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Monaco royal family cancel annual Rose Ball for the first time since 1954 - details

The Rose Ball was due to take place on 21 March

Jenni McKnight

The Monaco royal family has announced the cancellation of their annual Rose Ball amid coronavirus fears. The glamorous event has been held every year since it was established by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1954, and even went ahead following her death in 1982. The event was scheduled to take place on 21 March but will now be postponed as a precautionary measure. A statement on the Rose Ball website states: "Due to the stricter precautionary measures related to COVID-19, we are forced to postpone this event. We will schedule a new date depending on how the situation develops."

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Held in the Salle des Etoiles of Monte-Carlo Sporting, the dinner – usually attended by the likes of Princess Caroline of Hanover, Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco – raises funds for the Princess Grace Foundation, which supports people and children in need by developing humanitarian and philanthropic projects.

Famed fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was honoured at the event last year after his death in February. He had been its artistic director since 1999, and was a close friend of Princess Caroline of Hanover, who organises the Rose Ball. This year's theme was to be Bollywood, with the curation of the show now led by Christian Louboutin.

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Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Charlene of Monaco and Princess Caroline of Hanover

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The news comes after the Swedish royal family cancelled a dinner reception earlier this month, in light of the coronavirus outbreak. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia postponed an official dinner, which was due to take place at the royal palace in Stockholm, where around 150 guests were expected to attend.

A statement from the Swedish royal court said: "In recent days, a number of cases of infection from the novel coronavirus have been detected in Sweden. The Public Health Authority considers the risk of detecting cases of covid-19 in Sweden to be high, but the risk of the infection spreading is considered low. Awaiting further development of events, Their Majesties, as hosts, choose to postpone the Official Dinner that was planned to be held at the Royal Palace on Wednesday, 4 March. This is done out of consideration for the invited guests."

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