18 November 2011

Flashback Friday: National Day, the Princess Grace Way

It's time for National Day in Monaco, and for the first time in 30 years there will be a Princess of Monaco by the sovereign's side. Charlene made her first official appearance at National Day while engaged last year, and she certainly made a splash. It seems appropriate now to take a look back at what Charlene's predecessor, that epitome of elegance Princess Grace, brought to the occasion and what Charlene might be able to bring back. Because trust me here, friends, the sartorial side of National Day has changed in the years that Princesses Caroline and Stephanie have been in charge.

Obviously any return to the ladylike days of yore is always welcome; in that respect, Charlene did quite well last year. Maybe we could live without the return of the snowball hat, though.

What I'd really like to see a return of is color. In the past couple of years, Caroline and Stephanie have stuck with black and gray - a mourning palette. So much so that people docked Charlene last year for the exuberance of her beige outfit...and you know something's wrong when beige and exuberance end up in the same sentence. But color isn't foreign to National Day if you look at years past, not even when it comes to Caroline and Stephanie themselves. So let's have it!

1970s and 1980s
Maybe not have it in the form of electric blue feathers smushed atop the head...though that would be entertaining. Yes, it definitely takes the panache of Grace to pull that one off (ditto for anything in the realm where "striped" and "fur" cross paths).

Gala appearances at the Opera
You already know which Grace trend I most want Charlene to bring back, don't you? Tiaras for the evening gala! Grace made it the fanciest night of the year in Monaco every year (here using mostly her Small Diamond Tiara, though the one with the blue wrap is one of her unknown tiaras), while Caroline has gradually taken the formality down a notch, never wearing a tiara and even in the past couple years going without her Order of St. Charles sash.

But while we wait to see if Charlene will do it her own way or do it her sister-in-law's way, at least we have Grace. I may hope that Charlene will bring back a bit of Grace's sense of occasion - that's a movie star for you, always knowing how to make things memorable  - but there's a lot here she couldn't, shouldn't even, bring back. There's only one Grace, after all. My hope? Charlene will do it her own way...just so long as that way happens to include a tiara.

Do you have a favorite Grace moment from National Day?
What do you hope Charlene will bring to the occasion?

Photos: The Royal Forums/Corbis/Rue des Archives/Scanpix/Hola/Getty Images