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Prince Albert's diamond girl sparkles in 'Ocean' necklace wedding gift

August 8, 2011
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A new age of glamour officially opened in Monaco as Princess Charlene attended her first Red Cross Ball since marrying Prince Albert. The fundraising gala is the crown jewel in the Monte Carlo social calendar, and the principality's new first lady was on truly dazzling form. Putting paid to the unkind rumours about their marriage, Charlene glowed with happiness on the arm of her new husband, flanked by her sisters-in-law Caroline and Stephanie.


The 33-year-old will surely have been thinking back to another debut. Charlene recently recalled how for her first Red Cross Ball in 2006 she rather nervously borrowed a green dress from a friend and painted her nails red after a day playing volleyball at the beach. "I must have looked like a Christmas tree," joked the striking South African of what she regarded as her less than fashion-savvy ways at the time. It was a very different story this weekend. All eyes were on the couple as they took to the dancefloor alone, just as they had on the evening of their marriage when the Monegasque sovereign made a touching speech describing his bride as "the most important person in the room".


Charlene was showing off the statuesque figure honed by her years as a champion swimmer in a strapless fuchsia Akris gown. The vibrant colour was a departure from the pastel palette she has worn of late – and was clearly the choice of someone confident and ready to make an impact in her new role. Finishing off the fabulous look was the diamond and sapphire 'Ocean' necklace.Studded with 1,200 precious stones, the stunning piece can also be worn as a tiara. It was created specially for her by Van Cleef & Arpels as a wedding gift from her prince.


It was a particularly thoughtful and romantic gesture on Albert's part, referencing his bride's affinity for the water and recalling the great love story of his parents Rainier and Grace  –  Van Cleef & Arpels was the official jewellers to the principality at their iconic wedding in1956.CEO Stanislas Quercize said: "There are more than 850 diamonds. The idea of the necklace is to represent sea spume. "And so we included 359 sapphires. We chose three shades of blue, evoking the world's different seas from the waters of the coast of Monaco to the ocean around Africa. To crown the work 11 pearl-cut diamonds evoke droplets of water."

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