to choose the theme and decorations. This year the theme is “Cuba” as you can see in these pictures just released this afternoon of people preparing the tables and decorations for the ball. Get ready for lots of pictures!!! 🙂

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A picture of the stage area.

A guest poses on a vintage Pontiac outside the venue.

I am very interested to see how the royal ladies will interpret the “Cuban” theme into their gowns.

The first ladies to arrive were Charlotte Casiraghi and her little sister, Princess Alexandra of Hanover. This is the first time that Alexandra has attended the ball so this must be her big debut.

I think that Princess Alexandra looks very age appropriate tonight. She is 16 years old. I also think that it is sweet that the sisters walked the red carpet together. Charlotte has been very maternal towards her little sister since Alexandra was born and I have seen lots of pictures of Charlotte holding her and hugging her. Charlotte is 29 and Alexandra is her half sister which is why she has a title and Charlotte does not. But even though there is a bit of an age difference the sisters seem very close.

I like that Alexandra didn’t wear too much makeup or try and wear a dress that was too sexy for her age.

Now Charlotte…..I don’t really know what this cape thing is on top of her dress. I also feel that the dress is a little bit too tight and ill fitting for her and the material makes it look kind of like a night gown. I am pretty disappointed . I don’t want to be unkind at all, she always looks beautiful. She is probably one of the most naturally pretty royal women around. I just don’t like this dress and I don’t think it suits her at all.

The more I look at Charlotte’s dress the more I dislike it. It kind of reminds me of Halloween costumes that I would wear as a little girl if I was pretending to be a princess. And why in the world is she wearing those shoes? To be fair, it’s possible that she didn’t know how to interpret the theme. I do not know who designed her dress yet since these pictures were just released a few minutes ago online but I think it’s a safe bet that Karl Lagerfeld dressed both Charlotte and Alexandra.

Moving on, here is a picture of Pierre and his wife Beatrice. Now THIS is a ball gown. Wow!

I love the color, I love her necklace, I love it all.

Next, we have Andrea Casiraghi (Pierre and Charlotte’s brother) and his wife Tatiana Santo Domingo, who just so happens to be a billionaire from one of the richest families in Colombia.

As far as the Cuban theme goes, I think that Beatrice comes closest to that with her bold red dress. I am not in love with Tatiana’s dress. I think maybe there is just a little too much going on. I like the lavender color so maybe if she removed the black jacket I might like it better?

The information I am seeing right now indicates that Princess Charlene didn’t attend again this year. I am not sure why. But Princess Caroline is there with her brother, Prince Albert. They just arrived.

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I think Princess Caroline looks elegant as usual. I don’t really see a Cuban theme incorporated into her dress but that’s ok.

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It’s a shame that Princess Charlene isn’t there with her husband, Prince Albert. And I wish Princess Stephanie would attend as well. But I think it is nice to see the family continuing the tradition that Prince Ranier and Princess Grace started more than 50 years ago.


The Frugal Lady

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