Hello-Hello, it is a simply gorgeous day here in The Great Midwest, sunny, breezy, beautiful.
Today we look at this weekend’s big doings in Monaco, where Prince Albert II is marrying Charlene Wittstock.
The tiny principality is getting gussied up for the marriage of Grace Kelly’s only son and the former South African Olympic swimmer. Below we show the couple at a horse-jumping competition this weekend, left to right: the Prince, Ms. Wittstock, the Prince’s niece, Charlotte Casiraghi and his sister Princess Caroline of Hanover.
“FOR four years, Charlene Wittstock lived mostly in the shadows, waiting for Prince Albert II of Monaco to propose.
With no job, no college degree and no knowledge of French, she was installed by him in a small apartment in the center of the tiny Mediterranean principality, far away from home in South Africa. With no official status, she appeared at the side of the prince when summoned, to smile a lot but to say little.”
Above, the couple at a parade in Monaco last week, below they are shown at Formula Events, also last month.
Asked in the same interview whether she was afraid of protocol and the relentless glare of the press, she choked. “No, I am not nervous, or … I’m quite excited actually, so …” she said. She then turned to Prince Albert, asking, “What do you want me to say?”
“No, it’s fine!” he assured her.
To be fair, the couple often appear to be enjoying each other’s company immensely. The stress that comes with a massive production like this weekend’s dual ceremonies and accompanying hoopla would be expected to have an impact. Below we see the Prince and Ms. Wittstock at a fundraiser in Cannes this May.
The piece touches on a sensitive topic:
Ms. Wittstock has been both praised and vilified for appearing to imitate the style of Albert’s mother, who died in a car crash in 1982. Ms. Wittstock sometimes wears the same blond chignon, muted colors, and elegant, tailored dresses as did Princess Grace.
Yet we have to ask, if one wants to appear well put-together, chic, elegant and approachable, how else do they dress other than in garments with clean, unfussy lines in solid colors? On a more positive note, the story shares this:
“No strangers to tabloid snipes, Prince Albert’s sisters, Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie, have taken Ms. Wittstock under their wings. In an interview with Paris Match, Princess Stéphanie described Ms. Wittstock as “strong” but “very sensitive.” She added, “I try to reassure her. To help her.”
One can only shudder when thinking how much they have dealt with the tabloids over the years.
An Associated Press story that started running this weekend is also getting a lot of play, it looks at phenomenon the couple will be unable to overcome: “Monaco’s long-awaited bride competing with 2 icons: Princess Grace and Princess Kate“.
“And as if the blue-eyed Hollywood beauty-turned-beloved princess didn’t cast a long enough shadow, Albert’s long-awaited marriage to Wittstock comes on the heels of the royal wedding of the decade, Kate Middleton’s union with Britain’s Prince William.”
Below, the couple is seen heading into that April 29th wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton.
True confession: yours truly is very fond of the coat worn by Ms. Wittstock to the wedding. (Very fond.) Back to a bit more from the the AP article:
With the help of Giorgio Armani, Wittstock has blossomed over the years into the very picture of understated chic, in beige sheath dresses and sharp-lined gray pantsuits.
When her engagement was announced last June, there was little doubt the Italian couturier would design Wittstock’s wedding dress. That also meant there has been none of the frenetic guessing games that surrounded the identity of the designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding gown, kept under lock-down until the moment the now-Duchess of Cambridge stepped into Westminster Abbey.
There has been no lack of online conversation about “why aren’t people more interested in the Monaco wedding?!” Several reasons come to mind:
- despite the allure of Princess Grace and all she embodies, to a younger generation the emotional appeal has never equaled that of an older demographic
- Prince Albert is not a young man, nor is he perceived with the same royal cachet enjoyed by Prince William and Prince Harry, plus there are those pesky issues of infidelity and out-of-wedlock children
- While Monaco carries a certain fairytale cachet it lacks power; it is often gazed at as a wee, tiny, “isn’t-it-a-cute-Kingdom?”; it also lacks power players, like Queen Elizabeth.
The very premise of the second article we feature begs debate: does anyone know that Ms. Wittstock believes herself to be in competition with either Princess Grace or the Duchess of Cambridge? While it is only natural to hope you fill a spouse with pride and aren’t compared negatively to a parent, let alone a deceased icon of Grace’s standing, your correspondent imagines the bride-to-be has her hands full dealing with this weekend’s events and all that follows, it sounds like more than enough to keep her mind on things other than how her wedding compares to that of her husband’s parents or the couple several countries over on the map.
At any rate, we’ll probably be camped out in front of the either the television or computer this weekend, reveling in some of the pretty pictures, hoping it is a dream come true for everyone involved. .
Next, two very quick items, the first making us ask, have you ever seen such a sad scene on the runway?
Apparently this unhappy young man cried all the way down the runway at Paris Fashion Week, Fashionista has more on the weepy spectacle.
The nature of our second little tidbit mandates we advise TQM (The Queen Mother) to step away from the computer.
Imagine the voice of the Great and Powerful Oz from behind the curtain booming at TQM:
“There’s nothing to see here, move along.”
“We said step AWAY from the computer.”
There, that’s better. (We feared the following might send her into orbit.)
That is not a joke, it is the first Tweet from Pope Benedict XVI, suggesting followers (of the Lord, not Twitter followers) might want to visit the Vatican’s new site.
We can proudly say TQM is an early adopter, starting to use her iThing (as she calls it) *long* before the Pope started using his. (By at least a week, heh, heh, heh.)
On that remarkable image we say goodbye until next time!