|She's married to a member of Monaco's first family, but Beatrice Borromeo doesn't want a fairy-tale life; she wants reality. In this exclusive, the newly appointed human rights envoy opens up about style.|
|Beatrice Borromeo is reclining in a Louis XVI-style chair on the set of her Glamour shoot in New York City, looking appropriately regal in a soft, billowy dress. But when the stylist attempts to place a tiara on her head, the 30-year-old balks. "Don't make me like a little princess, please," she says. "It would really depress me."|
|This isn't just a sartorial choice for Borromeo. She actually is royalty: Last summer the world watched when she wed Pierre Casiraghi, the younger son of Caroline, Princess of Monaco, and grandson of Grace Kelly. But day-to-day life for Borromeo, an Italian aristocrat by birth and a journalist by training, is refreshingly grounded, career-driven, and full. She's been working as a reporter since she was 19 and holds a master's from Columbia University; she cooks dinner at home most nights and wears jeans on a regular basis. And in November Borromeo was appointed special envoy for human rights for Fashion 4 Development (F4D), a United Nations-affiliated initiative through which she will advocate for civil and environmental issues. In other words, this is no lady-in-waiting! I sat down with Borromeo over eggs Benedict to get the scoop on the modern royal's life.|
|Glamour: You've been working since you were a teen—as a model, then a journalist. What inspired you to get into reporting?|
Beatrice Borromeo: The first part of my life, until I was 16 or so, was extremely political. I grew up with one of the most corrupt governments in Italian history. I would go to demonstrations with my mom. When I was 19, I was invited to join the team for a news television show. I was out of my league, but I learned fast. Then I had a radio show, started working for a paper, and eventually began doing documentaries as well. At first I cared only about fighting and exposing [government] corruption. But I think you should look around and find your causes everywhere. No matter how small a situation is, it's better to do your best to make it right. I'm most afraid of wasting my life in doing things that help only myself. I don't want to go away from this earth without having improved at least a couple of lives.
Glamour: Well, your work definitely touches on hot-button issues. You've covered politics, underage prostitution, drug trafficking, toxic waste…
|Glamour: You're young and beautiful. Does that ever disarm the men you interview?|
Beatrice Borromeo: When it comes to men, it helps because they talk a lot to me! They say things that later they always regret.
Glamour: Touché! You were recently appointed as special envoy for human rights for Fashion 4 Development. What exactly does that mean?
Beatrice Borromeo: The core of what I am going to do is to find stories that are compelling journalistically, and to expose them in articles and documentaries—to bring awareness. It isn't related to fashion; I will be focusing on human rights with the help of [F4D president] Evie Evangelou. I believe in the power of guilt-shaming people into fixing their own mistakes or taking action; for 10 years I've been selling stories that people don't really want to hear. We are particularly looking into child marriage at the moment. In the developing world, one out of three girls gets married before the age of 18, and one in nine before the age of 15. And because of that, pregnancies and issues during the deliveries are among the first causes of death. I created a committee of amazing women to help me; some of them are mothers, and I like the idea that I don't have to choose between career and family.
Glamour: Is starting a family something you're thinking about?
Beatrice Borromeo: One day for sure: I come from a big family, and I want children of my own. But at the moment I'm thinking about putting my career in a place where it wouldn't get threatened by the presence of children.
Glamour: You are Italian, but your husband is from Monaco. What's life like there?
Beatrice Borromeo: I don't live the fancy side of it; that's mostly in the summer. In the winter it's like a small village. I've got my market where I go buy food and fresh vegetables. I love to stay home and cook. I find it relaxing. It's a very local life.
Glamour: What's the most popular dish on your menu?
Beatrice Borromeo: I do a special lemon chicken that is my husband's favorite. He asks for it all the time. I'm like, "Can I please try something new?"
|Glamour: Let's talk about fashion. What do you wear on a typical day?|
Beatrice Borromeo: Skinny jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt. If I'm interviewing someone in the government, I'm going to be more formal: a jacket, a shirt, pants. But if I go see refugees in the field, I'm not going to care what I wear.
Glamour: OK, so for a date. Still jeans?
Beatrice Borromeo: [Laughs.] I remember when I first started dating my husband, he was like, "Do you not have a dress? Are you a girl, or what?"
Glamour: But you always look so glamorous in photos.
BB: For formal occasions I wear Valentino or Armani because they are kind enough to let me borrow stuff. I couldn't afford to buy as many dresses as I need for public functions! I like to be elegant, but even then I need to be comfortable. No look will ever make up for the fact that I'm uncomfortable.
Glamour: That said, your wedding last summer was a pretty major fashion event.
Beatrice Borromeo: I'm not going to talk about my wedding. I've heard enough of it. When you had a moment in your life that you care about so much and that everybody else cared about as much as you, but for other reasons, it's nice to keep some parts of it to yourself.
Glamour: Fair enough. You seem pretty pragmatic about style. Do you ever splurge on something?
Beatrice Borromeo: I'm a reporter, and I have the salary of a reporter. I'm not going to put half of my salary into a pair of shoes. I did it a few times in my life, and it doesn't feel right. You can wear Zara and nothing bad is going to happen to you.