HSH Prince Albert II, HSH Princess Stephanie and Albert's girlfriend Charlene Wittstock yesterday attended the 61st annual Red Cross Ball at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club. The theme for the ball this year was a combination "Latin Summer" and "Miami Party" and, as such, the featured guest star was the iconic Gloria Estefan. However, royal watchers were disappointed that HRH Princess Caroline was not in attendance nor were any of the "Casiraghi trio". The boys, Andrea and Prierre have not often attended though the very photo-friendly Charlotte has often done so. This year, however, she was at a horse show in Brazil at the time. The absence of Princess Caroline has been more baffling. Over the years she has only missed the Red Cross Ball twice; the first after the death of her beloved husband Stefano Casiraghi and the second time for the birth of her daughter Princess Alexandra.
Other celebrities on hand were Prince Alexander von Schaumburg-Lippe and his wife Princess Nadja, Shirley Bassey, Buzz Aldrin and Ivanna Trump but other faces often present in the past such as Laurent of Belgium, the Serbian and Italian royals have also not attended nor were familiar faces from Princess Antoinette's family to be found. All of this has again sparked talk common in the last few years that the Red Cross Ball is no longer *the* social event of the season that it once was. Nonetheless, one should always keep in mind that the point of it all is to raise money for the Red Cross and that, like every year, was certainly done and will do many people around the world a great deal of good. Big sister may have been absent but Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie always seem to light up a room, and each other, whenever they appear together.