Monaco Rose Ball, Moroccan Style

  March 31, 2010 at 12:59 am by

Saturday, 27 March 2010: The “Salle des Étoiles” in the Monte Carlo Sporting Club was alighted for the occasion of Monaco’s 56th Annual Bal de la Rose. The ball, with a fresh theme each year, raises money for the Princess Grace Foundation. This year the theme was Moroccan, so the “Stars Room” was decorated under the mastery of Princess Caroline’s friend, Jacques Grange. Grange combined Oriental style, produced in and imported from Morocco, with the artwork of painter Henri Matisse.

View the image at Zimbio

Monaco and Morocco have formed a recent and interesting partnership. SBM, the conglomerate the virtually owns Monaco, whose sovereign virtually owns SBM, is a new investor in Moroccan real estate. Prince Albert II visited Morocco last November and in February, the Palace announced that the theme of the upcoming Rose Ball would be Moroccan.

Princess Caroline arrived, oozing with her characteristic confidence, and dressed in an sleeveless, leafy-patterned caftan dress. She wore a pair of multicolored earrings, a matching pair of ivory bracelets, one for each wrist; but the quirkiest feature of Caroline’s ensemble was her red purse, shaped exactly like a Moroccan man’s fez bucket hat. With her neatly styled hair, she stepped into the Salle des Étoiles, for the first time in more than a decade, without a wedding ring. Hard on her heels, the sovereign Prince Albert II, after all Caroline’s younger brother, entered with his longtime companion, Charlene Wittstock. Charlene’s blonde hair was wrapped tightly on her head and she wore a cream-colored dress with a single bejeweled strap on her right shoulder. The guests of honor of the evening were Princess Lalla Joumana of Morocco and France’s culture minister, Frederic Mitterand. Princess Lalla Joumana’s caftan gown was lovely. The long, billowy sleeves and white and gold silk were adorned with beautiful rose patterns all over.

View the image at Zimbio

At the dinner Princess Caroline sat next to the decorator Jacques Grange, and in accordance with the custom of the ball, couples faced each other. In addition to the Sovereign and Miss Wittstock, there were the young couples: Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo, Charlotte Casiraghi and Alexander Dellal, and Pierre Casiraghi and Beatrice Borromeo. Ramdane Touhami held court at the DJ station and pumped out the Gunawa dance mixes. Stéphane Bern, a hardcore royalist who is especially crazy about the glamorous Grimaldis, got on stage and narrated a Moroccan-theme presentation.

View the image at Zimbio

Among the young bloods, Charlotte took the prize for Most Elegant Gown. Hot off the runway, the dress of shiny white silk is from Chanel’s Haute Couture collection. The sparkling straps matched her heeled shoes, and she accessorized with a gorgeous white pashmina scarf. Charlotte wore a chic bracelet on her left wrist that was identical in its diamond shape to the one Gaia Repossi wore, although Charlotte’s was a silvery white to match her gown, and Gaia’s was of dark metallic tone. It is likely that the bracelets are from the Gaia’s jewelry line, a junior branch of the upscale house of bling run by her family for three generations. The prize for Unique Hair might be awarded in total fairness to Beatrice Borromeo. I don’t know how to describe it. Somehow her hair was wound tightly into a U-shaped, pretzel-looking do. She looked like an Egyptian princess, from the gold pancake earrings to the rug-like rigidity of her dress.

Overall, everyone, and especially the young ones, seemed to have had “a ball at the ball.” It was a treat to see Andrea and Tatiana at the ball for the first time in three years. Yet there was still a sigh of disappointment among Grimaldi watchers, who hoped for a long-due appearance from Princess Stephanie at the event. As for Princess Antoinette’s wing of the clan, it had representation in the grande dame’s own granddaughter, Melanie du Lusignan.

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