A Royal Weekend with Princess Charlene of Monaco
Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco landed in South Africa on Thursday, April 20, ahead of the various charity and philanthropic events and celebrations which were organised for her foundation.
On her first day in the country, the princess took a nostalgic mini trip around Ekurhuleni, which included swimming at the Virgin Active pool in Boksburg, enjoying a local popular potjie dish at Turn n’ Tender, and finally doing some retail therapy at East Rand Mall.
On Friday, April 21, she went to Gugulesizwe Primary school in Daveyton, as her first official royal duty during her five day visit.
She was joined by Ekurhuleni acting mayor Clr Lesiba Mpya and Sinazo Masina, wife of Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina.
Gugulesiswe Primary School is situated about 20km outside of Benoni and five years ago the princess launched The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa at the faculty.
With the support of the Benoni Red Cross, Princess Charlene gave first aid lessons and CPR demonstrations to the teachers as well as learners from child-headed families.
A year ago, Princess Charlene was elected as a patron of the Red Cross South Africa, at an auspicious and glittering event at the pink palace, for her charity and philanthropic work.
“I have taken a personal interest in the school and I will support and do my best to make sure that the leaners at the school are exposed to great sports, health and safety, so that they can build a great community around them,” she said.
On April 4, Princess Charlene donated her childhood swimming medals to Gugulesizwe Primary School to inspire young learners who have an interest in pursuing a swimming career.
The medals, together with a portrait painting of the princess, were hand-delivered by her father, Mike Wittstock.
After her visit to the school, the princess went to visit her parents in Benoni, at the house where she grew up.
Later that day, she was joined by local celebrities and other dignitaries for a private cocktail party to celebrate the work of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, in Joburg North.
On Saturday, April 22, the Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes Race Day took place at Turffontein Racecourse, where horse racing and royalty came together for a good cause.
The day was filled with fashion, glamour, elegance and royalty.
The Princess, who opted for a glamorous black and white dress, was warmly welcomed to the venue by children from Gugulesizwe Primary School.
“I love Africa, it is in my blood and it will always be a part of me. Look at my outfit for today – it is inspired by Brenda Fassie. She was a legend and I play her music to my children, particularly Vuleindlela” said Princess Charlene
With the main event of the day, the R1-million Empress Club Stakes named in her honour, HSH Princess Charlene also chose to add her support to two other races on the programme, with two lucrative Maiden Plates as part of the day’s proceedings.
Proceeds from the day were donated to the Highveld Horse Care Unit as well as the Red Cross and Gugulesizwe Primary School.
“Thank you all for supporting this day and congratulations to everyone,” said Princess Charlene after the day’s festivities which saw a healthy sum of over R300 000 given to charity.