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August 4, 2002
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St Tropez is the place to be this summer, with all kinds of famous faces from royalty to pop stars flocking into the sunny southern French resort to relax in the warm waters of the Cote d’Azur.

Star-gazers in the area have been rewarded with sightings of musicians as diverse as Beyonce Knowles, P Diddy, Ronan Keating and Phil Collins; models Elle Macpherson and Yasmin le Bon, who was in town with her husband Simon; and royals Prince Andrew, who was there last month, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Sweden’s lovely Princess Madeleine. Joan Collins, footballer Ronaldo, actor Liam Neeson and designer Donatella Versace have also been catching some rays in the trendy resort with their loved ones.

Those who own homes around the town include Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Linda Evangelista, Sir Elton John and his chum George Michael – who owns a £2-million villa called Chez Nobby.

St Tropez has been drawing the jetset ever since Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim filmed And God Created Woman there almost half a century ago. And residents and summer visitors alike maintain its fame with the size of their yachts, the glamorous company they keep, and the sheer exclusivity of local prices.

As far back as 1995, French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo was already earning £33,000 a week in rent for his luxury villa, La Libanaise, which is just up the road from Johnny Hallyday’s pad. Today, mooring for your yacht will cost you a hefty £1,000, and it’s rumoured that lunch these days at the beachside club La Voile Rouge can set you back a scorching £10,000.

Once you've got the villa and the yacht and have checked out the best watering holes, it's time to mix with the party set. And you'll really know you’ve made it as a St Tropez regular when the stiff invitation for Christophe Leroy’s Bal Masqué plops through your letterbox. Held in mid-August, the lavish fest, held in Les Moulins de Ramatuelle, an old windmill just outside town, lures even the hardest-to-impress celebrities off their yachts onto the mainland. One Parisian socialite who attended last year described it as “a real frisson. In St Tropez, where evryone’s so conspicuous, it was a release being anonymous.”

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Photo: ©
Phil Collins catching some rays in St Tropez on the must-have yacht - mooring these days in the trendy resort costs a hefty £1,000
Photo: ©
Another of the musicians enjoying the warm waters of the Cote d'Azur - P Diddy, aka Puff Daddy
Photo: ©
Sweden's lovely sunseeker Princess Madeleine was one of the royals soaking up the sun in the southern French resort

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