Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grace Kelly: the enduring style icon for modern European royals

New Dutch Queen Maxima isn't alone in channelling the style of Princess Grace of Monaco, who is arguably the most elegant princess of them all.

What's a princess to wear when she's accepting the big promotion? This quandary must have been keeping Princess Máxima of the Netherlands awake at night ever since her mother-in-law decided she was going to abdicate the throne in favour of her son, the Prince of Orange, Willem-Alexander, thus making Máxima the new queen today.

In the event, the 41-year-old blonde did what all sensible European princesses do these days and channelled the fairest of them all - Princess Grace of Monaco.
Starting out as first a model, then a leading lady in Hollywood, Grace Kelly had a head start (and a lot of help, no doubt) creating her poised and elegant image. But it is an image which has endured for over 60 years.

Queen Máxima's feminine pastel ensemble teamed with her cool blonde hair, twisted and pinned neatly under at the nape of her neck into a French Roll today, both echoed Kelly's signature Fifties style.

And Máxima is not the first royal to fall for Kelly's timeless charms. Our own Duchess of Cambridge married her Prince wearing a lace Alexander McQueen dress which bore a striking resemblance to the Helen Rose gown Kelly chose for her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.

Crown Princess Letizia of Spain and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (The Duchess of Cambridge's style double) meanwhile, both have a penchant for a Kelly-esque ladylike suit and fairytale gowns, and are both perennially groomed to Kelly-standard perfection in all their state regalia whenever the occasion calls.

Even Princess Charlene of Monaco - the rebel princess - has succumbed to the power of her late mother-in-law's image, taming her flowing platinum locks into a chic chignon and dressing in the kind of understated, elegant Giorgio Armani gowns which wouldn't have looked out of place on her predecessor.

And her legacy comes comes full circle with Hollywood and the fashion world falling in love with Grace Kelly all over again. Dior designer Raf Simons' recent couture collections owe much to the timeless beauty's archive of flawless fairy tale looks, while the world waits to see Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman's portrayal of Kelly in upcoming movie Grace of Monaco, scheduled for release next year.

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