Vogue caught up with Charlene Wittstock, set to marry Prince Albert II at the beginning of July. The future princess discussed first meeting Albert at the 2000 Olympics (she's a swimmer), adjusting to life in Monaco and her plans to inaugurate a fashion week there.
On cultivating her personal style:
"Finding my fashion feet has certainly been the biggest challenge," she says, remembering her "trial by fire" at Monaco's 2007 Red Cross Ball. "'I was literally a fish out of water. I thought it was all fun, fun, fun, and didn't give my outfit any thought. I had been playing beach volleyball all day, painted my nails red, and threw on a green dress. I thought I looked great at the time, but looking back, I realize that my debut into Monaco society should have been better executed!"
On listening to other people about how she should dress:
"I was insecure. I felt pressure to err on the side of caution -- I was terrified of meeting a head of state in an over-the-top outfit....I've reached the point where I know what I like and what works. I'm starting to play with fresher, bolder, and more daring looks." She was helped by Giorgio Armani, who will dress her for the religious part of her wedding and who notes that her casual elegance and slender figure look equally good in suits and evening gowns with necklines "that emphasize the beautiful structure of her shoulders."
On her relationship with Karl Lagerfeld:
"Karl took me to his workshop in Paris. He said, 'You are going to be a style icon. You bring a breath of fresh air and modern glamour to Monaco.' Then he asked me if there was one item of clothing that I had always wanted to experiment with, and I replied, 'A smoking jacket.' He went back to his apartment and presented me with his own white shirt and smoking jacket from his closet."
Take a look at photos of Charlene from the issue and head over to Vogue.com to read the rest.