62nd Monegasque Red Cross Ball

  August 4, 2010 at 6:13 am by

As every year before it, the 62nd Red Cross Ball of Monaco was full of intrigue. If the Sovereign Prince and his bride-to-be weren’t enough of a sensation on their arrival at the seafaring-theme gala, there was his younger sister to take up the slack. Prince Albert walked into the Sporting Club with his fiancee, Miss Wittstock, and his sister, Princess Stephanie, on each arm. Also, apparently, Nicole Valerie Coste, the mother of his son, Eric Alexandre, was among the crowd ready to celebrate for the benefit of a great cause.

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The British Daily Mail columnist Richard Kay was there too, no doubt snooping around for scoops. Kay chatted with the future Princess Charlene herself about her former career as an Olympian swimmer. He rather exaggerated her “sacrifice” for the sake of her future as Madame Grimaldi, but… this is Richard Kay!

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Miss Wittstock wore a lovely cream one-shoulder Armani gown and hoop diamond-cluster earrings. It seems safe to say that the praise for her appearance at the ball has been universal. The opinions of the ensemble of her future sister-in-law have, by contrast, been sharply divided. It was a shiny pink gown with criss-cross straps, which secured the very effective push-up bust. The color and cut of the gown were stunning. It was a two-tiered floor-length gown that opened up to reveal the above-the-knee inner tier. A little less cleavage would have been more becoming, perhaps.

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Nevertheless, everyone was all smiles in the Sporting Club’s Salle des Etoiles, which was decorated like a cruise ship for the occasion. Tom Jones was the star entertainer of the evening. Guests included many familiar faces from the Red Cross fundraising crowd: Julio Iglesias, Swedish actress-model Victoria Silvstedt; French footballer Christian Karembeu and his model wife, Adriana; fashion designer Isabell Kristensen; Tiziana Rocca; the World Music Awards founder Melissa Corken; Baroness Carmen “Tita” Cervera; Shirley Bassey; and Karl Lagerfeld. Julio Iglesias and Victoria Silvstedt did the honors respecting the traditional selection of a work of contemporary art to donate to the Red Cross.

There was not much participation from the ranks of the Grimaldi extended family, though Prince Albert’s American cousin Keith Sebastian Knecht showed up. There was the usual disappointment from Princess Caroline’s absence, and none of the “Casiraghi trio” appeared. Nor did any of Princess Antoinette’s descendants join the fun. The cousins Pierre Casiraghi and Baroness Ann de Massy’s daughter, Melanie du Lusignan, have attended the ball before.

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