Princess Charlene attends Red Cross Ball, decides not to attend Rio Olympics

Princess Charlene attends Red Cross Ball, decides not to attend Rio Olympics

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco attended the 68th annual Red Cross Ball at the Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco yesterday, July 23.

The Monaco Red Cross was created in 1948 by Prince Louis II, and the first Monaco Red Cross Ball was held the same year – presided over by a young Prince Rainier III. Prince Albert is the President of the Monaco Red Cross and he opens the Red Cross Ball every year.

Charlene wore a purple Armani Privé gown paired with gorgeous diamond drop earrings and a diamond bracelet.

I think Charlene looks great here. I love the earrings, and the color is pretty on her. I like her purple makeup, too.

Charelene and Albert both wore a small, black ribbon for… one of the mass terrorist attacks. There have been so many this summer I can’t keep up. Seriously, 2016 is the worst.

The Summer Olympics are coming up in Rio and Charlene, former Olympic swimmer, has bowed out of attending this year. Albert tells People:

    “First, she has decided not to go because she couldn’t stand to be away from the babies for two weeks and they’re really not old enough to support the trip. She has important health concerns. She doesn’t like what she’s been reading, hearing, about the Zika virus and some other health issues.”

He says a lot of other stuff about Rio and health and safety concerns, as well as concerns about whether they will be ready in time to host the Games. Albert is an IOC board member, so he would know.

66 thoughts on “Princess Charlene attends Red Cross Ball, decides not to attend Rio Olympics

    1. She usually looks scared, sad, or just plain over it when posing for photos. I would say she’s just shy but looking at old photos from before she was married she didn’t seem to mind posing for photos when she was just a girlfriend.

      1. It’s interesting that things like the photographers that Charlene and Kate enjoyed so much as girlfriends suddenly become burdensome as wifes.

    2. I think the press chooses RBF/BRF photos of her or “sad” ones, because it plays into their story about the runaway bride. Just as they choose still photos of KM looking maniacal.

      This year, the Red Cross Ball was really scaled back. We usually get photos of the Monaco royals at the Ball, deliberately dancing in silly ways to get people to laugh. This year, in deference to Nice, they went a smaller program and much more sombre event.

      If you look for them, there are plenty of photos of Charlene being active, smiling, and engaged. Often these are events with kids, sports events, or when she’s with the twins. And there are plenty of photos of her chatting and smiling with her seat mates for the dinner at the Red Cross Ball this year.

      1. “there are plenty of photos of Charlene being active, smiling, and engaged.”

        None of them were on Getty when I put the post together. I didn’t deliberately choose ones of her not smiling. These were the best ones Getty had. I didn’t see any photos of her smiling.

        1. KMR, I didn’t mean to imply you in particular, but the media overall. They tend to choose the photos of her looking somber at events, instead of promoting the ones of her smiling at the same events. Suits their narrative.

        2. The first photo looks like she’s about to burst into tears. Too bad, she’s so lovely; that bone structure.

          She always looks happy when she’s with her children.

  1. After careful thought, I’ve decided to not attend the Olympics either. This is what Char and I have in common. She is stunning. I haven’t seen a picture of those beautiful weird looking babies in awhile – have you KMR?

    1. I’m really surprised that they didn’t change the venue. I know it takes years of planning and millions of dollars to host the Games, but when even the athletes are worried about attending and some back out of going because of health scares from the country you know you’ve got a problem. The PR nightmare alone is terrible.

      I haven’t seen any new photos of the Monaco twins in quite some time.

      1. I agree. The venue should have been changed for many reasons. The CDC did a disservice by saying Zika concerns are low for travelers going to the olympics. It’s come out that the virus can actually live longer in semen than first recorded throw into the mix that it’s been reported that that the oliympic village is one giant hook up place (I’d like to think they’re using condoms but who knows) you’re asking for trouble. Then add the fact that the water is an environmental nightmare and the that The gov’t has said that olympics was going to bankrupt them. They’re in a financial crisis to begin with And as a topper the political turmoil going on with the president being forced to step down. Sounds like fun!
        On a side note, I haven’t loved a lot of Valentino’s recent works but absolutely love this! Plus Charlene isn’t afraid of the bling =) are the earrings from Graff? They have some wonderfully pieces that I wish I could afford!!

        1. I actually looked at the daily mail article and they had it as an Armani dress. That would explain why I liked it even thinking it was a Valentino one. Could be wrong tho. I usually play a where’s Waldo type of thing but with all the mistakes they make instead. The royal family does wear a lot of Valentino designs
          They once said maxima was wearing silver drop earrings and they were diamond and pearls!! Journalistic fact checking isn’t high on their standards

    2. I wonder if Albert will receive a reprimand or lose his spot on the Committee for these comments? He could have stopped with a vague, “She doesn’t want to be away from the babies for two weeks and it is too difficult to bring them with us” comment.

  2. I adore Charlene. I love her strength but combined with obvious vulnerability. I love the fact that she dresses like a princess which is easier to do when you have all of France’s couturiers on speed dial and your husband is as rich as Croesus. When I see pictures of her there is so much about her demeanour that reminds me of Diana’s first five years in the public eye. I’d like to know more about her. And when I see pictures of her looking tentative and nervous I just want to give her a great big hug. I hope she’s happy……I just can’t tell because not being a blood born Royal she’s not learnt to have her ‘public face’. And her wedding dress……I think it knocked Kate’s out of the park.

    1. true , her elegance and the way she boldly experiment with colors and new fashion reminds me of Diana , but I think Diana had more personality and strength , she was a fighter who did not give up when she was expected to relent and behave like other high society wives did , Charlene’s eyes tell another story . Wish you a wonderful evening MrsBBV

    2. I also love Charlene’s strength and her vulnerability. I’ve always stated on other blog sites that Charlene is slim and trim, not skeletonized. I believe her swimming work ethic and discipline has contributed to her great figure. She has hips and deportment. She knows how to clap and walk, not stride like a man.

      I’m a very strong tennis fan, and have seen Charlene at the Monaco tournament over the past 4-5 years, presenting the trophy. She’s always smiling and seems to enjoy her home tournament. However, this year I saw a huge difference in her face. Initially, I thought she had gained some weight, but her body did not show any increase of fullness. But, now, I think she had some work done on her face (adding volume with fillers) and her eyes. I have a good friend who’s a plastic surgeon, and from what I can gather, when the eyes are done, skin is removed, and this can translate into a fixed gaze and/or the smile not reaching the eyes, because the skin is so taut. Eventually, after some time, the face and eyes begin to relax, and everything falls into place. Charlene’s lips also look a bit more pouty and I’m guessing she’s had some fillers for added volume.

      There isn’t any comparison between Kate and Charlene. Charlene has the *wow* factor, in her clothes and accessories, while Kate has the *blah* thing going on. Charlene probably has excellent wardrobe advisers, who, IMO, are doing a great job, or, perhaps, Charlene has a knack for fashon flair, on her own. Whatever it is, IMO, she’s someone her husband can be proud of to call his wife.

  3. More Charlene! THIS is how a Princess looks and dresses, she makes Kate look like a poor (scruffy) relation. She may be the most horrid person on the planet for all I know but she sure can rock Valentino. Just love her in this, she looks awesome!

  4. I love this dress!!! I would have loved to see Charlene pair it with the diamond hair piece Albert gave her as a wedding present. Sorry, since it’s not a tiara I’m not sure what to call it.

    I have to say that I’m getting a bit tired of dour looks of royal wives (you know who you are) who for years as royal girlfriends loved all the attention of photographers and splashy events but who was royal wives can’t manage a smile or can’t behave as though they aren’t bored to tears. I mean you spent years with these men before marriage so you knew what you were getting into but now it all seems to be a bit too much? Imo, sometimes you just have to suck it up and plaster a smile on your face and act as though whatever event you are at is the most interesting event ever.

    1. +1.

      Charlene does look as if she is on the verge of tears, but as you say Lauri, she knew who she was marrying and the life she was marrying into. That said, the photos may have been taken just at the start of the event and things improved. She is a beautiful woman, who dresses with such style: elegant, yet really chic, and sharp in a contemporary way.

      1. I don’t think it’s anything to do with the state of her marriage, remember a lot of people were killed in a terrorist attack very recently in a town not a million miles from where they live – I imagine the occasion was not one for the maniac grin we associate with our own Royal Representative. She’d have been slated if she’d done a Kate with the way things are politically and emotionally in that area right now. JMO.

        Alternatively she may just have Resting B*tch Face. Either way I prefer it to today’s Sailing Medusa. (Won’t threadjack but can’t wait, it’s just TOO awful)!

        1. Perfectly expressed on all points. As for today……I have no words although I expect I will find some by the time a thread appears. Xx

      2. I agree Jen, she is quite stunning and her style is impecable. But I’ve noticed that over that last few times she’s been seen at events she barely smiles. And while she might have something behind the scenes going on, it’s a bit rude to those who have organized these events for their guest of honor to not smile or appear to enjoy the event that so many have worked so hard to put together. And it’s not just Charlene, I’m tired of Kate smiling and having a great time at some event like sailing but when visiting a charity she looks nervous and uncomfortable. Again, I think they need to start thinking about those who work so hard to make these events worthy of their royal presence.

  5. Will, Harry, and Kate are not going either. This Olympics may turn out to have empty stadium seats at this rate. I don’t blame her for not wanting to go because of the health concerns.
    This dress is gorgeous and I love those earrings. But she looks like she is about to cry in that first picture. I don’t follow her that closely although I have heard people say she looked unhappy. Now I can see why. She looks like a proverbial deer in headlights. They also seem to have really stiff body language between them as a couple. Just my observation.

    1. W&K&H have only attended one time, in London. It is usually Anne (and sometimes Edward and Sophie) who do the Olympic honors for the BRF. Interesting to see if any of those three show up this year.

    2. No one from the BRF attended any of the Olympics in 2010 when they were in Vancouver. Vancouver in their own dominion of Canada….. It would have been the perfect opportunity for the royals to keep up with the times (oh lord now I’m quoting my mother).

  6. I love that dress! It’s really gorgeous!

    I don’t kno mch about Charlene. Does she have a reputation for reticence like Kate?

  7. Perfection! This is is the result of excellent styling from head to toe. I am also not one for the dour expressions. She is a beautiful woman. This is, whether she likes it or not, part of the job.

    As far as Rio, it’s a shame regarding the preparedness. That’s one country that I would love to visit. It’s rich culture and landscape is quite appealing to me. I understand the concern about Zika. It is quite scary and has repercussions outside of fertility. It was recently revealed that some Zika patients are diagnosed with Guillain Barre after treatment due to their compromised immune system. And as someone who has GBS, it is nothing to be fooled with.

    Thanks for the beautiful post about Charlene today. I’ve had a bit of a setback and bedridden for a few days. This was a nice way to take my mind off things.

    1. rhiannon, you’ll get back to where you were. Recovery can at times be a b*$%h, one step forward, two back, two forward, half back but you’ll get there.

      Stay focused and positive! Cyber hugs coming your way!

    2. Best to you Rhiannon. One step forward each day, but if some days require a rest, then so be it. You will get there because you are so determined and nothing will defeat you.

    3. Thanks everyone. I can say that I’ve come far. I was hospitalized a month ago today. I’ve gone from a walker to a cane and increased activity. Patience is a virtue that I need to learn. If only Prince Harry could dote on me for a few hours, lol! ?

      1. Sorry to hear you’ve had a set back, but glad you’re still in good spirits overall.
        I think Charlene looks absolutely stunning, one of her best looks ever. I think she has the opposite of Kate’s big grin, but I always see a small smile. On other blogs there are photos of her gazing lovingly at her husband. I’m a fan.
        Thanks KMR for this beautiful post.

        There’s another ‘Kate in super skinny jeans’ post to come, but Ben’s wife has just had a baby I don’t think he was there? Will was there to stop her flirting methinks!!

        1. Sir Ben was there to receive the trophy from Kate …..wait til you see the pictures. Ho Ho Ho. This site will be bouncing tomorrow. Xx

  8. The dress is absolutely amazing! It really is a work of art. The color, the cut and she wears it very well.

    On her look…when did she have all of her face work done? Could that have something to do with the sometimes tentative/sad look? I know we’ve seen pictures where she’s absolutely joyful, but these could just be milliseconds when the photos were taken.

    Or maybe she’s just tired after a day of wrangling kids. I know she’s got several nannies (a fact she doesn’t hide) but I believe she is very hands on.

    Oh it doesn’t really matter, as long as she is happy and her husband is happy and their kids are happy that’s all that matters.

  9. Wonderful dress! Actually can’t really decide if I like the top part but love the colour and she wears it so well!

    And I actually don’t know too much about her (always great to get to know about other royals here too), and most comments on her always seem to be on how unhappy she looks but maybe part of it that juat comes from the way her face is. Some people just have a rather sad expression while others come across as always cheerful. Anyway hope she is happy in her life, with her husband and kids. And tbh don’t know much either about it but she seems to have found her task in her foundation about water safety (important topic btw) and hope she will continue it well…

  10. Thanks for the update on Charlene. She looks terrific. This dress is gorgeous and makes her look like a delicate orchid.
    I think she’s unhappy. She and Albert have had a challenging marriage. I have a bad feeling the closeness from after the babies were born has worn off and the problems are on the surface. I hope she tries counseling and other efforts if so. I wish the best for her.

  11. As others have posted, Charlene looks very unhappy and constantly close to tears. Maybe that’s just the set of her countenance. If not, I hope she’s getting help. The colour of the dress is gorgeous and she looks very glamorous! Thanks KMR X

  12. Charlene is a beautiful princess , she’s also very elegant and classy , this dress is simply awesome , but there is something behind those eyes , nobody has a perfect life , but some are stronger than others , princess Mary of danmark and queen Maxima learned the difficult languages of their husbands’ countries but Charlene no , during an interview with her and Albert he spoke french while she spoke english , still I hope what I see is not sadness for she looks quite velnerable that a person would want to reach out and give her a hug , maybe the day will come when we will see her genuine smile

      1. Isn’t she adorable , this is the first time I see her looking so lively , but I think , and again I think from her accent she does not speak the language fluently , and she was reading it with a bit of difficulty , but this shows that she is learning which in itself is great , way to go princess Charlene . As for the rumor , yes , but why when she was with him for several years before , there’s something deep behind this vulnerability , still I wish her happiness from all my heart .

    1. French is her third or fourth language (English and Afrikaans), and she’s studying French and a little of the local Monégasque dialect. I think she’s trying to learn, but it can be daunting to make mistakes so publicly. Hopefully interacting with other French-speaking parents and kids at daycare will encourage her and be less intimidating. Albert has said that he mostly speaks English too because of his mom, so maybe they need to push each other to speak French more at home.

      Both Maxima and Mary still make mistakes in their new languages, and they are 10+ years in to their roles.

  13. She looks gorgeous and wears this stunning gown very well! It is a lovely colour with a unique enough design.

    I have to say though while people have their good and bad days, I find it difficult to muster up much sympathy when these poor little rich princesses look miserable while doing their public duties- duties that they get extremely well compensated for, by the way.

    The rest of us women don’t even have or can even dream of such wealth and luxury, while doing so little work for it. We have to handle and juggle so many other stressors (including finance) and we work actual jobs, jobs that require so much of our time and takes us away from our families. Yet, I’m sure we don’t all show up looking miserable and unhappy at our jobs, no matter what’s going on in our personal lives or with our health. So these spoilt and entitled women like Charlene and Kate, who loved the spotlight and looked confident during their girlfriend years, but now look like they’re having the most difficult lives ever now that they are royal wives? I’ll have to say “suck it up buttercup!” Both Charlene and Kate had plenty of chances to walk away from their respective relationships with their Prince Uncharming, but they ultimately chose not to, maybe because the perks like castles and couture gowns proved to be a huge draw. Now don’t go around looking like you are going to cry, when you actually have to do your job of meeting and engaging with your “subjects”.

    1. Yeah, I tend to agree with your sentiments all up, Red Tulip. We do treat these people like they are made of porcelain. Yet so many people, men and women, have real honest-to-God struggles with none of the support available to women who have married their ‘Prince Uncharming’. We all have been in situations where we have had to get the job done, no matter what eg my colleague’s mother died and was given 30 minutes lunch hour to ‘get over it’ and be back at her desk as there was a print deadline looming… perspective.

  14. She is really pretty, I love the outfit, but she looks so sad. I wonder if she is missing her children. She looks so sad in that first picture… I feel she is deeply unhappy in some way…

  15. I honestly think her ‘sad’ look in these photos has more to do with the setting & less to do with her personality. The Red Cross Ball was changes to a tribute to the victims of terrorism. There was no dancing, etc. and the money raised was donated to help the victims of the attack in Nice (which is in Monaco’s backyard). I think Charlene has a tender heart and is devastated for her neighbors. I, of course, cannot claim any personal connection – but I do think that this typically joyful event was a much more somber affair

    1. JenniB, thank you for saying this. If she were guffawing about like Kate normally does, I would be all over her. In addition, terrorist attacks, for some people, can become so painfully real when they happen in such close proximity.

    2. I agree with you, Jennib and Rhiannon. Hosting the ball was important to the Red Cross, but on the heels of the horrors of Nice, who wants to see a smiling, merry Princess? Charlene looked elegant and just gorgeous. But, her demeanor was appropriate.

      I think she may be inherently shy. She may not enjoy being photographed so much. I don’t know enough about how she fared in pictures prior to her marriage. I just know that I think she is a woman with a very kind and loving heart. Just look how she glows when with her twins!

  16. She reminds me of a Hollywood actress when it comes to her hairstyling and gown choices.She is someone who gives off a glamorous vibe.
    But that combined with her unhappy demeanour puts me off.She resembles a tearful child being forced to have her photo taken in that first photo.

  17. What a stnning woman, she knows how to dress! I wonder about her sad eyes, too. She only ever looks truly happy when she’s with the twins. Her whole body language tell us how proud and happy she is then.

  18. Love that gown! Just love it. The earrings, too.
    I agree that Charlene is a fashionista. She puts a certain Duchess to shame.

    Rhiannon, all good wishes and many hugs are coming your way, Maddie says, “hi,” too.

  19. Charlene looks beautiful – the dress is a work of art. It was a somber gala unlike other years. Nice is only about 10 miles down the coast and Albert was attending an outdoor event in Monaco just 20 minutes away at the time the attack happened. It has to make vulnerable people like royals and celebrities a bit panicky when terrorism can strike so close with no warning.

    I had a wonderful surprise house guest this weekend – my husband’s oldest friend, who has a job to die for. He is retiring from ferrying sailboats and crews on yachts between harbors for bazillionaires, and he spent four years (2011-2014) in the Mediterranean, the French Riviera and in Monaco.

    He did share a few tidbits of overheard scuttlebutt spouted by some .01%ers after they imbibed copious amounts of champagne which apparently induced venomous bitchiness.

    Now Jamie doesn’t have a clue about royalty, etc. but he did meet Albert and Charlene in very informal circumstances, liked them both very much, and didn’t find out until later who he had been hanging out with.

    Jamie speaks passable French, and says he thought he overheard one catty Baroness say that Charlene was “born in some African hovel surrounded by baboons”. The summer he left the Med for the Caribbean he thought some of the guests onboard were referring to Charlene as La Poulinière or the brood mare. That would have been about the time her pregnancy was announced.

    Must say it was an interesting weekend! Perhaps there are other reasons that Charlene looks sad?

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