Ahead of the Rose Ball that took place on 30 March, Princess Caroline gave an interview to the French historian and journalist, Stéphane Bern for Point de Vue magazine. This gave her the opportunity to talk more about Karl Lagerfeld for the first time since his death on 19 February. Karl Lagerfeld was a close friend of Princess Caroline, and he has long been involved with the Rose Ball. The one that took place this year had the theme of ‘Riviera,’ and he helped Princess Caroline design it.
Princess Caroline recalled the moment she first met Karl Lagerfeld when she was 16-years-old: “So it’s been more than 45 years of friendship! It was a photo shoot for the American Vogue organised by Mary Russell that my mother knew well, and it was done in Karl’s apartment, place Saint-Sulpice, in Paris. We ended up there with Chris von Wangenheim, wonderful fashion photographer. I wore Chloé clothes that Karl drew. It was a really happy atmosphere, I was very shy at that age.”
She also says that Karl was like a family member for her: “45 years is more than a lot of family members in the end. Only my nanny, who passed away last year, knew me as well. We all felt Karl’s disappearance as a family mourning. At the death of my father, he supported me, and today it’s like I’m losing a close family member again. My children also felt this very painfully. They knew Karl since their birth. He was home the day before the day I gave birth to Andrea, he took a picture of me on the stairs. He was there when they were born.” She also said that she was Karl’s number one unconditional fan after Stéphane Bern recalled Karl saying that he was her number one fan.
Princess Caroline took over the Rose Ball after the death of her mother, Princess Grace, and she said that the Ball had evolved a lot in the past twenty years: “We have grown to 900 participants, and we have to say no to some people. The evening is for the benefit of the Princess Grace Foundation, but the public takes so much pleasure to come that they are even more generous after the ball. And since it has a lot of notoriety – it’s the most publicised SBM event in the world – the Foundation receives many donations, even small sums, that allow us to act effectively.”
This Ball is also proof of Princess Caroline’s engagement to make culture one of Monaco’s strengths. She said that “before spreading the culture, it must be firmly implanted and it has to benefit those who live here” and while it is a long process, they are starting to see how culture is becoming an important part of Monaco through the Prince-Pierre-de-Monaco Foundation’s Contemporary Art Awards or the Princess Grace Dance Academy for example.
At the end of the interview, Princess Caroline talked about her family. She has four children and six grandchildren. She said that she was lucky that when her first grandchild, Sasha was born, she was still a mother as her youngest daughter Princess Alexandra was 13-years-old. Thus, going from mother to grandmother was a natural process: “The transition was seamless. I have always had lots of children at home, and I love to take time to take care of my grandchildren. I am very proud of the adults that my sons and daughters became. They are themselves, and we all stay very close. We have a lot of fun together. I think it’s essential this joy of being together. As parents, we are a bow, they are the arrows, we must just try to aim!”