Monaco’s Annual Rose Ball – Founded by American Royal Princess Grace – Postponed Due to Coronavirus

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Monaco’s celebrated Bal de la Rose has been struck by the coronavirus.

The annual event, which opens Monaco’s social season, won’t occur as scheduled for March 21. A statement from organizers stress this is a postponement, not formal cancellation. They express hope the charity event, presided over by Princess Caroline, can be rescheduled later in the year.

“Strengthening the precautionary measures against COVID-19 have leads us to postpone the Bal de la Rose, initially scheduled for Saturday; March 21, 2020,” according to the statement. “We will determine a new date as the situation evolves.”

The event has been canceled only once in it 66-year history, during the 1991 Gulf War.

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First created in 1954 to open Monaco’s social season, the “Rose Ball” became internationally celebrated under Princess Grace’s presidency from 1957 until her death in 1982. Following her mother’s death, Princess Caroline assumed responsibility for the event and remains deeply invested.

Following the death of iconic designer Karl Lagerfeld, who had been in charge of the Bal’s decor for decades, it was revealed only last month that the princess had asked French designer Christian Louboutin to take charge for this year’s “Tribute to Bollywood” theme.

The Bal attracts 800 invitees, and the profits benefit the activities of the Princess Grace Foundation. The number of guests exceeds the limit of 500 persons at a gathering, a recent regulation imposed by French authorities which Monaco is observing.

In recent years, Lagerfeld had set the bar quite high, surprising guests with a evocations of Havana street market one year; a vision of Belle Epoque Vienna or a stylized Manhattan skyscraper, in others.

Announced as Lagerfeld’s replacement on social media with the unveiling of a appropriately psychedelic invitation, Louboutin, 57, is no stranger to the world of red carpets. Widely recognized as France’s foremost shoe designer, his signature red soled shoes are immediately identifiable. Word of his “royal” commission came just hours before a major career retrospective opened in Paris.

The charity event features thousands of fragrant roses and attracts members of high society from across Europe wearing some of the most extravagant fashion and jewelry.

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The lavish evening is a must for royal watchers – with young couples often being covertly disclosed (or formally debuted) on the dance floor.