A Whirlwind Weekend at the Rose Ball & Monaco’s Most Luxurious Hotel
The royal family of Monaco possesses an innate chicness no other European clan with a crown can match. Maybe it’s because they represent an enclave so exclusive, Birkin bags are more commonly spotted on the streets than Telfars are in Bushwick; or for the fact that the current crop of royals are all descendants of Princess Grace, née Grace Kelly. Whatever the case, that House of Grimaldi je ne sais quoi was on full display over the weekend at the 67th edition of the Rose Ball, the opulent annual charity gala benefiting the Princess Grace Foundation. No royal stuffiness got in the way of Christian Louboutin, the event’s creative director, going full out on Princess Caroline’s chosen theme of Bollywood. It was a night of princesses in Chanel and Dior, professional dancing provided both from the Paris Opera Ballet and Northern India, free-flowing Champagne, and an after party that mixed Jay-Z verses with choice Bloghaus bangers.
Louboutin transformed the country’s Salle des Étoiles into a space meant to resemble a Bollywood movie studio. Cloths of bright pinks, oranges, and teals covered hundreds of tables, while more than 12,000 roses decorated the venue. Guest were greeted by contortionists and musicians as they entered, but the event truly kicked off when the royals arrived. Prince Albert showed up sans his wife Princess Charlene (but don’t worry, they cleared up any “malicious rumors” within the week). His sister, Princess Caroline, arrived in a silver Chanel dress with pink detailing from the brand’s 2012 resort collection (the late Karl Lagerfeld was not only a resident of Monaco and Caroline’s close friend, but also the artistic director of the Rose Ball until his passing). Her daughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, also arrived in a Chanel (no surprise, given her close relationship with the brand), hers a silver and faint pink number from the current collection. Beatrice Borromeo, wife of Pierre Casiraghi, wore Dior (she’s currently in India for the brand’s resort show), while Tatiana Santo Domingo, the American-born wife of Andrea Casiraghi, wore Jenny Packham.
The actual event itself was like an extravagant “dinner and a show” featuring authentic Indian dancing provided by the Gypsies of Rajasthan of the Bassant group, choreographers Kamal Kant, Megha Jagawat, and Punit J. Pathak. Jérémy-Loup Quer, a principal dancer from the Paris Opera Ballet, added a bit of a French touch, dancing for the crowd while covered in gold paint and a crown (the effect was “Paris meets Bollywood,” but also a little like something out of Fellini Satyricon). Mika, the Lebanese-born singer who remains immensely popular in the Francophone world, closed out the show with a set that included his best-known (and most fitting for the event) song “Grace Kelly.”
The night ended with a dance party directly on the stage with a set list that mixed Beyoncé, New York hip-hop, and some underground ’00s dance classics. At one point, Charlotte Casiraghi could be seen dancing among the crowd to M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes.”
Of course, the Rose Ball was just a fancy dose of glamour amid the always-glamorous principality. The place to be before and after the event was the lobby and attached Le Bar Américain of the Hôtel de Paris. The 159 year-old hotel is relatively fresh from a reported $280 million facelift in 2019 that makes it easy to see why it was Princess Grace’s favorite. It’s also been the setting for a few James Bond films as well as more than a few of Helmut Newton’s most famous photographs. There are two Michelin-starred restaurants on the premise, and attached Dior, Prada, and Cartier boutiques for any last minute gala fashion needs (don’t worry, the nearest Chanel boutique is just across the street). The next morning, a few Rose Ball guests could be seen soothing any lingering party wear and tear in the sauna of the city’s famous Thermes Marins, though a few kept the revelry going at the famous Champagne brunch held at Blue Bay. If you were just on a dance floor partying with actual royals dancing to Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.,” why not keep the bubbles flowing?