The Rose Ball of Monaco is perhaps one of the most extravagant events in the entire world. Here’s everything you need to know before attending.
And if you’re looking for luxury look no further than Monaco’s annual Rose Ball. Held each year in spring, guests spent over 900,000 dollars on tickets in 2018.
A royal ball held in Monaco – it doesn’t get much more glamorous than that right? Think again, because none other than Hollywood legend Grace Kelly created this ball. So in terms of glamour, it’s the best you can get.
Thinking of buying a ticket? Then you’ll need to know what to expect from an evening with the Royals.
Well, you’re in the right place. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Rose Ball of Monaco.
Who Throws Monaco’s Rose Ball?
The Princess Grace of Monaco (formerly Grace Kelly) created Le Bal de la Rose or The Rose Ball in 1954.
It has become an annual tradition for the last sixty-four years. And as of 1964, the Rose Ball honors the Princess Grace Foundation. The foundation supports developing humanitarian and philanthropic projects.
Each year in March the royal family of Monaco presides over the ball. At present HSH Prince Albert II and HRH Princess Caroline of Hanover chair the ball.
The Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (or SMB) organize the ball each year. And with their origins in Monaco’s glamorous casinos and hotels they are the perfect people to do it!
In March 2013 they celebrated their 150th anniversary. The Rose Ball honored this occasion and they renamed it the ‘Rose Ball on The Rock’.
Where Does the Ball Take Place?
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this ball takes place in Monaco.
Monaco, or rather the principality of Monaco, is the second smallest country in the world. It sits on the French Riviera in Western Europe.
France surrounds it on three sides. But the final side borders the stunning Mediterranean Sea.
And while it may take place in a small country, the Rose Ball is anything but. Each year it takes place at the Salles des Etoiles of the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club. This has been the venue of the ball since 1975.
At the northern end of Monte-Carlo, the club sits right on the water’s edge. This provides guests with an evening of magnificent views to match their entertainment.
The History of The Rose Ball
The Rose Ball reflects the enchanting fairy tale life and love of its creator, Princess Grace.
She designed and hosted the first ball shortly after marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco. And she planned the event with extreme personal care and attention to detail.
In particular, the choice of roses, which give the ball its name, was her decision. They were her favorite flower. Each year the ball contains 25,000 roses.
This is a tradition that is still continued at the ball today!
Also continued is the sophistication of the first ever ball. In 1954 Latin-American dances were particularly popular. However, SMB’s creative director, Henry Astrik, chose to keep the main dance of the ball as the waltz.
The ball was in many ways stripped back to maintain its pure sophistication. There were no decorations apart from the roses. And the only music came from one hundred violins.
Over the years the ball’s entertainment developed and varied. By 1957 it featured a ballet called “Mimi la Rose”.
Colette Marchand, a prima dancer, performed this. Other performers over the years include Jacques Chazot. And each year features a new musical theme, such as the Charleston or the tango.
The ball’s entertainment now also includes its world-famous charity raffle. Over the years internationally renowned companies have contributed decadent lots for the taking!
In 1975 the ball received a new look at its new venue, the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club. This chic venue offered a starry canopy to add to the romanticism of the atmosphere. It also accommodated the ball’s growing guest list!
What Does the Evening Entail?
For those lucky enough to attend, the Rose Ball boasts an evening of decadence.
All guests must make sure they arrive in plenty of time before the royal family. And arriving in style is an absolute must. For attendees of the ball, luxury car hire is vital.
After the arrival of the royal family of Monaco, the ball opens with a royal dance in le Rose ballroom.
Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III used to perform this dance. Following her death, their children, Prince Albert II, and Princess Caroline danced it. Since his marriage, Prince Albert dances it with his wife, Princess Charlene.
Once the dance is complete the guests may take their seats.
The evening begins like an international charity gala. And the main event here is the raffle.
Though this isn’t any ordinary raffle. Prizes from 2018 featured a round-trip flight to Venice and a night at the Princess Grace Suite at the Hôtel de Paris.
Once the raffle is over, the guests eat dinner. In previous years the menu included truffled lobster and soft shell crab tempura. Not to mention the pre and post-dinner cocktails.
Now fed and watered, guests can make their way to the famous Rose ballroom and dance the night away. Internationally renowned artists perform well into the night.
What’s the Dress Code for Le Bal de la Rose?
As you might expect at such a glamorous event, the dress code demands nothing but perfection.
Until his recent death, Karl Lagerfeld accompanied HRH Princess Caroline to the ball. And you wouldn’t want to turn up at an event alongside the man behind Chanel without looking your best, would you?
So glamour is a must. All the guests wear black tie.
Men’s tuxedos must be black or dark-blue and there are strict rules for the shoes they wear. These rules are less strict for women. They simply require an evening dress that reaches below the knee.
There is also often a theme for the ball, which may dictate the style guests choose. But more on that shortly!
Who’s On the Guestlist?
The Rose Ball Monaco is an occasion for the international elite and high society to mingle. With over nine hundred guests in attendance, it’s quite the party!
Members of the royal family of Monaco, from the House of Grimaldi, always attend. Although Princess Stéphanie does not host the ball alongside her brother and sister.
In 2018, Princess Caroline’s son, Pierre Casiraghi attended with his wife. So did her youngest daughter, Princess Alexandra of Hanover. Her daughter, Charlotte Casiraghi also announced her engagement at the ball.
Celebrities also rub shoulders with royalty at the ball. Previous guests include the Welsh singer Dame Shirley Bassey. Blues musician, Taj Mahal, attended the ball last year and performed in the evening.
But while it may seem exclusive, anyone can attend the Rose Ball. Well, provided they can stump up the cash.
The Glamour of the Rose Ball
The Rose Ball gives everyone the opportunity to experience the fairy-tale of Monaco.
Each year beautiful bouquets made up of thousands of roses adorn the Salle des Etoiles. And every detail of the room is intricately designed.
For the last five years, Karl Lagerfeld has personally designed the room’s decorations. This year will be the sixth and last featuring his designs, following his death in February 2019.
Princess Grace also created the tradition of giving each ball a theme. She decided the theme based on different types of roses and different countries. Now designers blend this tradition with a modern twist.
In 2018, Karl Lagerfeld used the work of French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé to create a ‘Manhattan’ design. And to match the design, guests drank Manhattan and champagne cocktails.
In 2017, the ballroom became turn-of-the-century Vienna. This year Lagerfeld chose the Art Nouveau as his starting point to design from.
Other themes include London in the 1960s, motifs of Morocco and Russian constructivism.
Only those attending know each year’s theme. The rest of us simply have to wait for the photos!
How Do You Get a Ticket?
While tickets are available to the public, this doesn’t mean they’re easy to get your hands on!
Tickets are available online from the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer website. But they sell out very quickly! After all, this is the opening event of the season in the Principality.
If you do manage to get a ticket they cost €800 a piece. That’s just over $996 dollars.
But that’s the price of experiencing Monaco’s fairytale glamour. And in the name of charity, at least you know your money’s going somewhere worthwhile!
When Is the Rose Ball This Year?
In 2019, the Rose Ball will take place on March 30. Tickets for the event are currently sold out, however, there is a guest list available.
So There You Have It
If you’re looking for luxury, it doesn’t get better than Monaco’s annual Rose Ball!
The opportunity to rub shoulders with royals and celebrities alike is worth the price tag. And who wouldn’t want to attend the most important social event in the country’s calendar?
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