An 11th memorable edition with the royal touch
The highly anticipated, glamorous Christmas Ball in Monte-Carlo took place on Saturday, December 3, 2016, in the magnificent Salle Empire of the Hotel de Paris, organized by Sandrine Knoell-Garbagnati of 5 Stars Events, under the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. This enchanting Ball marks the beginning of the winter season festivities in the Principality with guests sharing the magic of the holiday season.
The 11th edition of this memorable event will forever remain in everybody’s memories, as Princess Charlene honored it by attending the welcome cocktail, took time to partake with members of the Ball’s International Action Committee, and made a brief and passionate speech about her Foundation. The Princess looked very beautiful and elegant wearing a dress by La Petite Robe di Chiara Boni.
Princess Charlene said: “It is wonderful to see so many of you here tonight and I am hugely grateful to you all for supporting my foundation. I am pleased to share that we succeeded in reaching over 100,000 people in 27 countries, teaching children to learn to swim and water safety – simple skills with immeasurable value. Your support means the world to me. Together we are saving lives.” At the end of her presentation our adorable Princess wished all the guests Happy Holidays!
It is the season of giving!
A total of € 65,000 were raised from the prestigious live auction by Sotheby’s and the tombola, conducted by no other than model, actress and TV personality Victoria Silvstedt. Since its inception this solidarity Ball has collected almost € 500,000 for different charity associations in the Principality, proving that glamour and social responsibility go hand in hand. The attractive items presented this year had been kindly offered by generous reputable donors, with the funds raised benefiting the Princess Charlene Foundation, whose objective is to help children around the world to become responsible adults, through teaching the values of sport and solidarity.
The mission of the Princess’ Foundation is to promote the benefits of sporting activities, teach children and adults the value of basic swimming expertise, water safety, first-aid and drowning prevention skills, and foster national and international amateur sports competitions. The Foundation is equally involved in communicating the values of sports, respect for oneself and others, determination and teamwork, with the firm belief that sport is a tool that contributes to the wellbeing and development of children. Their goal is that water awareness education becomes a life skill in all schools.
The Casino Square was decorated like a glittering pine forest, and a giant blue Christmas Tree by Chopard shined at the center of the lobby of the Hotel de Paris, while in the Salle Empire the majestic decor evoked all the splendor of a Red and Gold Christmas with scents of snow that wrapped the elegant guests in the magic of the Holiday season.
Sandrine opened the Ball by dancing with H.E. Cristiano Gallo, Ambassador of Italy to the Principality of Monaco, to the tunes of a song by new Italian music sensation tenor Davide Carbone. Memorable! All the elegant ladies and handsome men followed suite joining them on the dance floor. Famous DJ Andrea T Mendoza, Resident of Billionaire kept the fun loving guests dancing all night long!
The other surprise of the evening was the performance of award winning new generation magician mentalist William Watt, who entertained the guests creating illusions with elegance and humour.
Prestigious partners & a top of the line International Committee
The legendary luxury Swiss watches manufacturer Audemars Piguet founded in 1875, was again the prestigious Gold Partner, who also graciously donated a fabulous Royal Oak Selfwinding watch for the live auction (In the photo: Alexia Romani and Erik Paolino from Audemars Piguet with Sandrine Knoell-Garbagnati and Victoria Silvstedt).
Lady Monika Bacardi, Marriott London Canary Wharf and Margy’s were among the Silver Partners. There were also two Copper Partners, art dealer ArtSGK and celebrated Tunisian fashion designer Ali Karoui, who dressed Sandrine Knoell-Garbagnati, and Victoria Silvstedt with magnificent gowns.
Sandrine Knoell-Garbagnati counts with the valuable help of good friends who are members of the Ball’s International Action Committee. Present this year were Inna Maier and yours truly Celina Lafuente de Lavotha who collaborate very closely with Sandrine and are also part of the Ball’s Executive Committee, Lady Monika Bacardi, Marquise Roberta Gilardi-Sestito and well-known Monegasque fashion designer and artist Elizabeth Wessel who created the exquisite and glamorous cover of the Ball’s invitation.
“Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” Washington Irving