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Suitcase Series

Suitcase Series: Princess Marie-Chantal Of Greece

Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece: mother of five; Founder and Creative Director of lifestyle childrenswear brand, Marie-Chantal; board member of DFS Group Ltd.; and now author, with recently released book, Manners Begin at Breakfast: Modern Etiquette for Families. She also happens to be Crown Princess of Greece after marrying Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece. Among all her titles, “multi-masking mum boss” is the one she carries with the utmost prowess.

Starting her children’s collection, Marie-Chantal in 2000, the line sprang naturally from her fondness for classic, timeless design, and a fundamental love of children. Her memories of her own childhood, and her mother’s influence on her and her collection, are vivid. Marie-Chantal’s mother brought her children up to look their best – they were  dressed in very specific outfits, like Liberty-print smocked dresses made of lightweight Tana Lawn cotton.

Born in London, raised in Hong Kong, schooled in Switzerland, followed by Paris and New York; travel is integral to her life. Here, we delve into Marie-Chantal’s suitcase psyche…


What is the first trip you remember taking?

Every Summer the family meets up in Greece. It is such a beautiful country where there is always something new to discover: a new friend, restaurant, island, or cove, even a new museum. My memories go way back to when I was four-years old and we would spend the summer in Corfu. Now I’m married to a Greek and spend every summer there.

Where or what is your escape?

On a morning beach walk listening to a great podcast.

What are the biggest lessons you’ve taken from your travels?

I grew up in Hong Kong and, as we lived so far away, we travelled a lot. We also lived in France for a few years, so travelling is second nature to me and where I feel at home with friends in a lot of places. Exposing children to many cultures is so important as it makes them adaptable. When Olympia was little, I made sure she made friends her age so to have a best friend later in life in every city.

If you could go anywhere tomorrow it would be…

Los Angeles or the UK. When in LA I love visiting my sister, Alexandra. Some of my best friends live there as well. But my home away from home is the Cotswolds in England; I’ll head there as often as I can.

 

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What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

Staying in a great hotel with my husband and children, visiting wonderful restaurants, and being a real tourist. We have so much fun as a family and I am looking forward to our next trip.

Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

We love going back to much-loved holiday spots, but when exploring somewhere new, it comes down to a family vote. Mexico is our next destination.

Your flight is delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time?

I head straight to the nearest Duty Free!

If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be?

My grandmother – I would love to get some more stories from her.

How do you switch off?

I go on long walks with my dog, Lola or play the New York Times Spelling Bee – I’m hooked!

 

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What is your jet-lag recovery tip?

I try not to eat on the plane and drink lots of water. Bring a packet of electrolytes with me to keep hydrated.

My top bucket list destination is..

Mexico City.

What is your number one packing tip?

Always pack by outfits and I am a big advocate of packing cubes.

Favourite hotel? Why?

Le Cheval Blanc in Paris. I lived in Paris as a young girl and the hotel overlooks the neighbourhood I grew up in. It always brings back such wonderful memories.

Favourite airline?

Mint, JetBlue.

What’s on your travel playlist?

I love compiling playlists – this is my current go-to. I love ‘So We Don’t Forget’ by Khruangbin.

How do you switch off?

Settling down with a good book – I am currently reading The Collector, a thriller novel by English author John Fowles.

What is your most treasured purchase from your travels?

The most beautiful set of rainbow-coloured Murano glasses from Venice.

Where is home and what are your must-do’s for any tourists visiting?

New York City, Upper East Side. If you are visiting the city during wintertime, ice skating in Central Park is a must. We went a few weeks ago with our children, I just love it.

Where next?

Bahamas with my family for Easter.

First thing that comes to your mind…

Hand-luggage essential…

A silk eye mask, lip balm, hand cream, and always a pair of the thickest, cosiest socks.

Beach or City Break?

Beach.

Packing: roll or fold?

I am a folder – I try to pack everything as flat as possible with silk tissue paper. I’m a Virgo after all….

In-flight book or in-flight film?

Film.

Music or podcasts?

Depends on my mood – both!

Time killer on a long-haul flight?

I am very organised and like to download a series before a flight – I devoured Yellowstone on a recent flight to Geneva.

Holiday tipple of choice?

Dirty Martini.

Ultimate holiday treat?

A walk on the beach for some alone time – it is a great way to recharge your batteries.

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